6. Cultural participation and consumption
Last update: June, 2015
See chapter 2.7.
The main objective of San Marino policy is to extend access to new social groups, while increasing attendance by regular users, mainly through the reduction of prices. In line with this policy, performance and concert tickets did not considerably increase from 1999 to 2003, except for some downward or upward adjustments due to the introduction of the Euro. For example, theatre tickets cost 40 000 Lira in 1999 and 21 EUR in 2003; concert tickets cost 20 000 Lira in 1999 and 10 EUR in 2003. The only considerable increase can be noticed in the rise of subscription rates costing 320 000 Lira in 1999 and 195 EUR in 2003.
In the theatre sector, there has been a considerable increase in the number of spectators during the 2000/2001 and 2001/2002 seasons. This is due to a number of measures including: experimental "mini-subscriptions" which were made available to those wishing to attend repeats of the most successful performances; shoppers at the Conad supermarket were given a reduction on a theatre subscription to the 2000/2001 season; subscription holders of both theatres (Teatro Nuovo and Teatro Titano) were granted a special discount. Concert subscriptions were first introduced in 2000. Besides regular and reduced rates, a special tariff was given to members of the music association.
San Marino citizens have free access to State Museums (Guaita Castle, Rocca Castle with its Museum of Ancient Weapons, State Museum in Pergami Palace, Government Building, Saint Francis Museum); discounts are available to foreign visitors. Promotional "week-end packages" are available for tourists. In 2013, partly as a result of the adoption of the new system to control access to State Museums, the entrance fees to public museums and monuments have been updated and diversified (full, reduced, multi-museum, free).
The use of technology also helped to attract increasing numbers of tourists to visit cultural places, especially young people (see chapter 2.4 on digitalisation applied to the museum sector through the introduction of multimedia tools).
Increases in museum attendance have been recorded during specially organised events, such as the European Heritage Day, when there was a record number of visitors (10 611) on 12th September 2004 and on 11th September 2005, with 9 037 entries to San Marino sites and museums and more than 10 000 on 10 September 2006. San Marino participated in the European Heritage Days, with a total of 8 880 entries, on 9 September 2007. Moreover, in response to the invitation by the World Tourism Organisation to celebrate "World Tourism Day" on 27 September 2005, the Congress of State, with Decision n. 48 of 20 September 2005, authorised free entry to the State Museums and invited private museums to do the same. This was supported by an information campaign.
Since 1994, elementary schools annually organise an exhibition entitled "Who Reads Travels with the Mind". Over the years, the exhibition has been enlarged to include didactic projects developed by schools, meetings with the authors, workshops of animated reading and refresher courses for teachers and parents. A fruitful collaboration has been established for several years with the San Marino Music Institute for the realisation of music animation projects destined to students in various age groups. This exhibition has now become a fixed event.
A number of specific cultural initiatives directed to San Marino residents and aimed at promoting participation are organised by institutions, which, in some cases, boast a century-old history. An example is the San Marino Archery Federation, gathering flag weavers, musicians, figurants and archers, whose costumes draw inspiration from those used in the ancient Court of the Dukes of Urbino. This Federation was created to preserve the memory of ancient traditions by evoking shooting competitions with the crossbow, an ancient defence instrument at the time of the Communes. In the 1980s, all the trophies, banners won, parchments, old costumes, documents, ancient crossbows and targets of the Federation were placed in the seat hall, in the historical centre, forming a museum with a very high moral and material value. This Museum is open to the public only once a year, on 3 September, on the occasion of the Anniversary of the Republic's Foundation and the Archery Competition. The State Military Band and the Serravalle Band offer free music courses with a view to training new musicians. Among San Marino historical groups, the Cerna dei Lunghi Archi, Associazione Sammarinese Giochi Storici, I Fanciulli e la Corte di Olnano and Gruppo Arti e Mestieri carry out a lively activity in the cultural and historical fields through their historical processions. All these institutions represent, still today, an important element of cultural involvement and promotion, both within and outside the country.
"At the theatre in the balcony!" is the theme introduced by the Office for Social and Cultural Activities (UASC) for the theatre season 2006/07. In order to make the theatre more accessible to all, attract younger generations and facilitate theatre lovers, the UASC has proposed an advantageous offer concerning both the price of single performances and that of subscriptions to the balcony (the ticket price for one performance is 13 EUR and the subscription price for 12 performances is 120 EUR).
In San Marino there are no institutions responsible for protecting and disseminating the cinema or audiovisual heritage. In the past, the Office for Social and Cultural Activities (UASC) organised some retrospective reviews on special themes or dedicated to a specific author, such as "Occhi sul Cinema" (see chapter 2.1). Today, the cinema planning by the UASC is dedicated once a week to art cinema, which, until 2010, was organised on a three-month planning basis by an external expert. These reviews are targeted to a niche audience, which varies according to the proposed film (with a total of about 30-80 spectators per film). Starting from April 2011, art films will be identified through a logo ("l'altro cinema", meaning "the other cinema"), since the collaboration with the external expert has been interrupted. Another initiative started in 2011 is entitled "Projectare il cinema", organised by the Degree Course in Industrial Design of the San Marino University in collaboration with the UASC. "Projectare il cinema" proposes a series of significant films concerning the relationship between project and cinema in the various contexts of design, photography, video and multimedia, with the participation of professors and professionals who introduce the films and provide some analysis.
Last update: June, 2015
The San Marino Office for Economic Planning and the Centre for Data Processing and Statistics have published two important monitoring studies on household consumption patterns and life style from 1999 to 2002. It found that the education level of the head of the household was high: 15.32% holding a university degree or diploma and 40.51% has a high school diploma. The main consumption patterns of households (1999 figures) are:
- 59.2% spent their time reading (35.1% bought and 37.3% read one to five books / year);
- 88.9% of households read newspapers and 90.2% read periodicals;
- 91% regularly watched TV – this figure dropped in 2002 to 79.4%; and
- 75% went to the disco or cinema more than once a month.
The share of households with technological equipment rose between 1999 and 2002.
- PC owners increased from 51.2% in 1999 to 76% in 2002;
- Houses with Internet connections rose from 31.1% in 1999 to 58.2% in 2002; and
- Satellite TV connections also increased from 36.2% in 1999 to 58% in 2002.
A survey made by the Data Processing Centre and Statistics in 2004 shows that expenditures outside the Republic for education and leisure / entertainment are equal to 61.48% and 58.19% respectively. The increase in technological equipment in San Marino households reflects the introduction of new products on the market. Although the number of PCs, Internet subscriptions and satellite dishes remained unchanged in 2004, in comparison with 2003 data, the number of households with a DVD reader (+8.3%), a digital photo camera (+3.1%) and a plasma flat TV (+2.2%) recorded a slight increase. The survey also reveals that most families purchase from 1 to 5 books per year. Books are mainly bought and read by women aged between 30 and 50, while newspapers are mainly read by men aged between 40 and 50. Periodicals are read mainly by women between 30 and 50. The number of families reading periodicals (73.7%) is higher than the number of families reading newspapers (71%). In the households, the same number of males and females up to 25 years of age watch television (93.8%), out of which 54% from 1 to 6 hours. If we consider people from 20 to 24, females prevail, while from 40 to 70, a higher number of males watch television. The same trend was observed for radio listeners (76.9% of households). Internet use (64.4% of households) remains stable compared to 2003: the survey revealed that males from 30 to 34 and from 40 to 49 prevail, while the percentage of younger people remains low (despite a slight increase).
In 1995, young people aged 15-24 were interviewed in a survey undertaken by the Sant'Andrea Social Centre in Serravalle. The main results are:
- 30% of young people participate in cultural activities related to information technology, foreign languages, theatre, cinema, literature, music, cuisine;
- 31.5% regularly went to discos or attended music groups; 3.5% spent part of their leisure time in political and trade union activities; 9% were involved in volunteer and social assistance activities; 16% belonged to parish and religious groups; 6% participated in environmental and ecological activities;
- 60% watched TV two-three hours per day, 20% almost one hour and the remaining 20% 4 or more hours (mainly girls); and
- 50% had a PC at home, but only 20% had a good or fairly good knowledge of the Internet.
An Observatory on Population Trends was established in 2004 by the Ministry of Health, Social Security and Equal Opportunities, with support from the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation. In September 2005, the results of a survey on San Marino adult population literacy were published. About 400 people from 16 to 75 were interviewed by DOXA to assess literacy levels on the basis of their behaviour. The aim was to establish any regression to illiteracy, examining loss of competences and skills due to lack of use. The interviews revealed high literacy levels, similar to those recorded in the most industrialised countries. Another focal point was the use of electronic means for the elaboration and transmission of information: computer has become a common tool in most San Marino families. Extremely interesting are the data on the elderly (66-75 years of age), who, despite their reduced opportunities to receive formal education, are very active.
The Tables below provide an overview of the rate of participation in cultural activities and institutions heavily subsidised by the State. These figures should, however, be read with caution. We are not able, for example, to distinguish between residents and non-residents. There are no attendance figures for participation in temporary exhibitions of contemporary art because access is free of charge.
Table 3: Theatre Attendance 1999-2007
|Year||No. of performances per year||Subscriptions||Total||Tickets Sold|
Note: R = San Marino Resident; F = Foreigner
Table 4: Concert Attendance 1999-2007*
|Year||No. of performances per year||Subscriptions||Total||Tickets Sold|
5 in season|
4 out of season
6 out of season
5 in season|
4 out of season
5 in season|
3 out of season
* Data refer only to the concerts performed by the San Marino Musical Institute, distinguished according to whether they were performed during the concert season or not, without any distinction between tickets sold to residents or foreigners.
Table 5: Cinema Attendance 1999-2007
|Year||Cinema tickets sold|
Table 6: Number of visitors to State Museums* 1999-2007
|Year||Tickets issued||Paying visitors|
|2000||257 939||335 937|
|2001||250 308||351 476|
|2002||229 336||322 855|
|2003||180 076||237 488|
|2004||172 320||233 621|
|2005||161 572||221 369|
|2006||177 971||245 463|
|2007||181 447||251 281|
* These figures do not include San Marino visitors, who have free access to State Museums. 2002 figures also include free entrances granted on request to bodies or similar entities upon authorisation by the Ministries or the Museums Directorate. The number of tickets issued is always smaller than that of effective paying visitors, since it includes single tickets and tickets granting entrance to two museums.
Table 7: Number of visitors at the Museum of the Emigrant* 1999-2007
* No ticket is necessary to visit the Museum. Visitors are only asked to sign a guest book, which has been used to calculate the total number. As not all visitors have signed the book and in some cases a single signature refers to a family, a group of students or other groups this data can only be an indication of the number of visitors. No distinction can be made between residents and non residents.
Last update: June, 2015
Table 8: Household expenditure for private cultural participation and consumption, 2003-2008
Household expenditure for culture in EUR|
(annual average expenditure for entertainment and performances: theatre, cinema and other events, pay-TV subscriptions…)
|% share of total household expenditure|
|2004||605.40||1.9% (+ 4.2% compared to 2003)|
|2005||616.07||1.9% (+ 1.8% compared to 2004)|
|2006||600.68||1.8% (- 2.5% compared to 2005)|
|2007||570.82||1.7% (- 5% compared to 2006)|
|2008||573.70||1.8% (+ 0.5% compared to 2007)|
Source: San Marino Office for Economic Planning and the Centre for Data Processing and Statistics, "Monitoring study on household consumption patterns and life style 2008".
Last update: June, 2015
Amateur arts and folk culture
The dynamism of the San Marino people is testified to by the continuous creation of new cultural and social associations, which certainly reflects a positive trend. In March 2004, a study showed that one out of every two citizens participates actively or passively in an association.
The first association was the male section of the Mutual Aid Society (SUMS), created in 1874. Originally established to provide subsidies to those who could no longer work, the Society soon began to carry out several initiatives promoting industrial development and assisting all institutions supporting the well being of the working class. 25 years later the SUMS opened up to the female world, by promoting solidarity and support, but also occasions of social aggregation and cultural development. These entities were very important within San Marino society, which was characterised by great poverty at the time. Among the cultural initiatives promoted by the SUMS, worth mentioning are the Folk University (1904), open to the entire population, and the Amateur Dramatic Society.
The "Piccolo Teatro Arnaldo Martelli" was established in 1963/1964; the name comes from its founder, a San Marino professional actor, interested in local amateur theatre companies. Since then, the San Marino amateur theatre company has started a productive and uninterrupted process: over the years, the group has staged the most challenging authors of dramatic and comic genre, by establishing, in some cases, important collaborations with foreign directors. Since 1976, the members have also staged dialect performances, with a fixed annual event on the occasion of the celebrations for the joint patron Saint Agatha. The association - composed of 30 members - receives economic support from the State and sponsorship from the Township Council for its activities.
The "San Marino Choir" was created in 1960, bringing together the choristers of the former Governmental Chapel and the former Salesian Schola Cantorum, as well as music and song lovers. Subsequently, a policy of cultural exchange was started, which lead the Choir to perform in San Marino and in the most important non European, European and Italian cultural centres. The adult section includes about 35 persons, all voluntary; besides this section, there is also the chorus of treble voices "Piccole Voci", with about 40 children. The Choir benefits from annual grants issued by the State for services rendered during official celebrations, economic support of sponsors such as banking foundations and economic operators for specific projects, and sponsorship from the Township Council.
Freedom of assembly and association, freedom of thought, conscience and religion are provided for by the Declaration on the Citizens' Rights of 1974 (see chapter 4.1.1). The first law recognising and regulating the freedom of association dates back to the 1977 Law regulating cooperative societies and replaced by a new one in 1991. The latter established the Council of Cultural Associations and Cooperatives which gathers together an increasing number of associations under one umbrella, in particular from the fields of theatre, photography, local culture, music, arts, reading, dance, history, environmental protection. Its creation underlined State recognition for the value and autonomy of such associations. Among the Council's tasks are to allocate State funding for associations, to organise meetings where participants can exchange views and experiences and to promote common cultural initiatives. For more information concerning State support of these associations, see chapter 7.2.4.
A 1989 Law regulates cooperation between volunteers and public entities. The 2001 government paid special attention to volunteer activities as a supplement to public services and included the promotion of culture in the new policy plan - the main objective being the qualitative improvement of cultural institutes and support for associations. San Marino celebrated its First Volunteer Day on Saturday, 18 September 2004, organised by the Council of Cultural Associations and Cooperatives.
In the meantime, on 5 December 2010, on the occasion of the International Volunteer Day designated by the United Nations, Attiva-Mente (Sport and Cultural Association of Disabled People) launched the initiative entitled "Call for a Law on Voluntary Work", with a view to raising awareness on the adoption of new legislation in this sector, which needs to be adequately regulated and recognised.
In December 2012, after approximately one month from the beginning of the XXVIII legislature, two parliamentary groups submitted a Petition to commit the government to reforming the non-profit and volunteer associations and to promoting forms of collaboration and co-management with these associations. In March 2013, the same promoters submitted a new Petition, approved by a majority of the Parliament, committing the government to developing, by 31 December 2013, a draft law reforming non-profit organisations, volunteer associations and Foundations.
The Ministries of Health and Education submitted a draft law relating to volunteering, in March 2014, in response to the requests expressed by the political and social groups. The text takes into account the objectives expressed for the European Year of Voluntary Activities (2011) and fills a gap in the San Marino legislation by defining and regulating non-profit activities, which are carried out exclusively for charitable purposes. These have to be separated from the activities performed by associations, which also include fee-based services and non-profit cooperatives. Therefore, the draft law shall regulate this activity and specific related areas, in particular the primary objectives of volunteering, the privileged contexts in which volunteers can build on their potential, specific protection measures against the risks faced by volunteers and those benefiting from volunteer activities, as well as appropriate and regular training to ensure access for all (see also chapter 2.5.1).
The draft law, which was limited to regulate foundations, proceeded its legislative process and is currently at the second reading by the Parliament. The law will amend the current law on foundations (Law no. 130 of 29 November 1995) and will cover all foundations, excluding the Central Bank Foundation and other banking foundations, which will continue to be governed by the current legislation that will also be amended through a special legislative provision. This law also includes NPO (non-profit organizations), private entities with the legal status of foundations pursuing charitable purposes and performing altruistic activities.
One of the main changes made to the law is the significant reduction of assets needed for the establishment of a foundation. Another amendment to the law concerns the distinction between establishment by act inter vivos and by legacy; in both cases the foundation must be established by public act or will. Moreover any revenue arising from direct or ancillary activities cannot last longer than fifteen days.
With regard to the sector of culture and popular art and to the government policies adopted to support development and participation in this field, reference is made to chapter 2.5.4 on the rediscovery and enhancement of the use of dialect and to chapter 6.1 for the promotion of the groups of San Marino historical and popular traditions.
Cultural houses and community cultural clubs
On the local level, the 3 social centres of Dogana, Fiorentino and Serravalle provide important spaces for groups to share and perform poetry, singing, etc. "A house for everybody" is the motto of the Social Centre in Dogana. These social centres located throughout the country have always been open to associations, groups and companies and have always made their seats and instruments available for amateur cultural events. They benefit from financial support and the grants issued every year by the Department of Culture and Tourism.
Centrarti was created in 2005 as a laboratory for arts and contemporary culture, research and cultural production. Centrarti was the first multidisciplinary centre created by private citizens where people had the possibility to experiment with their own creativity through music, theatre, cinema, contemporary art, dance, singing, exhibitions, etc. This Centre (also called the "new art factory") organised events in all artistic disciplines, including workshops, performances, initiatives and competitions. It aspired to become a point of reference for the professional growth and visibility of young and talented artists, as well as of anyone wishing to elaborate his / her own expressive capacities. Unfortunately, in 2010 it was forced to close down due to a lack of funds.
"Tierra Magica", founded in March 2012, is the first San Marino literary club, deriving from "Sammarina", the cultural association established by the San Marino poetess Milena Ercolani. This Club, a virtual space for those who love the arts of poetry, music and free circulation of ideas, periodically meets in a place open to the public since it does not have its own base.
The opening, in 2013, of the new wine bar of the Consorzio Vini di San Marino (San Marino Wine Producers Consortium) combined its commercial vocation with art projects, with the objective of bringing people together. With "Decantàti" and "Fermenti" the open space of the wine shop has become a crossroad of musical events, improvised literary and artistic performances, where artists and lovers of food and wine can meet.