It is from Rimini that many discover Italy for themselves. This small town of Emilia-Romagna has everything we love about this country: beautiful nature, sea, resort town atmosphere, Roman heritage and renaissance monuments.
Alea jacta est, or “the die is cast,” – with these words began Caesar’s campaign against Rome across the Rubicon River. It is located right here, in the outskirts of Rimini. This city is the birthplace of the famous director Fellini, and also here is the first image of glasses and unique archaeological finds, for which specialists from all over the world come to Rimini. In general, as the famous Italian singer Luciano Ligabue said, “Rimini is like the blues: everything is here.”
1. Visit Tempio Malatestiano
The “Temple of the Malatesta Family” or Tempio Malatestiano was built in the 15th century by order of the most famous ruler of Rimini, Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, on the site of an old church that served as a family tomb. The main architect was one of the most prominent representatives of the Renaissance – Leon Battista Alberti. The plan was truly grandiose, but the large dome was never realized.
The interior of the cathedral is austere. In the niches you can see various symbols, statues of exotic animals, such as elephants – the heraldic symbol of the Malatesta family – and even signs of the zodiac. Sigismondo himself and his wife Isotta degli Atti are buried in the cathedral. The large crucifix above the altar is the work of Giotto himself. To the right of the altar, you can see the image of Sigismondo Malatesta by Piero della Francesca.
2. See the heritage of Ancient Rome
In Rimini there are important monuments of Ancient Rome: the arch of Augustus, the bridge of Tiberius and the “House of the Surgeon”.
Arch of Augustus
The Arch of Augustus served as the main gate of the city from the side of the Via Flaminius, which went from Rome to the Adriatic coast. This is the oldest surviving Roman arch (27 BC, the era of Emperor Augustus). In the Middle Ages, it still served as a gate to the city, and when it partially collapsed in the 10th century, battlements with loopholes were added to it. The medieval superstructure is very striking.
The Tiberius Bridge over the Marecchia River is one of the oldest in the world. Its construction began under the emperor Augustus and was completed under his heir, the adopted son of Tiberius. The bridge separates the city center from the fishing district of San Giuliano, which, by the way, was very fond of Fellini. From here you have an excellent view of the city’s only skyscraper – Grattachelo di Rimini – and the old part of the city.
The House of the Surgeon is the most famous part of the archaeological complex located in Piazza Ferrari. Scientists call it “little Pompeii” in the center of Rimini. A chest containing 150 of the oldest surgical instruments was discovered here. Now they are kept in the city museum.
3. Walk around the historical center
The Square of the Three Martyrs, or Piazza Tre Martiri, is the largest in the city. It repeats the shape of the Roman forum that was on this site. On the square are the church and the chapel of St. Anthony of Padua. It was built on the site where, according to legend, during the sermon of the priest, the donkey knelt down.
Another interesting place on the square is a memorial column-tribune in honor of Caesar’s famous crossing of the Rubicon, after which he spoke to the troops at the forum that was on this site. Previously, the square itself bore the name of Julius Caesar, but in 1946 it was renamed the Square of the Three Martyrs, partisans from Rimini executed by the Germans during the war.
Cavour Square is considered the main one, since the city hall has been located here since the Middle Ages. Here attract the attention of the Palazzo dell’Arengo, the palace of the council of the people of Rimini, built in 1204, and the Palazzo del Podesta of the XIV century. Also here is the Teatro Galli, at the opening of which in 1857 Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Harold” was staged. To the left of the theater is the La Pescheria fish market from the first half of the 18th century, and next to it is Fontana della Pigna. Leonardo da Vinci himself admired its beauty when he visited Rimini in 1502.
Castel Sismondo, or Rocca Malatestiana, is a castle built for Sigismondo Malatesta in the 15th century. Due to frequent wars and constant strife with the neighboring Duchy of Urbino represented by Federico de Montefeltro, the rulers of Rimini were forced to fortify the city. The architects of the castle were the incomparable Filippo Brunelleschi and the ruler of Sigismondo Malatesta himself.
4. See the world’s first image of glasses
It is believed that the church of St. Augustine is one of the oldest or even the oldest image of glasses in the world. In the altar apse, among the frescoes of the 13th century by Giovanni da Rimini, there is the “Resurrection of Drusiana”, depicting a miracle created by St. John the Evangelist.
The second figure to the right of the resurrected Drusiana is a bespectacled monk. Maybe
that Dante and Petrarch are depicted on the same fresco.
5. See the dreams of Federico Fellini
Fountain of the Four Horses
Federico Fellini was born in Rimini, loved his city and sang it in his films. The main attraction associated with Fellini is the Grand Hotel, the most expensive and luxurious hotel in the city, in which the maestro always stayed when he came to the city – they always left a free room for him. The hotel is surrounded by a beautiful park named after Fellini, which houses one of the symbols of the city – the Fountain of the Four Horses.
The city museum in Piazza Ferrari has an exhibition dedicated to Fellini. Albums are kept here, in which the director sketched his dreams, in order to later reproduce these scenes in films. Each visitor can look through copies of the albums and see the real dreams of the great director.
6. Walk around “Italy in miniature”
Rimini is home to the “Italy in Miniature” park, which features over 270 scaled-down sights of Italy. Here you can see the whole country and choose the next place to travel. In addition to Italy, here you can look at other main places of power in European cities, as well as ride attractions.
7. Visit a state within a state
We are talking about the Republic of San Marino, the oldest republic in the world, founded by Saint Marino in 301 AD. The country is located on Mount Titano, which is perfectly visible from Rimini. The capital of the republic, the city of San Marino, is located on the highest point of the mountain, from which mountains, plains and the Adriatic Sea are visible. It is worth paying attention to the three fortress towers: Guaita, Chesta and Montale, the Cathedral of St. Marino and the neo-Gothic Palazzo Pubblico. San Marino is duty-free, so get ready for a long shopping spree. From Rimini, the Republic of San Marino can be reached in less than an hour by bus or car.
8. Try Piadina
Piadina Romagnola is the pride of this region. The local version of Piadina di Rimini is thinner and more crunchy than the same dish in Forlì or Ravenna. Each cook has his own filling recipe; you can find piadina with ham, or you can with mozzarella or even chocolate. An important element of the local cuisine is Adriatic fish, such as mackerel. The most famous wine of the area is the red Sangiovese di Romagna.
9. Wander along the promenade
The coastline of Rimini is 15 kilometers of sandy beaches. Most of them are well equipped: sports grounds, children’s attractions, nightly beach discos. The beaches in Rimini provide a high level of security, which is especially important for families with children. Be sure to go to the city dolphinarium Leoni Marini Rimini, the Ferris wheel, the Fiabilandia park and the most famous water park in Europe – Aquafan (located in the neighboring city of Riccione, like the Oltremare dolphinarium). And if you have time, you can drive to the most famous amusement park in Italy, Mirabilandia.
10. Have some fun on Pink Night
Rimini’s most famous festive event is the Pink Night, or “Summer New Year”, which is celebrated in late June and early July. On this night, the coast of Emilia-Romagna is illuminated by the pink light of sunset and turns into a festive arena. Various shows, performances, exhibitions take place, the streets are richly decorated, and restaurants, clubs and beaches hold parties with a “pink” dress code. The holiday ends with a grand fireworks display.