Art & Culture
With its wonderful landscapes and archaeological treasures, loud quarters and enchanting piazzas, RIMINI is maybe one of the most beautiful cities in Emilia Romagna.
Dynamic, friendly, people-oriented, and always keeping up with times, this little gem of the Romagna Riviera is famous all over the world for being the undisputed hub of fun, especially during the hot Italian summers.
A suggestive and bright skyline made of thousands of hotels frames the golden beaches, offering amazing views of the Adriatic. Going towards the city centre, inside what remains of the old walls, there is still a beating hurt that recalls at full-rhythm the ancient history of this city.
As many other Italian city centres, even Rimini finds its root deep in the Roman history, who founded it towards 268 BC.
Strolling around the streets of the city centre, the old Roman streets can still be glimpsed all over: it is a real open-air museum that from Piazza Tre Martiri leads us with a few steps to one of the most important archaeological finds of the city.
First is the Arch of Augustus, built in 27 BC as a commemorative monument to homage Emperor Octavian, it was majestic access point along the path that linked Rimini to Rome through Via Flaminia. Secondly, the Bridge of Tiberius, an old crossing of the river Marecchia and the beginning of Via Æmilia, is still today, after more than 2000 years, accessible on foot or by car.
Not far from there, Piazza Ferrari is housed in one of the most important examples of ancient art in the city, the Surgeon’s House, a Roman Domus dating back to the Imperial Age that, thanks to the musealization carried out some years ago, can be visited, walking on suspended bridges, and admiring in this way all its mosaic floors, the medieval tombs, and amazing relics.
Not only Romans, but also many other peoples and rulers stopped in Rimini: from the Byzantines to the Lombards, from the Malatestas to the Venetians; each of them has left incredible traces in the urban fabric that are still living in the today’s city centre.
During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Rimini was under the rule of the Malatestas, one of the most important noble families in Italy. The Malatesta Fortress (also known as Castel Sismondo) dates back to that period, and it was built by Sigismondo Pandolfo as his dwelling-place, while at a few steps from Piazza Tre Martiri is the Malatesta Temple. The cathedral of the city as it stands in the present day, was assigned to architect Leon Battista Alberti, and hosts artworks of great value such as the Crucifix by Giotto or some interventions by Piero della Francesca, Giorgio Vasari, and Agostino Duccio.
Rimini, however, is also memory, being a city of fishers and merchants that was able to reinvent itself and prove its value more than once over the centuries. Just make a stroll through the old benches of the fish market (called La vecchia Pescheria), passing taverns, cellars, and modern restaurants, or look in the little and suggestive village of San Giuliano: you will soon realize that it is a popular quarter made of silence, clothes hanging under the sun, tiny little pastel-coloured houses, excellent restaurants and the creativity of the best street-artists.
But Rimini is even far more than that: Rimini is Federico Fellini, the city of birth of the greatest Italian film-maker of all times; Rimini is tradition and good food; Rimini is the capital of relaxation and active holidays; Rimini is the undisputed master of the so-called “movida” ― nightlife, but it is also a first-rate centre for fairs and congresses.
Designed by architect Torregiani and housed in a former Jesuit convent, the Museum of the City of Rimini rises at a few steps from the famous Surgeon’s House. The two sites, together with the Rimini Ethnographic Museum, build the city’s municipal museums network.
The visit is highly recommended: it will be a jump back in time that shows some of the most important artistic expressions connected with Rimini such as the works by Ghirlandaio or Guercino, the main outcomes of the 14th century Rimini School and of the Malatesta period, whereas the archaeological section will bring you directly to the Imperial Age.
If you love ancient earthenware and marbles instead, you have to go to the “ARimini” Visitor Centre, which comprises a multimedia and interactive itinerary that will make you discover the city and its territory, with its treasures and marvels.
Last but not least, if you are keen on transoceanic cultures, you cannot miss the Rimini Ethnographic Museum, just a 10-minute car drive from the city, on the hill of Covignano. Here, the ethnographic collections explain the “insights” (or approaches, as the museum’s Italian “sguardi” refers to), through which the Western population studied over the ages the arts of the “others”.
BEYOND THE CITY
If you move outside Rimini, there are many other interesting activities: in just 30 minutes, following the valley of the river Marecchia, you can reach San Marino, Europe’s third littlest state. Otherwise, you can always have a walk in the nearby city of Riccione: summer or winter, no matter what time of the year it is, the city centre with its well-known Viale Ceccarini is always animated, with amazing boutiques and people walking at any time of the day.
To conclude, if you prefer a more private and intimate climate, good food, and slow tourism, you should go and discover the outstanding valleys of the river Conca and Marecchia, which are speckled with thousands of interesting little villages like Saludecio, Mondaino, Montefiore, Montegridolfo, Pennabilli, Sant’Agata Feltria, San Leo, Verucchio ― just to mention some.
Popular fairs, folklore, and traditional good food: it’s in this place that you will meet the authentic culture of Romagna.
HOW TO GET TO RIMINI
The city has its own airport, just outside the city: the “Federico Fellini” International Airport. The Airport G. Marconi Bologna is about 120km away from Rimini and can be reached in about 1h and 30 minutes. Outside the region, however, in about 1 hour you can reach the Marche Airport in Ancona.
From Northern Italy (Milan, Turin), take the A14 motorway from Bologna, where the A1 motorway of the Sun, the A21 Torino-Piacenza and the B22 of the Brenner pass (www.autostrade.it). Coming from Venice, the fastest route is the 309 “Romea” highway, on which the roads from Padua and Ferrara are grafted.
From the South, in addition to the A1 and A14 motorways, the highway E45, which connects the neighbouring Cesena to Rome and the 16 Adriatica roadway through the Apennines.
The railway line to choose from is Ancona-Bologna (from Bologna with a regional train it takes about 50 minutes): www.trenitalia.it
Those arriving by sea can moor at the Canal Harbor or use the services of the New City Dock.
It might also like
Interested in our newsletter?
Every first of the month, an email (in Italian) with selected contents and upcoming events.