Rimini was a surprise. I really appreciated my time there. Good food, kind people, picturesque alleys and some remarkable landmarks. Located on the Adriatic sea, Rimini is a seaside resort, famous for its 15 km long coast and thousands of hotels, restaurants, cafes and discos. Also known for being the hometown of director Federico Fellini, Rimini was very important during the Roman rule as a key location between the north and the south of their territories. That’s why Rimini is rich in ancient testimonies. Another highlight of Rimini (of the whole Emilia Romagna region actually) is the food: tortellini, lasagne, ragù and piadina are all specialties of the area. In this post I gathered some ideas about what to do in Rimini.
What to do in Rimini
I arrived early at the train station. Right out on the left you can find the tourist information and a kiosk selling bus tickets. My hotel was far from the center so I had to deposit my luggage. Since there’s no bags deposit at the train station, I left it at Hotel Card, just 3 minutes away. Extremely kind and they also let me use the toilet.
My first stop was the Roman Amphitheatre. It’s not open to the public. I asked a lady and she told me that it is seldom used for shows. In less than 10 minutes I reached Augustus Arch, 17 meters high, is the most ancient Roman arch in the whole former Roman Empire. It dates back to 27 B.C.
Headed to the duomo, I first spotted the Covered Market. Fresh fish, vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese and also an arrotino, knife grinder, listening to liscio, the ballroom music of this area. A baby in his stroller was laughing cause he had just managed to take off a shoe.
The duomo, so called Tempio Malatestiano, is a Renaissance masterpiece by Leon Battista Alberti. It was commissioned by Sigismondo Malatesta as a mausoleum for him and his third wife. It is important, cause it’s a perfect example of the Renaissance belief that man (an not God) is at the center of the universe. In the interior I appreciated Giotto‘s curcifix, Piero della Francesca fresco, the bassreliefs and the cute putti, little angles statues. These putti have an odd feature though. How can I say? They had big derriers. 😀
Not far from here you can also visit Sant’Agostino Church. It preserves some beautiful medieval frescoes in the apse area. Castel Sismondo, the Renaissance castle, is under restoration and can only be admired from the outside.
Piazza Tre Martiri is located at the crossroads of the two main streets. It is the place where once was the Roman forum. A statue commemorates emperor Julius Caesar, while a stone his speech after the Rubicon crossing.
In Piazza Cavour, medieval core of Rimini, you can admire Palazzo dell’Arengo (Town Hall), Palazzo del Podestà (ancient Justice Hall) and the Galli theatre. On the left, the arcades of the old pescheria, the fish market. When I passed there by, there was a florist with all his flowers on display. Beautiful!
Domus del Chirurgo is a medical clinic of the II century. Set on fire by a barbaric hord, it was recently rediscovered. On the square, you can admire the mosaic floors and the remains of the walls. But, if you want to see its treasure (over 150 ancient chirurgical instruments) and to learn more about Rimini’s history, you can visit the Museo della cittá (combined ticket for both, but if you only want to see the Domus, it is free every Wednesday).
Built 2000 years ago, Tiberius Bridge is another testimony of the glorious Roman Empire. With its white arcades, it leads to Borgo San Giuliano and to the XXV Aprile park.
The lovely fishermen neighbourhood
Borgo San Giuliano was my favourite part, as you probably noticed on Instagram when I was there. Lots of quaint alleys full of colorful houses, plants and frescoes on the facades. The decorations regard Fellini movies and the sea. In fact this Borgo was once the fishermen neighbourhood, beloved by the famous director. People here were extremely nice and helpful. They stopped to allow me to take pictures. And they spontaneously gave me info as soon as they realized I was not from there. At some point I asked to a lady for some insights. I heard the accent… she was Irish. In Rimini since the end of the 70’s. 😀
Anyway, this neighbourhood alone makes Rimini absolutely worth a visit!
Here I also had dinner on the last day in Rimini. Precisely at the Osteria de Borg. Local cuisine, very simple decor, beautiful Romagna fabrics hanging on the ceiling.
About food, a stop I suggest is the Pasticceria Rinaldini. Rinaldini is one of the major Italian pastry chefs. Judge in the tv show The greatest pastry chef of Italy, he is from Rimini. Here, in the Rivabella area, you can find his main patisserie. But in piazza Mazzini you can find another, tiny shop. I went to try their speciality, called venere nera, black venus, a chocolate and nougat temptation. It’s not traditional patisserie but it’s worth a visit for dessert lovers. From the doorway of the pastry shop you will spot the Montanara door.
If you fell in love with the beautiful Romagna fabrics of the Osteria de Borg, do not worry! There are some shops selling them in the region. One of them is in the historical centre of Rimini, precisely in Via Agostino Bertani, 36. It is called Stamperia Ruggine, a stone’s throw from the Tempio Malatestiano. Open only from 9am to 1pm (Mon – Sat). There you can find tablecloths, curtains, bedspreads and more fabrics for your house.
Marina Marinaa Marinaaa
Another nice area is Marina Centro. It’s the sea neighbourhood close to the train station, the place where the first sea resort was built. Full of nice cafes and restaurants, elegant villas and hotels. Here there’s the Grand Hotel and the Fellini park.