Rimini is a beautiful seaside city in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, mostly known by many as a seaside resort with picturesque sand beaches. But this city is much more than that: it has a rich history, especially of the Roman (when the city was called Ariminum) and Renaissance heritage, a lovely historical centre – and also it’s the birthplace of Federico Fellini! I’ve collected 10 locations for you to enrich your stay around Rimini and to appreciate how great this city is.
1. Ponte di Tiberio
Ponte di Tiberio, or Tiberius Bridge, over Marecchia River is one of the main ancient landmarks of Rimini. It’s made out of Istria stone, is about 70-metres long with five arches completed in 21 BC and erected in Doric style. Sometimes it’s called “Augustus Bridge ” because its construction started during the rule of August. Once upon a time in the Roman Empire, it was a part of two important consular roads: Via Aemilia leading to Piacenza and Via Popilia going up to Ravenna, Aquileia and Corso d’Augusto.
Once around the bridge, you can also visit a famous district called Borgo San Giuliano.
2. Piazza Cavour
Piazza Cavour, or Cavour Square, is one of two main squares of Rimini and definitely my favourite. It’s beautifully ornamented with important buildings from all sides:
- mediaeval Palazzo dell’Arengo where the Council of the Rimini People met
- 16th century Palazzo Garampi, now it hosts the offices of Municipality
- 14th century Palazzo del Podestà: podestà was a chief magistrate of the city in Late Middle Age. and between the palace’s arches the criminals were once hanged
- a monument to Papa Paolo V Camillo Borghese, in the fear of Napoleon army the statue was modified to pass as San Gaudenzio, the patron of Rimini
- Antica Pescheri, or an old fishmarket, is a nice columnated area where you can still spot small fountains where the fish was washed in the old times
- the 16th century Fontana della Pigna (the fountain of the Pine Cone) in its centre once was the only fountain with drinking water for the whole city
- and Municipal Theatre
We had an amazing lunch there in the little Enoteca:
3. Castel Sismondo
Castel Sismondo, or Sismondo Castle, is what remains of the magnificent castle built by the order of Lord of Rimini Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta in 15th century: Malatesta family ruled over Rimini from late 13th century till 1500 when Pandolfo Malatesta was expelled from Rimini by famous Cesare Borgia, and Sigismondo was probably the most powerful ruler of them all. Famous Filippo Brunelleschi was involved in the castle construction! It stays on the beautiful Piazza Malatesta that has become probably my favourite part of the city. Now inside of it is a part of the Fellini Museum.
Enjoy your coffee or granola (or coffee granita) in a nice cafe Rinaldini Chiosco with the best views over the Castle.
4. Fellini Museum: Castel Sismondo
Fellini Museum is a must for everyone who loves this Italian filmmaker because it allows you to spot Rimini references in Fellini’s movies (and there were a lot of them)! Museum is divided into a few parts, and one of them is located inside the Castel Sismondo. This museum has opened just recently, is interactive and very modern – you won’t be bored even if you’re not into the museums – yet giving a great insight into the different aspects of Fellini’s cinematography: his philosophical views, work on scripts, interaction with actors and actresses (including his wife Giulitta Masina), music, costumes and many more.
5. Cinema Fulgor
Cinema Fulgor is a historic Art Nouveau cinema on Corso d’Augusto which Fellini frequented during his childhood. It’s been under restoration for a while but now it’s restored to its initial glory. Now you can still watch movies here – and also it’s a part of the Fellini Museum too!
6. Tempio Malatestiano
Malatesta church, or Malatesta Temple / Tempio Malatestiano, is Rimini Cathedral with a gothic interior. Commissioned by Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta whom we’ve already mentioned, a religious building that stood on this site (Church of S. Maria in Trivio and from the 13th century the Church of San Francesco) was replaced by a mausoleum for himself and his long-term lover and later second wife Isotta degli Atti. The outside of the Tempio was realised by Leon Battista Alberti.
Now it’s still an important religious monument dedicated to St. Columba (still unfinished!) with a crucifix by Giotto and a fresco by Piero della Francesca with Sigismondo kneeling to Saint Sigismondo.
7. Arco d’Augusto
The Arch of Augustus at the end of Corso d’Augusto (previously on the Via Flaminia) is another beautiful remnant of Roman heritage in Rimini. It’s named after the Emperor Augustus and dates back to 27BC making it one of the oldest Roman Arches still standing today. You can spot the shields on it depicting Jupiter and Apollo on one side and Neptune and Minerva on the other.
If you’re into Roman heritage, you can also visit the Roman Amphitheatre from the 2nd century AD built under the rule of Emperor Hadrian.
8. Piazza Tre Martiri
You won’t miss Piazza Tre Martiri, or Three Martyrs Square, a former Piazza delle Erbe and the local marketplace, if you’re going from Arco d’Augusto to the Pinto of Tiberio. It’s the main (or one of two main, if you like it more) square of Rimini named after three partisans Mario Capelli, Luigi Nicolò and Adelio Pagliarani who were hanged here by Nazis in 1944 and became a symbol of resistance.
Piazza dei Tre Martiri is framed with important historical buildings such as the 16th-century Tempietto di Sant’ Antonio (small temple of Saint Anthony), the Chiesa Dei Paoletti and a gorgeous Clock Tower, Torre dell’Orologio dating to 1547. But there are Mone about this square: once there was a Roman forum! And it was visited by Julius Caesar after he crossed the Rubicon with his Legio XIII starting by this action a civil war in 49BC. Those events are commemorated by a 20th century statue and column dedicated to Julius Caesar.
9. Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Servi
Catholic church of Santa Maria in Corte (or dei Servi) was founded in 1346 by Servants of the Virgin (Malatesta family donated them some property for that) and rebuilt on multiple occasions later on (after Servants were suppressed, the church belonged to Dominicans until becoming a parish which of Santa Maria in Corte). It’s still one of the most important religious buildings of Rimini which had a great influence and the visionary inspiration for Federico Fellini. One of the most important features of it is the Atrium but unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to see it because the church was closed.
10. Piazza Ferrari
Piazza Ferrari in another square of Rimini hosting two important museums. First one is the Rimini City Museum, once a hospital and now is a museum showing the history of the city from the prehistoric ages, with a Pinacoteca (fine arts collection) and an exposition dedicated to Renè Gruau.
Another museum is Domus del chirurgo, or the surgeon’s house, the remnants of the real ancient Roman villa of the 2nd century AD where military doctor Eutychus once lived. The objects found on the site can be viewed as a part of Rimini City Museum, and inside the Domus you can admire the majestic roman floor mosaics.
And did I mention that Rimini is also a city of Paolo and Francesca, doomed lovers mentioned by Dante in Canto V of Inferno?
For our delight we read of Lancelot,
How him love thrall’d. Alone we were, and no
Suspicion near us. Ofttimes by that reading
Our eyes were drawn together, and the hue
Fled from our alter’d cheek. But at one point
Alone we fell. When of that smile we read,
The wished smile, rapturously kiss’d
By one so deep in love, then he, who ne’er
From me shall separate, at once my lips
All trembling kiss’d. The book and writer both
Were love’s purveyors. In its leaves that day
We read no more.”
What else to see around Rimini?
Depending on how much time you have you can visit Rimini Marina, Italia in Miniatura in a short drive (beware of the timetable, it closes for entrance like 2 hours before its official closing time) or have a ride to another country, to San Marino!
If you’re looking for a proper high cuisine restaurant near the seashore, I’d suggest you to give Il Pesce Innamorato a go:
Where to stay in Rimini?
We stayed in the I-Suite hotel on the seaside. It’s a very modern luxury tiny hotel with a beautiful spa area, outdoor pool and very nice interiors (well, I know not everyone likes the style like this but I really enjoyed it, it reminded me of the modern hotels in Tokyo and Seoul). Also I liked their breakfast concept where you can order food from the menu or you can order a pre-made set of breakfast dishes created by the chef.
You can also like my blogs about neighbouring Italy:
- photoshoot in Rome,
- your guide to Rome,
- Lake Garda,
Hope you liked my blog!