Weekend in Rimini

Between ancient and modern, fantasy and reality: Rimini is all this and much more

Rimini
Crossing Tiberius’ bridge with your own feet isn’t something that you'll soon get used to. Rimini is like constantly traveling through time, it’s a living paradox: on this very bridge, once traversed by Roman legions, there’s now a street packed with cars. There are many other Roman influences in Rimini. Rimini is also at the start of the Via Emilia, and there are numerous other unexpected pieces of architecture and ancient monuments scattered around the city. For example, just think about the Arco di Augusto, the oldest standing archway, built in 27 BC. It’s facade is decorated with two Corinthian half-columns, along with representations of Jupiter, Apollo, Neptune, and Minerva. This is ancient Rimini, the unexpected side of a city famous for its nightlife, bars, restaurants, and entertainment.

The city has two souls, which meld perfectly in the city centre, where historical sites are attached to businesses and modern shopping facilities. In the labyrinth of streets, alleyways, and squares there are many painted or decorated walls, all about the city’s typical vocation; fishing. It’s fun to lose, and then find, yourself in Rimini, the city that brought us Federico Fellini. Borgo San Giuliano is one such place, a small city unto itself that can project visitors into the past, right into a movie. There are usually concerts held here, with video installations and various other cultural activities. Even though it used to be the fisherman’s neighborhood, it’s now the crucible of Rimini’s culture.

While heading towards the centre it’s impossible not to stop in Piazza Cavour, a rectangular plaza full of vivid colours, which contradicts itself like the rest of the city: austerely quiet at dawn and dusk, yet full of people and life during the day. Things to admire include the G. da Carrara fountain, the old fish market, the Theatre which Giuseppe Verdi inaugurated, and the bronze statue of Paul the Fifth. It’s definitely worth the time to visit the Malatesta temple, one of Rimini’s most famous monuments. The buildings amazing width and depth are breathtaking. Many extraordinary pieces of art are placed along the sides of the church, from artists such as Vasari, Poletti, and Duccio. The most eye-catching, though, is certainly Giotto’s crucifix and a fresco by Piero della Francesca.

The three most important plazas in Rimini are Piazza Ferrari, the “Tre Martiri” plaza also known as Julius Caesar Plaza, and Felliniana di Amarcord Plaza. 
Another piece of antiquity is the Roman Amphitheatre, built in the second century AD. Even though it seems ridiculous, this theatre was capable of seating 10 thousand people, just a few less than the Coliseum itself. The archeological site is in the suburbs, but an interesting detail is found in the Domus Aurea’s files: when the amphitheatre was built, it was right by the sea.

 

It doesn't take much to jump from culture to nightlife

Rimini
Photo by Zio Woody
Rimini, of course, isn’t just a city full of tradition and history, but it’s also the center of Romagna’s nightlife. The numerous bars, restaurants, and shops give the city a modern, trendy twist, which attracts young people from all around looking for good times. It’s not by chance that Rimini’s nightclubs are known all around Italy and Europe, as thousands of young Europeans spend part of their summer vacation here on Rimini’s shores.

Amongst all the other attractions, a trip to the Bay Ferris Wheel is a good prelude to a night on Rock Island. During the winter, the “fun factory” moves into the old fish warehouse, in the heart of the city, and the nightlife doesn’t slow down at all because of the cold. A great place to have an aperitivo, even during the off season, is at the Bottega della Creperia or at Yerbabuena. During the summer, some must see locations are the Kiosko and the Giardino della Creperia. There are so many events held all year round that it would be wise to check out the tourist calender that’s routinely updated in the main tourist office. While your night’s schedules may be full, your days will certainly be spent on the beach, where many sports such as volleyball, tennis, and polo can be played. 
 

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