Rimini - Ponte di Tiberio
Situated in northern Italy, the Province of Rimini lies in the southeastern zone of Emilia Romagna.
Well-equipped seaside resorts, borgoes and villages rich in art and history, gently-rolling hills just a stone's throw away from the water, a unique artisan tradition and - one should not forget - high-quality cuisine and gastronomic products are the elements that have made the Rimini Riviera one of Europe's most frequented vacation spots for over 160 years.
The secret to such long-lasting success? Not only the cordiality and hospitality of the area's inhabitants, but also the landscape's beauty, culture and entertainment offerings, and a prized historical-artistic heritage.
The traces left by personages the likes of Leon Battista Alberti and Piero della Francesca lend us an idea of the incredible transformation (from both a social and cultural standpoint) effected by these geniuses of art and architecture.
Observe the city's history by way its abundance of monuments, and you will see this city as more than a mere beach town.
Better yet, discover Rimini via Federico Fellini's poetic vision, and you will be sure to perceive an entirely new reality.
Rimini is without a doubt the most important seaside resort of the Romagnan coast - miles of fine sunbathed sand beaches. It is rightfully described as a nightlife hotspot.
Such, however, is only one of the aspects of a city that bears flourishing Roman, Medieval and Renaissance pasts, and occupation by the Goths and Bizantines. At the beginning of the 11th Century, the city's fortune was on the rise, finally culminating with the flourishing period of the Renaissance and the rule by the House of Malatesta.
The Arch of Augustus, dating back to the year 27 BC, is the most ancient Roman arch still standing today, while the Amphitheatre and the Tiberian Bridge, with five arches, are still in use. Not only, but other rich finds here include the archaeological complex that is the Domus del Chirurgo (or Surgeon's House). The relevant doctor operated here in the 3rd Century A.D., and his inventory was actually found sealed beneath a collapsed heap, apparently a result of a fire during the first Barbarian incursion. Today, it is preserved in the City Museum. Sophisticated mosaics, frescoes and furnishings were also found.
Testimonies from the thriving Medieval period in the Province of Rimini are exhibited in Palazzo dell'Arengo, and include the splendid 13th-Century frescoes in the Church of Sant'Agostino - a masterpiece by the prolific school that found its main inspiration in the work of Giotto and in the Byzantine Abbey Church of Santarcangelo.
Between the 1200s and 1300s, this terrain was dominated by the Malatesta line, one of the most powerful families of the day. Malatesta dominated diverse regions of Italy, but the family's stronghold was always Rimini.
Under them each inland village became a castle, and the arts and culture flourished.
The Malatestian Temple is indeed one of the treasures of the early Renaissance, with a façade designed by Leon Battista Alberti and artworks by Giotto, Agostino di Duccio, Piero della Francesca and Vasari.
Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta built his own sumptuous residence not far from the Tempio in 1437: the Castel Sismondo, restored and still dominating the scene of central Rimini today.
Malatesta is the name of the historic region that formed in the southern corner of Romagna, between the Adriatic Sea and the Montefeltro Hills (domain of the Duchy of Urbino) between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
In the 12th Century, the Malatestas (also cited by Dante Alighieri), from their Verucchio and Pennabilli strongholds, began to consolidate their power in the valleys of the Marecchia and around Rimini Province.
The two main representatives of each of the area's rival clans did battle one with the other in the mid-1400s: Sigismondo Malatesta and Federico da Montefeltro.
The two powerful lords renewed the feudal system in these lands, made up of citadels, castles and towers, but they also had fresh structures erected that have remained in the art and European culture history books: San Leo, Verucchio (with a must-see civic museum housing remnants of the ancient Villanovian Civilization), Santarcangelo, Torriana, Montefiore, and Mondaino, to name just a few.
These fortified borgoes still preserve the charms of nature and history intact, via their historic centers and museums hiding away the signs of pasts both ancient and recent.
Along the Riviera Romagnola, one encounters Rimini, Riccione, Bellaria Igea Marina, Cattolica and Misano Adriatico, seaside resorts known around Europe, thanks to the efficient and modern touristic structures.
The beaches here please all ages with their fine sand and low seabeds.
Yet the Province of Rimini is not just for summertime: 470 hotels are open throughout the year, as it is an important scene for convention and business tourism, welcoming guests to high-quality infastructure, including two convention centers and an international fair complex.
Not only, but amusement and water parks, hundreds of clubs and discos, various golf courses, and an international speedway that hosts MOTOGP add to the reasons to visit the province.
An explosion of events take place year-round to match: concerts and musicals, theatre and cinema festivals, art exhibits and sporting events, cultural encounters and sagre dedicated to the best of local enogastronomic products and traditions.
All points along the coast and inland compete to entertain visitors in ever more engaging and fantastical ways.
No land has ever been as attentive to tourism as theProvince of Rimini; the hospitality typical of this area is a pride to be exported all over the world.
Visitors to this area can enjoy just about any sport.
In and around Rimini, it is easy to find fields and courts for tennis, basketball, soccer and volleyball.
Increasingly, athletic clubs, societies and federations are choosing the Rimini Riviera as the venue for events, competitions, meetings and championships. After all, an enviable sporting infastructure exists all along the coast.
For cycling and mountain biking enthusiasts, the Riviera is a certified paradise: the roads of the coastal plain eventually become, by turns, inclines and descents as they coast the gently-rolling hills, passing through enchanting sceneries enveloped in culture and history - ideal for cycle tourism.
Is it green driving ranges you're after? The only difficulty golfers might run into here is choosing their course: between Rimini-Verucchio Golf Club in Villa Verucchio or the Riviera Golf Resort of San Giovanni in Marignano, for instance
Otherwise, animal lovers can go horseback-riding, choosing from one of the stables located amidst the hilly trails of the province.
The Province of Rimini is just as much a destination for those wanting to add beauty and wellbeing to their visit, with a high concentration of spas and gyms.
Numerous hotels are outfitted with wellness centers, and thermal spas like RiminiTerme and Riccione Terme pop up over the terrain.
Viale Ceccarini, the elegant "salon" of Riccione is ideal for those who love shopping, offering the best in seasonal fashion.
Unforgettable fun can be had visiting one of the many waterparks (e.g. Aquafan or Oltremare) in Rimini Province, and is bound to delight all ages.
Tradition, culture, festivals and entertainment are integral parts of inland Rimini, filling up the calendare all year-round.
The staggering number of events is impossible to count, but a few include:the Palio del Daino in Mondaino, an impeccable reconstruction of Medieval times; the Paganello, for frisbee lovers from around the world; La Notte Rosa (Pink NIght), an enormous party to kick off summer; the MOTOGP, Santarcangelo dei Teatri, Verucchio Festival, the Malatestian Musical Sagra, and the Festival del Mondo Antico, among many others.
The hinterland of Rimini Province offers cuisine that straddles the border between Emilia Romagna and the Marches, between sea and mountains, and between tradition and innovation.
The Rimini Riviera is a terrain of genuine tastes, and of people who know and love good food.
Diners will often find the piada (piadina) at their table, a symbol of Romagnola cuisine. It is a flat, unleavened bread, served hot with prosciutto, salame, cheeses and/or a range of other ingredients.
Most appreciated by all, of course, are the primi: homemade pasta (from tagliatelle, strozzapreti and ravioli to gnocchi and cappelletti) topped with meat or fish ragù.
While smoked and grilled meats are cooked to perfection in Emilia, fish is king of the table in Romagna, prepared according to tradition (and, sometimes, innovation!).
Accompanying these excellent dishes are the typical wines of the Rimini Hills (Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Pagadebit) that are known for their high quality.
Numerous are the wineries in the inland parts of the province that offer tastings and sell their fine bottles.
Also located here are agricultural producers, particularly in the way of cheese: seek them out for their distinguished cheeses, among which are l’Ambra di Talamello, also known as formaggio di fossa.
Not to mention the ancient production Extra-Virgin Olive Oil PDO; producers of extra-virgin abound in these parts, and their products in recent decades have become the envy of many.
Garnering particular praise is the much sought-after White Truffle of Sant’Agata Feltria, to which a sagra or food fest is dedicated in October.
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