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Ancient maritime traditions

The charm of the Rimini Riviera, from dawn to dusk

road route
16 hours
Best Period
June, September

The cities by the sea have a truly unique charm and the Rimini Riviera is a prime example. Slower times, more vivid colours , smells and tastes linked to those authentic seafaring traditions that have always been part of their soul. And this applies to all the resorts along the Romagna coast, from the most intimate ones such as Bellaria Igea Marina and Cattolica passing right through Rimini and its port.

Often, as visitors passing through, we struggle to discover the true heart of these cities, too focused on the things to do and see without being able to take a moment to look at what is in front of us with a different perspective.

From the first light of dawn, when the fishermen's boats return to Rimini harbour, the alleys are coloured with a red glow and the sound of the waves echoes in the silence. The magic of seaside towns continues throughout the day, from when the beaches begin to fill with tourists, the cafés raise their shutters and the smell coming from the restaurants begins to intoxicate the passers-by, to the colours that change with the approach of sunset and the lights of the nightlife venues. 

If you can't wait to be amazed by the charm of seaside towns, here is a day trip that will take you right to the discovery of the seaside villages along the Rimini Riviera, from the beach of Bellaria Igea Marina to the charming Cattolica.

Harbour life on the Rimini Riviera / Bellaria Igea Marina

We start in Bellaria Igea Marina, north of the province of Rimini. This small fishermen's village will give you a taste of the old maritime traditions in a more intimate way. We recommend getting up early and starting your day with a hearty breakfast at the marina, choosing one of the many bars overlooking Via Rubicone. From here you can enjoy the return of the fishing boats to the marina and the unloading of fresh fish bound for the fish market.

The first stop on this excursion, however, is Noi. Bellaria Igea Marina Museum of History and Memory, housed in the old slaughterhouse building dating back to 1926. Here you will have the unique opportunity to discover the traditions, objects, and testimonies that have created the history of this locality.

Harbour life on the Rimini Riviera / The Port of Rimini

From Bellaria Igea Marina, you must take the Strada Statale Adriatica in a southerly direction and, in less than half an hour, you will find yourself at the Port of Rimini, another evocative and historically charged place on this excursion. 

The port is located in the beating heart of the city, Marina Centro, and shows in all its power the dual soul of Rimini, the one linked to the past and tradition and the one that looks to the future. The older, quieter part has been flanked by the new marina since 2002, a modern dock extending as far as the eye can see.

The best way to experience the port of Rimini is to take advantage of the long elevated promenade that runs along the docks from the old city lighthouse to the Monument to Sailors' Wives and those Lost at Sea erected at the furthest point from the coast. Stop for a drink in one of the many bars on the dock - you won't regret it.

Harbour life on the Rimini Riviera / The Covered Market

Moving towards the centre of Rimini - you can do this on foot in a few minutes - you will reach the largest and best stocked fish market in Emilia-Romagna. This is the Covered Market in Rimini, a world to be discovered and savoured from morning to night in Via Castelfidardo no 15/21. From 7 am to 7.45 pm you can stroll among more than 60 stalls, admire and buy fresh Adriatic fish caught a few hours earlier, during the night, and ask for advice on recipes to try.

Harbour life on the Rimini Riviera / La Vecchia Pescheria in Rimini

You cannot leave Rimini without dropping by the Vecchia Pescheria in Piazza Cavour, a stone's throw from the Teatro degli Atti and the Malatesta Temple. It is a fascinating site, the work of Rimini architect Giovan Francesco Buonamici and dating back to 1747. 

This large two-tiered loggia, opened by three round arches, has now become one of the most distinctive places of Rimini's nightlife: all you have to do is cross it starting from Piazza Cavour to find yourself surrounded by the famous “canzonette”, the many bars and pubs that animate the city.

Harbour life on the Rimini Riviera / Cattolica

The excursion to discover the Rimini Riviera ends in Cattolica, the last stretch of Romagna beach before the border with the Marche region. In less than half an hour from the capital, you will arrive in this town at the foot of Monte San Bartolo, which also has a lively and ancient fishing tradition. 

The small harbour is the best place to enjoy the colours of the sunset, enjoying an aperitif while the tourist boats return and music begins to play from the small bars surrounding the dock. 

If you still not tired, we suggest a walk to the romantic Piazza del Tramonto or a bike ride along the Spinelli promenade before a hearty dinner of the Adriatic blue fish that you have been able to admire since the first leg of this excursion.