Rimini has an elegant and magical sound for me, easy like sea and Italian summer. My friendship with Rimini starts in October, when not all days are sunny anymore. The beaches are empty now and filled with the sound of a caterpillar in the morning. For Italian youngsters Rimini is the place to be during the summer. Everybody is there and everything is possible from falling in love to disappearance of inhibitions, at least this is what I imagine Rimini to be like in summer. If you are at the right place at the right time you will find the charm behind the summery frenzy. These are the places that started my friendship with Rimini.
First beach and the Grand hotel
A walk on the beach means instant relaxation. The beach in Rimini is 15 kilometres long and straight. The hotels from Rimini to Riccione line-up endlessly. In October the width of the empty beach swallows the hotels and makes them disappear. Sky and water merge into a glassy grey that I like a lot. Without flashy sunlight this beach has the potential for instant stress-relief.
In 1843 in Rimini ingenuity and business acumen met ideal natural conditions, as a count and a physician put a great new idea into practice: a bath in the sea as recreational measure and Rimini was born as the first ever bathing resort. Rimini as the birthplace of beach holiday, that sort of excuses the beaches filled by masses for me. An acutely successful idea, that started its unabated success here and a town, mainly elegant once and then choking a bit on its success – that can happen!
Andare a marina means ‘to go to the beach’. The Grand hotel Rimini with its lovely Art-Nouveau-style is an essential part of the marina-architecture. Today it seems slightly outmoded, at least from inside – a place where Wifi seems displaced (to me).
The park with the Four-horses-fountain is named after Rimini’s most famous artist: Federico Fellini, who immortalized the town in his films.
Fellini was born and grew up in Rimini. Already as a child he drew a lot. As a grammar school boy he started to caricature people he knew. Later he sold his caricatures and comic strips to newspapers thus starting his career as a caricaturist and journalist. You might recognize the squares of Rimini’s historic town Piazza Cavour and Piazza Tre Martiri from the films Roma and Amarcord. Other details such as beach hats and the Grand hotel remind of the Meastro. Rimini answers this immortalization accordingly, with Fellini-Park, Fellini menu in the Grand hotel (always fish!) and the Book of dreams, Fellini’s dream diary, which has been bought by the town and is on display in the Town’s Museum.
Borgo San Giuliano and Ponte di Tiberio
A dream-like place bringing together Rimini and Fellini is the old fishing village Borgo San Giuliano. Houses are peppered with murals depicting dreams of Fellini or devoted to his films. An evening visit intensifies one’s impression and is well worth it because of the little bars and restaurants. Everything serves the preparation of the most magical Rimini-moment. Borgo San Giuliano is located directly behind the river Marecchia (mare!) and its Ponte di Tiberio, Tiberius Bridge. The bridge is a masterpiece of Roman engineering, built 2,000 years ago.
Unbelievable, the bridge is still there and used as an access road into the old town. I oppress my urge to protect the bridge from car traffic. At night time river and bridge put on a magic show and if Rimini were a person, I would have fallen in love right there.
Ariminus – Traces of Roman history
Ariminum, founded 268 BC as a Roman colony with amphitheatre, forum and gate.
With a little imagination the life in Rimini can be envisioned, at least in case of injury! Excavations of a surgeon’s house unearthed a full set of a surgeon’s instruments now presented in the Town museum Museo della Città.
There is a summer Rimini, when life relocates to the beach. That is just one part of Rimini, even if no small one. I don’t know yet if I will make it to Rimini in summer. I surely return next autumn as it is my tradition to see friends at least once per year!