Rimini is Italy’s Party Capital, and during the summer months this ancient Adriatic town comes alive with bars and clubs. This is not all that Rimini has to offer however, and we’ll give you the comprehensive guide of what to do in Rimini!
The old fish market
Rimini nightlife takes place above all in two areas: the end of the beach promenade, between Marina Centro and the wharf with street bars and venues directly on the beach, and the little roads of the old city centre, especially near the Old Fish Market (Vecchia Pescheria), where every evening thousands of young people meet for a drink or an appetizer, a concert or just a meeting.
The charm of the Old Fish Market comes from the mixture between history and new trends: wine cellars, pubs, restaurants, table outside, candlelight enliven the medieval squares and romantic lanes in the historic centre, thus transforming it into the Montmartre of Rimini. Here you can dine under the stars or have a drink chatting under a white colonnade. All of this goes on in the old fish market with its eighteenth century marble counters. Many trends were started here and then exported to the rest of Italy: finger food, mini-portions in small glasses or on decorated spoons. If you want to go to a place where you can meet people and make friends, then the Old Fish Market is the right place to go all year round. It immediately became fashionable after faculties of the University of Bologna were established in Rimini, which brings about 6000 students from all over Italy to Rimini.
Life on the beach
In Rimini there are two hundred and fifty beach establishments, all well equipped and regularly renovated. The philosophy is that life on the beach goes on day and night. It begins at dawn when people go walking along the water’s edge and finishes well into the night after dinner, barefoot on the sand. The idea is that you can do anything on the beach, yoga lessons, needlework courses, sandcastle competitions and piadina making.
The best thing of all is that the sport activities (together with various facilities, warm showers, changing rooms, books and newspapers, games, entertainment, kindergarten) on the beach are all free. Everything is included in the daily price of the umbrella or the sun lounger, and prices are good compared to the rest of Italy.
You can of course go on the beach for free and you pay a fee only if you ask the beach attendant for a sun lounger. In Rimini there are also free beaches with toilets and life guards: the area near Piazzale Boscovich; San Giuliano area in front of the harbour; areas of Marebello and Miramare.
The Surgeon’s House
7th December 2007: the archaeological site of the Surgeon’s Domus opened to the public. An archaeological site that came to light from the darkness of the centuries in the heart of the city: it has become one of the main cultural attractions of Rimini. The importance of the archaeological discovery depends above all on the rich surgical and pharmaceutical equipment of the Roman time that archaeologists have found here. The excavation is now protected by an architectural work offering an interesting view to those who pass-by.
Situated in via L. Tonini 1, next to the church “del Suffragio”, it is hosted in the eighteenth-century convent of the Jesuits (info: tel 0039 0541 21482) and it keeps the historical and cultural heritage of Rimini and its area. It is a source of wonder and curiosities: here you can even find little pieces of stone that the Romans used as entrance tickets to the Amphitheatre or little statues representing the gladiators. A rare hoard of Roman coins, magnificent mosaics, amphorae, bricks from the clay kilns run by the first entrepreneurs in Rimini. Recently a new Arcaeological section has been open in the museum. It is dedicated to the Imperial Rimini of the 2nd and 3rd century. Here the richest surgical and pharmaceutical equipment of the Surgeon Domus is kept together with the famous mosaic of the ancient boats.
Borgo San Giuliano
Today when people in Rimini talk about the Borgo, they usually intend San Giuliano borough, on the northern side of the Marecchia river, separated from the historic centre by the ancient Tiberius Bridge. This area absolutely HAS to be in our What to see in Rimini guide! Risen around the year one thousand, it was the ancient fishermen’s district. Today the houses here are very expensive although they are classical examples of ancient popular buildings, poor, of medieval origin, but perfectly restored with pastel coloured walls often painted with murals and with balconies full of flowers. An easy way to get into the borough is the little road Marecchia. It is a pleasure to walk around the little roads and squares in silence (it is a pedestrian area), in an atmosphere full of poetry. People say that the Borgo San Giuliano was Federico Fellini and Giulietta Masina’s favourite place in Rimini.
Worth a visit is the church dedicated to Saint Giuliano. Originally it was a Benedictine abbatial complex (IX century) and was erected on the vestiges of a pagan temple. Inside the church you can admire a beautiful painting by Paolo Veronese, the martyrdom of Saint Giuliano, on the main altar. Underneath the large canvas there is a marble Roman sarcophagus containing the relics of the young saint coming from Istria and tortured by the pro-consul Marciano. The tradition says that the sarcophagus ran aground on the beach in Rimini, coming from Dalmatia. Since then in that very point a miracle source has been gushing fresh water: the so-called Sacramora, the sacred house.
Rimini is also tied with great cinema, since it is representative of Federico Fellini’s world of fantasy. In his films Fellini (born in Rimini on 20th January 1920) continuously recurs his past in the city: the squares, Cavour and Tre Martiri, can be seen in “Amarcord”, the Fulgor cinema in the films “Roma” and “Amarcord”, the beach cabins in the film “Città delle Donne”, the arcades and the street benches in “Vitelloni” and the Grand Hotel, which is always present. There is a lot about Rimini in Fellini’s films, even though the scenes were always rebuilt in Cinecittà or elsewhere.
To find out about it, you can start from Parco Fellini where you can view the white Grand Hotel. If you wish, you can sleep in the Fellini suite (his favourite one) or book a dinner based on the Fellini menu (tel. 0039. 0541.56000). Next step should be the harbour and the “palata”, the pier promenade, where the young men in “Vitelloni” like philosophising endlessly in winter time and where the motorcyclist in “Amarcord” used to came and ride his bike at full throttle.
Via IV Novembre. The Temple, a masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, tells an intense love story between Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta and his very young lover who soon also became his third and last wife Isotta degli Atti. Sigismondo had it built with the idea of creating a mausoleum for Isotta and himself. The Temple contains a series of chapels and treasures: a Crucefix by Giotto, a fresco by Piero della Francesca. His dream was never realized completely, but what came out of it is without doubt a beautiful unfinished work of art.