The World Traveling Guide

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Beautiful Italy (part II)

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Rimini is a city of 146,606 inhabitants in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, and capital city of the Province of Rimini. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, on the coast between the rivers Marecchia and Ausa. It is one of the most famous seaside resorts in Europe, thanks to its 15 kilometres (9 miles) long sandy beach, over 1,000 hotels and thousands of bars, restaurants and discos. The first bathing establishment opened in 1843. An art city with ancient Roman and Renaissance monuments, Rimini is the hometown of the famous film director Federico Fellini as well.
At the beginning of the 16th century Rimini, now a secondary town of the Papal States, was ruled by an Apostolic Legate. Towards the end of the 16th century, the municipal square (now Piazza Cavour), which had been closed off on a site where the Poletti Theatre was subsequently built, was redesigned. The statue of Pope Paul V has stood in the centre of the square next to the fountain since 1614.
In the 16th century, the ‘grand square’ (now the Piazza Tre Martiri in honor of three civilians hanged by the retreating Nazis at the end of World War II), which was where markets and tournaments were held, underwent various changes. A small temple dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua and a clock tower were built there, giving the square its present shape and size.
The city was transformed after the 1843 founding of the first bathing establishment and the Kursaal, a building constructed to host sumptuous social events, became the symbol of Rimini’s status as a tourist resort. In just a few years the seafront underwent considerable development work making Rimini ‘the city of small villas’. At the beginning of the twentieth century The Grand Hotel, the city’s first major accommodation facility, was built near the beach.
During the first World War Rimini and its surrounding infrastructure was one of the primary targets of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. After Italy’s declaration of war on 15 May 1915 the Austro-Hungarian fleet left its harbours the same day and started its assault on the Adriatic coast between Venice and Barletta.
During World War II the city was torn apart by heavy bombardments and by the passage of the front over the Gothic Line during the Battle of Rimini and was eventually captured by Greek and Canadian forces. Following its liberation on September 21, 1944, reconstruction work began, culminating in huge development of the tourist industry in the city.
Why to visit Rimini?
Rimini, often referred to as the capital of Italian seaside tourism and nightlife, is one of Italy’s most popular beach resorts and one of the largest in Europe. It has 15km of fine sandy beach with top-rate bathing facilities. The seaside promenade is lined with restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs. The city itself has an interesting historic center, Roman ruins, and museums. Film director Federico Fellini was from Rimini.
Rimini Lido, Beaches, and Baths:
Marina Centro and Lungomare Augustore are the center of beaches and nightlife. Beaches spread north and south with those farther from the center more family oriented. A seafront promenade runs along the coast. Many of the beaches are private and include cabanas, umbrellas, and beach chairs for a day use fee.
Rimini Terme is a thermal spa on the sea with treatment facilities, four heated salt water pools, and a wellness center. It’s set in a park with fitness trail, beach, and playground. Hotel National by the sea in Marino Centro has spa facilities and therapeutic treatments.
 Where to stay?
Most hotels are near the seaside promenade, Lungomare. See top rated Rimini Hotels along the Lungomare. You can also search all Rimini hotels on Venere, including adjacent coastal suburbs. We stayed at Hotel Corallo, a very nice spa hotel by the sea in Riccioine, to the south but connected by bus.
Rimini Top Sights and Attractions:
Besides beaches and nightlife, Rimini has a good historic center and is a city of art. Most of these sights are in the historic center. For a map showing the main sights see Rimini Map onMapping Europe.
·         Roman Rimini dates from 268 BC and there are several Roman remains. The main town gate, Arco d’Augusto, was erected in 27BC. There’s a 62 meter long Roman bridge, Ponte di Tiberio, that was built in 21AD and part of a 2nd century Roman amphitheater that once held over 10,000 spectators.
·         Piazza Cavour is the main square, dating from the Medieval period, where you’ll find government, socializing, and market day on Wednesday. In the center of the square are a statue of Pope Paul IV and the circular Pigna fountain built in 1543 incorporating some Roman remains. Around the square are several interesting buildings including the 13th century Palazzo dell’Arengo, the town hall, the old fish market, and neoclassical theater,Teatro Amintore Galli. Behind the theater is the 15th century fortress, Castel Sismondo, used for cultural events.
·         Piazza tre Martiri is the site of the old Roman Forum. In the square are the early 16th century Tempietto of Saint Anthony,  and the clock tower, built in 1547 but with a clock face from 1750. There’s also a 16th century column commemorating Julius Caesar.
·         The Malatesta Temple, Tempio Malatestiano, is Rimini’s best monument and an important example of Italian Renaissance. A marble casing envelopes the original medieval church. The many art treasures inside include a Giotto painting from 1312, frescoes by Piero della Francesca, and sculptures by Duccio. Pope Pius II called it a temple of devil worship and condemned it.
·         S. Agostino, a Romanesque-Gothic church, dates from 1247 and has important art works and frescoes inside. Its 55 meter tall bell tower is the tallest in towni.
·         The City Museum, Museo della Citta, is housed in a former convent and 40 rooms filled with more than 1500 art works. The archaeology section focuses on Roman finds and thePinacoteca has Italian art from the 11th through 20th centuries.
·         Cineteca, the film library, has a collection of movies related to Rimini and Fellini memorabilia. Italian movies are shown on Friday nights.
·         Viserba, 4km away, is an old fishing port and popular holiday resort. The popular park,Italia in Miniatura, Italy in Miniature, has 272 Italian architecture scale reproductions representing all of Italy’s regions. It’s open daily March 1- January 6, but rides only operate from March 15-November 2. From Rimini train station, take bus number 8.

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