A seaside town overflowing with youth, fashion, and a passion for enjoying life, Rimini is the favorite vacation spot for floods of Italian and European tourists. The sugar-brown beaches, water sports, discoteche, shopping boutiques, amusement parks, and gelaterie create a fun and care-free environment, appealing to visitors of all ages. Located along the Riviera del Sole and situated in the furthermost part of the Po Valley, Rimini is happily surrounded by rolling hills and bathed by the Adriatic Sea.
Though its origins date back to Etruscan and Celt settlements, Rimini's ancient remains stem from the site's occupation by the Romans in 268 B.C. Once they had established a Latin colony there (on the border between Emilia and Umbria), the Romans expanded the town until it grew to become Augustus' imperial municipality. Blossoming, Rimini began its run as a principal shore-town. Over the centuries to come, Rimini passed to and from the Byzantines, the Goths, back to the Byzantines, the Lombards, and the Franks. In the Middle Ages, Rimini emerged as a commune; and, in the Renaissance, it was named the capital of the Malatesta Signoria, whose court fostered a glorious epoch of art and culture. Finally, in 1843, modern-day bathing establishments were constructed, and Rimini as an Italian "holiday hotspot" was born.
Aside from its unbelievable beach, Rimini, the city, can be divided into two sections: the old town center, flooded with Roman and Renaissance monuments; and Marina Centro, with its elegant green and flowering of shops, cafés and bath establishments. Any tour of the historic center should start with a trip to the Tempio Malatestiano, a Renaissance architectural masterpiece done in Franciscan Gothic style. During the 1440s, the church was converted by the city's ruler, Sigismondo Malatesta, into a monument to himself and his fourth wife, Isotta. (Needless to say, the act was deemed heresy by the pope, and Sigismondo was condemned to hell.) Leon Battista Alberti designed the façade of the new church, modeling it after the nearby Arch of Augustus (the oldest surviving Roman archway, erected during the 1st century B.C. in honor of Emperor Augustus). Piazza Cavour houses one of the most eclectic conglomerates of buildings in Italy. Take a stroll through the motley assortment of edifices, including the Palazzo Garampi, Palazzo dell'Arengo, Palazzo del Podestá, Teatro Comunale, and the Renaissance Pescheria (fish market).
Rimini's traditional dishes focus primarily on the use of fish, and the town is famous for its brodetto ("fish soup") and marinara sauce. Tasty home-made pastas include cappelletti al formaggio (a type of ravioli, stuffed with cheese) and tagliatelle al ragú (long, flat noodles prepared in a savory meat sauce). Roasts, such as piccione farcito ("stuffed pigeon"), are also popular. For dessert, satisfy your sweet-tooth with some ciambelle (Italian doughnuts), fritelle ("fritters"), or castagnole (special fritters made from chestnuts).
Air travelers can fly into the Miramare Civil Airport from various European points of origin. (Mostly charter flights.) Trains leave from Piazzale C. Battista and Via Dante to the nearby cities Ancona, Bologna, Milan, and Ravenna. The intercity bus station, TRAM, is located at Via Roma on Piazza Clementini, near the train station.
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