Rimini Travel Guide
Set against a beach that stretches into the horizon, the seaside city of Rimini is one of Italy’s best-loved beach resorts. But while this natural attraction is worth experiencing, that’s not all that this place has to offer.
In this destination, you’ll find Roman ruins, an attractive (and unfinished) cathedral, and a Renaissance castle. All in all, this place is the perfect place for a quick getaway from Rome, or anywhere else in Italy for that matter.
We’ll be honest – cultural and historical attractions aren’t Rimini’s calling card (its beaches are). Nonetheless, it does have its share, such as the Tempio Malatestiano. This Roman Catholic cathedral is an unfinished work, built to honour Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, a local noble.
But despite being in flux, this church is still well worth seeing. Within, you’ll find a fresco by Piero della Francesca covering its ceiling. Additionally, Giotto’s Crucifix, an artistic reproduction of the cross Christ died upon, is also a highlight.
Next, make time to check out Domus del Chirurgo, which is a remarkable archaeological site. This uncovered ruin was the home of a surgeon, or what passed as one in Roman Times. At this site, archaeologists discovered a complete set of instruments used by this medical professional.
While you can visit during the day, we recommend waiting until dusk. At this time, this 1,800-year-old home is lit up brilliantly, giving it an atmosphere that needs to be experienced to be appreciated. Currently, admission is 7 EUR (8 USD) – if you’re paying cash, ensure you have enough on hand.
Want to feel like royalty? Rimini has its own castle – Castel Sismondo. Remember Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, the noble we mentioned earlier? This place was his abode back in the 15th century. However, only the inner sanctum remains, the walls having crumbled long ago.
Despite its stature, its owners don’t communicate operating hours online. Shortly after arrival, be sure to ask around locally about whether it’s open.
Before heading home, get a selfie in front of the Arco d’Augusto. As the name suggests, it’s a Roman-era arch honouring Emperor Augustus. Dating back to the 1st century BC, it’s easily the oldest Roman structure in Rimini.
Now, it’s nice that Rimini has historical and cultural highlights. But most Italians and foreign tourists don’t come here to see cathedrals or ruins. Instead, they travel here to lie on one of this city’s many beaches.
In Rimini, the beach is divided into north and south zones. Each zone is further split up into numbered grids. Every one of these has basic infrastructure, like washrooms and sunbeds. More central zones have better perks, like eateries, bars, and even WiFi.
Note that sunbed rentals start at around 16-20 EUR per day. And if you want to go for a swim, plan your trip for after early June – any earlier, and the water will be a bit chilly.
After a day or two in the sun, check out the Tiberius Bridge. This span, which crosses the River Marecchia, takes its name from Tiberius, a Roman emperor who ruled in the 1st century AD. Contrary to the name, this bridge actually started construction during the reign of Augustus. Alas, that emperor passed before construction finished, so it was named for Tiberius instead.
However, this span almost didn’t make it to the present day. During WWII, the Nazis were driven out of Rimini by the Allies. During their retreat, they destroyed many bridges in Rimini, but spared the Tiberius Bridge, as it was judged militarily useless.
While wandering around Rimini, make sure that you visit Borgo San Giuliano. This neighbourhood started out as a place where fishers lived, but in time, it became a central part of Rimini as it grew. As such, those looking for attractive European architecture will find it here.
Lastly, spend time hanging around Piazza Cavour. This is the central square of Rimini, where locals relax in their downtime. When you aren’t people-watching, check out the palaces lining this public space.
What To Eat/Drink
After a long day of sightseeing or lounging in the sun, you’re bound to work up an appetite. At lunch, go out of your way to find a restaurant that serves Piadina Romagnola. This is a flatbread sandwich that short-order cooks will fill with ingredients like cheese, tomatoes and arugula.
But at dinner, don’t fool around – find an eatery that offers Lasagne Alla Bolognese. While it’s a standard Italian dish around the world, local Rimini restaurateurs do it far better justice. This dish should have egg noodles flavoured with spinach, infused with a meat bolognese sauce, and topped with bechamel sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Lastly, for a nightcap, have some Nocino. This liqueur is crafted using unripe green walnuts, and infused with cinnamon and cloves. This ensures a mix of sweet, bitter, and nuttiness that will grip your taste buds.