I’m pretty sure that many of you would think about Rimini only for its lively beaches and nightlife, typical of the Riviera Romagnola. And you probably also believe that the city doesn’t offer much else to its visitors. Until a few days ago – to be honest – I thought exactly the same.
Nothing could be more wrong: Rimini turns out being full of unique things to see, above all its historic center. In this post I’ll share with you the itinerary we followed and all the stops we made, which allowed us to appreciate a lively, interesting city with a great historical heritage. Special thanks go to the staff of the Rimini Suite Hotel for its valuable advice on what to see in Rimini. We were happy to join one of the amazing bike tours that the hotel offers to its guests, in order to provide them with a new perspective on the city and its surroundings.
You could be also interested in: Rimini Suite Hotel: an unforgettable 4-star stay
WHAT TO SEE IN RIMINI: THE TIBERIUS BRIDGE
The Tiberius Bridge is a Roman relic of inestimable value. As the inscription on the internal parapets says, its construction started in 14 AD under emperor Augustus and ended in 21 AD under emperor Tiberius. Originally, the river Marecchia, whose course was later diverted, used to flow under this five-arched bridge, built in Istrian stone according to the Doric order. It represents one of the most remarkable still existing Roman bridges and it survived many events that could have easily destroyed it, such as wars, floods, but also strong earthquakes.
WHAT TO SEE IN RIMINI: BORGO SAN GIULIANO
Nowadays the Tiberius Bridge still connects the center of Rimini to the small village of San Giuliano, which was originally a fishermen neighborhood. On some of the houses you can indeed see a plaque with the name of the fisherman who once lived there. In San Giuliano you will find pretty and colorful houses as well as lots of murals. In short, one of the most instagrammable spots in Rimini!
WHAT TO SEE IN RIMINI: PIAZZA CAVOUR
Piazza Cavour, the political and economic center of the city since the beginning of the 13th century, is a square that houses several important buildings. First of all, the Palazzo dell’Arengo, which was built in 1204. Its portico was the seat of justice, while the hall at the first floor, with its mullioned windows, is where the Assembly of the Municipality used to meet. Moreover, we can also see the Palazzo del Podestà and the Vittorio Emanuele II theater, today called Amintore Galli. At the center of the square two other elements will catch your attention: the fountain of the Pigna and the statue of Pope Paul V, even though Rimini’s inhabitants prefer to associate it with the city’s patron saint: San Gaudenzo.
WHAT TO SEE IN RIMINI: THE “ANTICA PESCHERIA”
As the name suggests, here once was the fish market. The Antica Pescheria (or Vecchia Pescheria) is located on one of the sides of Piazza Cavour and consists of a high portico. Today plants and flowers are sold here. It was built in 1747 by the Rimini architect Buonamici and today the stone benches where fish used to be exposed are still visible. In the past fishing was Rimini’s main business.
WHAT TO SEE IN RIMINI: SISMONDO CASTLE
The castle owes its name to its creator and constructor Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, commissioner of many of the city’s most important monuments. The residence-fortress managed to put together both the celebrative and the defensive aim. Don’t forget that what can be admired today, even if already impressive, is only the central area of the original structure, which also used to include houses, walls and towers. A large moat and drawbridge were also built to defend the fortress.
WHAT TO SEE IN RIMINI: THE MALATESTA TEMPLE
The Malatesta Temple is a masterpiece of the Rimini Renaissance. It is usually called “Duomo” by its citizens and, since 1809, it has become a cathedral, with the name of Santa Colomba. It was founded on an existing church, dedicated to St. Francis, but it owes its splendor to Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, who in 1447 decided to set up a chapel dedicated to San Sigismondo and went further with renovations and improvements on the whole structure. It those years extraordinary artists like Leon Battista Alberti and Piero della Francesca were also involved.
WHAT TO SEE IN RIMINI: THE AUGUSTUS ARCH
When we got to the Arch of Augustus, I was literally speechless learning that it is the most ancient Roman arch in Northern Italy. Would you have ever thought to find it in Rimini? The arch was built in 27 BC and it was offered to emperor Augustus by the Roman Senate. It marked the end of the Via Flaminia, which connected Rimini to Rome. On its sides you can see the remains of the wall in which the arch, made of local stone, was originally located.
WHAT TO SEE IN RIMINI: THE SURGEON’S HOUSE
I suggest you to stop in Piazza Ferrari and visit the Domus del Chirurgo. It consists of the remains of an ancient Roman domus dating back to the 2nd century AD, which owes its name to the profession of its last inhabitant: a doctor. Destroyed by a fire around the middle of the third century, the domus revealed, among the ruins, mosaics, some plaster and decorative elements that offer a unique “photograph” of life in ancient Rimini. Right here, among the ruins, an incredible surgical-pharmaceutical kit was discovered: the richest in the world dating back to the ancient times. The remains were found “by chance” during some urban design works in the square, which took place in the spring of 1989.
Let’s be honest: would you have ever imagined that there were so many things to see in Rimini?
I’ve been positively impressed by that! For sure, you can already guess my advice: do not confine your stay at the beach, but start exploring the historic city center with all its beauties.
Have you ever been to Rimini? Would you add some important stops to my itinerary?