Rimini, Italy

Rimini is the capital of the Rimini Province of Italy and is situated on the Adriatic sea between the Marecchia and Ausa Rivers. It covers an area of fifty-two square miles and has a population of over one hundred and forty thousand residents. This city can trace its history back to the third century BC when the Romans founded Ariminum colony. Ariminus was a fortification to protect the area from the Gauls and was also a staging ground for the conquest of the Padana plain. Rimini at this time was a road junction that connected the fortification to northern Italy. It would go on to play an important role during the Gallic Wars and provided the Roman Empire with much military benefit.

In the fifth century, Rimini was conquered by the Goths. Eventually, the city would fall under the rule of the Byzantine Empire. It was momentarily taken by King Liutprand but was eventually went back under the control of the Byzantines in 735. By the sixteenth century, the city was a town of the Papal states and had a local government under the Apostolic Legate. It was during this time that the Piazza Tre Martiri was redesigned and a clock tower block was built. During the eighteenth century, the city was beset by several distasters which included invading armies, earthquakes, famines and floods. This provided an economic background in which the city had to resort to fishing in order to survive. This can be evidenced by structures that still exist in the city, such as a lighthouse and a fish market. In 1860, Rimini became a part of the Kingdom of Italy.

Today, Rimini is a world class tourist attraction and is the most famous resort in the Adriatic Riviera. A famous attraction in the city is the Castel Sismondo. The Castel Sismondo is a castle that was erected by Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta in 1437. Though Malatesta did some of the design work himself, other architects are also known to have worked on it include architect Filippo Brunelleschi. The original castle contained a moat with a rivelin at the entrance. It is believed that the walls were reinforced enough to withstand artillery blasts that started appearing in Europe at that time. At one time there were four towers that each contained bronze cannons. In 1821, the castle became the barracks for the local Carabinieri. About four years after that the external walls were demolished and the moat filled in with earth. Today, all the remains of the structure is the main nucleus and the castle is mainly used for special events and exhibitions.

Another prominent attraction in Rimini is Tempio Malatestiano. Tempio Malatestiano is a cathdedral that is officially dedicated to St. Francis (thus its name is actually San Francesco), but takes its name from Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta. Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta was the one who had the cathedral reconstruced from architect Leon Battista Alberti. Tempio Malatestiano was a thirteenth century Gothic church that was the possession of the Franciscans. The church at this time had a rectangular floor plan with a nave, three apses and no side chapels. Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta called on Leon Battista Alberti to transform the church and turn it into a personal mausoleum for himself and his lover at the time, Isotta degli Atti. Leading up the project was builder Veronese Matteo di Andrea de’ Pasti. Alberti’s original plan included a large dome that was similar to the Pantheon of Rome, but was never constructed. The top portion of the cathedral was also supposed to have a gable end, but that wasn’t finished either. In 1460, Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta was excommunicated and he fell on hard times. As a result, the east end of the church was never completed and Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta died without seeing the fruition of his dream. Today, the church is known for its marble facade and its sculptures which were designed by Agostino di Duccio and Matteo de Pasti. The entrance has a triangular pediment over the door that is within the middle arch. Matteo de’ Pasti designed the interior, which is acknowledged by an inscription under the large arcades. To the right of the door is a sepulchre by Sigismondo Pandolfo. There is also a chapel that is dedicated to St. Sigismund and contains Agostino di Duccio sculptures. The chapel of Cappella degli Angeli is home to the Isotta tomb and also contains the Giotto crucifix which was painted in 1312. The Cappella dei Pianeti (aka Chapel of the Planets) is dedicated to Saint Jerome. It has zodialogical figures that were done by Agostino di Duccio. Other features of this cathedral include the Chapel of Liberal Arts, Chapel of the Childhood Games and Cappella della Pieta.

Another prominent attraction in Rimini is Ponte d’Augusto (also known as the Bridge of Tiberius) is a bridge that has five semicircular arches that have an average span of twenty four feet. The construction of the bridge was begun during the reign of Augustus and was finally completed in the first century, under the reign of Tiberius. An inscription on the bridge states that the bridge was given by both kings. Other popular attractions in the city of Rimini include Arco d’Augusto, Rock Island, Scuola Barche a Vela, Catamarani, Windsurf e Surf da Onda, Italy in Miniature Amusement Park, Castel Sismondo, Borgo San Giuliano, Antica Pescheria di Piazza Cavour, Anfiteatro Romano, Piazza Cavour, Antica Pescheria di Piazza Cavour , Chiesa della Madonna delle Grazie, Museo delle Grazie, Astoria Movie Theater, Apollo Two Movie Theater, Parco Marecchia, Modernissimo Movie Theater, Federico Fellini Museum, Bronz Statue of Pope Paul V, Rocca Malatestiana of Sigismondo Pandolfo, Garden Sporting Center and Church of San Fortunato. This city is also home to numerous restaurants, clubs and hotels. Popular restaurants in Rimini include Bounty Pub Ristorante Pizzeria, Hotel Accademia & Ristorante Gusto and Le Meridien. Hotels in the city include Hotel Corallo Gestione Rivi Fabio & C., Hotel De Londres, Hotel Polo, Hotel Biancamano 3 Stelle a Rimini, Hotel Mercure La Gradisca, Alberghi Brown Hotel and the Duomo Hotel.