A city rich in history
Rimini is a seaside city, but at the same time a city of art, with over two thousand years of history to be discovered in historical, contemporary and outdoor spaces.
Below, you’ll find the main attractions in the old town not to be missed while discovering Rimini!
It is the third largest Roman monument in Rimini and the only theater still standing in all of Emilia Romagna. Unfortunately, few remains are left: the walls of the arena, one of the main entrances and some access to the balconies. In Roman times, it was used for gladiator shows and could hold up to 12 thousand spectators.
ARCH OF AUGUSTUS
It is considered as the symbol of Rimini and it used to mark the entrance to the city for those coming from the Via Flaminia. It was the urban gate linked to the city walls and represents the oldest surviving Roman arch, built at the time of Caesar Octavian Augustus. A peculiar feature are the divinities depicted up on the arch: Jupiter, Apollo, Neptune and Rome.
This cathedral is a true Renaissance masterpiece and is renowned above all because it testifies to the love of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, for his wife, Isotta. Malatesta ordered the construction and commissioned to Leon Battista Alberti the works for the exterior. The interior of the cathedral is rich in art too: it houses the Crucifix by Giotto and a fresco by Piero della Francesca. You can admire several chapels, including the Cappella dei Pianeti and the Cappella degli Antenati, which houses a work by Agostino di Duccio, who also worked on the lining of the other chapels.
In Piazza Ferrari, it is possible to visit the famous Surgeon’s Domus, an archaeological complex that spans from the Roman age to the Middle Ages, which owes its name to the most important find concerning the home of the last owner, a doctor of Greek origin. You can admire mosaics, plasters, furnishings and the richest surgical-pharmaceutical equipment from antiquity.
Located near the Domus, inside the eighteenth-century Jesuit monastery, it consists of a garden-courtyard, which houses the Roman Lapidary; a ground floor that houses both a permanent exhibition by the artist Gruau, and a space dedicated to Fellini’s “Libro dei Sogni” (The Book of Dreams), that is, the original booklets with sketches of the themes that later recur in his films; the Pinacoteca, a picture gallery taking up part of the first and second floor, with works dating from the Municipal era to 1900s including masterpieces by the fourteenth century Rimini school; the cellar, where the Archological Section is housed, displaying the history of Rimini, from Prehistory to the Late Antiquity.
AMINTORE GALLI THEATER
Built in 1843 based on a Neo-classical design, it was almost completely destroyed during World War II, except for the foyer. From 1975, reconstruction works began, blending the preexisting Neo-classical design with a more modern one. The building reopened in 2018; today it hosts concerts and theatrical performances and it is possible to visit it through guided tours.
It was the fortress-residence of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini. To realize the construction, Filippo Brunelleschi was called and Sigismondo himself is said to have taken part to the project. The whole complex, also known as Rocca Malatestiana, is divided into 4 sections connected to each other: the Isotta wing (Palazzo di Isotta), which occupies 3 floors, the central body of services, which occupies 2 floors, the large courtyard and the Maschio, that is the central and more suggestive section, which takes up more than 2 floors.
In 2017, works began on the construction of the Court on the sea, including the recovery of the perimeter of the ancient moat and the walls with the staircase connecting with the new Piazza Arena Francesca da Rimini.
TRE MARTIRI SQUARE
It is the ancient Roman forum located at the intersection, place at the center of the square, between the decumanus and the cardo maximi, a point also highlighted in the flooring of the square with a Renaissance sun. The square boasts several monuments: the Roman excavations, the War Memorial, the Clock Tower, with a solar-lunar calendar, and a Julius Caesar’s statue.
It was the second Roman forum in Rimini and today it is the monumental and city center. You can admire and visit various monuments, including Paul V’s statue and the Fontana della Pigna (fountain of the pine cone), still used today, and which used to be the only source of drinking water for the city until the early twentieth century. It is said that Leonardo da Vinci was dazzled by its beauty and the shape of the water features.
Among the attractions worth a visit we find Palazzo Garampi, which today is the seat of the Town Hall; Palazzo del Podestà, of medieval origin, which today hosts shows and exhibitions; Palazzo dell’Arengo, which was built in 1204 and was the ancient Palatium comunis, symbol of freedom and authority of the city government.
From Piazza Cavour it is possible to enter the Vecchia Pescheria (old Fish Market), one of the most characteristic and picturesque places in the city, which has now become an area of evening entertainment, given the numerous bars and clubs.
The square overlooks Castel Sismondo and connects Roman part of the town with the Renaissance one, that is the castle and the square with the Galli theater, passing through the Fulgor cinema, up to the new pedestrian square of the Bridge of Tiberius.
BRIDGE OF TIBERIUS
It is one of the most notable Roman bridges still standing, in Doric style, and its construction is the symbol of the technical knowledge of the Romans. It marks the beginning of the Roman consular roads Aemilia (which connected Rimini and Piacenza) and Popilia (leading to Ravenna and then up to Aquileia) and is located at the opposite end of the main street of the city.
In recent years, the new Square on the water has been built, which allows a suggestive view of the bridge and takes you close to the water; it also offers a panoramic terrace towards the Marecchia Park.
BORGO SAN GIULIANO
It was the ancient fishermen’s neighborhood, today it is filled with bars and restaurants where you can savor the traditional flavors of Romagna cuisine.
Its fame is linked mostly to the renowned director Federico Fellini: in the narrow alleys, you can feel the atmosphere of his films, thanks to the various murals painted on the facades of the houses by local artists, which represent the life and works of the famous director.