Rimini has long been famous for its long stretches of golden sands and location on the Adriatic sea. However, the big surprise for me of Rimini was its absolutely charming old town.
Rimini was established in 268 BC by the Romans so there is a lot of Rimini history.
However, it has gone through considerable change, resulting in the absolutely lovely old town located in the heart of Rimini Emilia Romagna Italy.
The beaches are still lovely but should be combined with the Rimini old town and some of the neighboring towns regarding the best things to do in Rimini.
Things to do in Rimini
Table of Contents
- Things to do in Rimini
- 1. Ponte di Tiberio
- 2. Borgo San Giuliano
- 3. Fellini Inspired Street Art
- 4. Cinema Fulgor
- 5. The Piazzas of Rimini Old Town
- 6. Rimini Beaches
- 7. The Grand Hotel
- 8. Tempio Malatestiano
- 9. Galli Theatre
- 10. The Old Fish Market
- 11. Santarcangelo di Romana
- Instagrammable Things to do near Rimini
- 12. Visit Forlimpopoli
- 13. Make pasta at the Casa Artusi cooking school
- 14. Visit San Marino
- Something Different – Choke the Priest Pasta
- San Marino and Rimini Hotels
- Restaurants in Rimini and San Marino
- How to Get to Rimini
- Getting Around Rimini
- Who Paid for What in this Post
1. Ponte di Tiberio
The Ponte di Tiberio was one of the highlights of my Rimini sightseeing. This beautiful bridge was constructed in 20 BC and is still in perfect condition.
Ponte di Tiberio Rimini sits at the end of the canal that runs from the beach to the Parco XXV Aprile.
This was one of my favourite Rimini images and a great thing to do in Rimini at night is to come and photograph the bridge when it is lit up.
2. Borgo San Giuliano
This village or neighborhood of Rimini in Italy was founded are the year 1000 and was the old fisherman district. Walk across the Tiberius bridge and you will be in Borgo San Giuliano.
This was my favourite area in Rimini and one of the city’s top attractions. Borgo San Giuliano Rimini is full of small alleys, cute houses, colourful murals, pedestrianized areas, flowering balconies, well-positioned Vespas, and a wonderful atmosphere.
It is also home to many of the best restaurants in Rimini such as La Marianna and the lovely La Esse Romagnola, which has a lovely outdoor seating area (more information about where to eat later in this article).
And it is home to number three on this list of what to do in Rimini if you’re looking to fill your Instagram feed.
3. Fellini Inspired Street Art
The films of Fellini inspire the street art of Rimini! Apparently, the first murals appeared in 1980 during a festival. Their original purpose was to tell the story of the inhabitants of Borgo San Giuliano and particularly its relationship with the sea.
However, following the death of Fellini in 1994, the area was dedicated to the director.
Murals began to appear which reflected key scenes from Fellini’s films and some of his most original characters. I loved these little backstreets filled with such beautiful and quirky art and it was an Instagram dream come true.
I highly recommend adding a street art walk to the top of your Rimini things to do list.
4. Cinema Fulgor
Federico Fellini watched his first-ever film at Cinema Fulgor when he was 5 years old. As a young man, he began to design beautiful posters for the films on show at Cinema Fulgor.
The cinema owner was so impressed that he gave Fellini and his brother free entry to the cinema in return for his work.
The cinema is absolutely beautiful. It is decorated in an art nouveau style featuring deep reds and gold. It still shows films and also hosts cultural events.
And in 2020 it will open a Fellini museum. This will be part of the festival to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Fellini.
⇒ If you’d like to learn more about Fellini take a 2 1/2 hour private Fellini focussed tour with a guide. Taking a tour and watching a film at this beautiful cinema is one of the most fun things to do in Rimini when raining.
5. The Piazzas of Rimini Old Town
Piazza Tre Martiri is at the heart of Rimini and is one of its most popular spots. The square has a mix of historic and modern buildings.
From Chiesa Dei Paolotti and Tempietto di Sant Antonio to high-end shops and restaurants.
A 5-minute walk from Piazza Tre Martini Rimini is Piazza Cavour. This lovely square has some fantastic architecture, a great Cardinal statue, the newly restored Galli Theatre (more below) and it often hosts markets.
6. Rimini Beaches
Rimini is most well known as a beach town thanks to its 15 km of sand and sea. This is one busy beach.
The Rimini Italy beach has many resorts and beach clubs and payment is required to use their facilities and services. There are some free areas on the beach but not that many.
As a result, the beaches of Rimini are buzzing. They are really an extension of the Rimini city centre with some sand and water thrown in.
I found the beaches of Rimini most photogenic when all the umbrellas of the beach resorts were up but somewhat empty as the sunset. This was also a lovely time to walk along the beach.
And just off the beach on Piazzale Fellini is a giant camera sculpture that is very Instagram friendly.
Do note that the Rimini Ferris wheel was not running when I visited.
Another way to enjoy Rimini by the sea is to take a cruise – check out East Coast Experience for a range of sea tour options.
7. The Grand Hotel
The Grand Hotel is the best Rimini hotel. It is 110 years old and was made world-famous in Fellini’s 1973 film Amarcord. The hotel became a national monument in 1994.
The Grand Hotel Rimini is still in stunning shape. I loved the old world glamour feel of this hotel.
Waiters in white jackets during the day, super high ceilings, decadent shops, old-world charm – the Rimini Grand Hotel is the best combination of stepping back in time and modernity.
Whilst I wasn’t lucky enough to stay at the Grand Hotel, I had a wonderful lunch here. We sat outside by the pool on a sunny day and enjoyed outstanding service and fantastic food.
Lunch began with the most beautiful buffet table of colourful finger foods. We were then served a delicious ricotta and spinach ravioli with a vegetable sauce as our main.
But perhaps best of all was a rather stunning Zuppa Inglese for dessert.
There are Instagram opportunities all over the Grand Hotel Rimini Italy including the beautifully prepared food. A visit here should be on the list for all Rimini holidays.
The resort is more like staying in a village than any hotel. A gorgeous limestone village! This is definitely one of the best places to visit in Puglia – and one of the best hotels in Puglia. [separator type=”thick”]
8. Tempio Malatestiano
Tempio Malatestiano is the unfinished cathedral church of Rimini and very beautiful. It contains chapels, stunning glass windows, and some rather curvy angel sculptures.
Despite the fact that its renovations are still yet to be completed (the temple was also bombed during WW2) Tempio Malatestiano Rimini is considered the most prestigious place of Christian worship in Rimini.
9. Galli Theatre
The Galli Theatre opened in 1857 and featured opera and theatre. Located on Piazza Cavour, it was the cultural center of Rimini.
Unfortunately, the Galli theatre Rimini was badly bombed in World War 2 – about 90% of the auditorium and stage were destroyed.
After several attempts to rebuild the Galli theatre in Rimini it finally opened in 2018 – a stunning recreation of what it most likely looked like before the 1942 bombing.
It is an absolutely beautiful theatre featuring thick red velvet, white and gold panels, arches and columns and some rather impressive chandeliers.
Guided tours of the Galli theatre are run in the morning and the afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays – dependent upon what is currently being shown at the theatre.
10. The Old Fish Market
The old Fishmarket Rimini is a lovely covered promenade where the people of Rimini come to chat, eat, drink and relax. The 18th-century marble counters of the Rimini fish market now make for seats.
This market area is extremely popular and very busy at night. And it often serves as the Rimini flower market during the day. It is very photogenic.
Personally, I found it most Instagram friendly when captured with few people in the late afternoon light.
11. Santarcangelo di Romana
This beautiful little town is 16 km from Rimini. We rode there on e-bikes from Rimini, which was great fun and very easy to do.
Santarcangelo di Romana is known for wine and slow cooking. There are also 150 caves in this area of Emilia Romagna. 80% of Rimini was destroyed during World War 2.
The townspeople of Santarcangelo di Romana used to stay in these caves during the bombings. The caves are now a mix of private and publicly owned.
The private caves are sometimes open to the public for things like exhibits and galleries. It is also possible to visit the public caves of Santarcangelo di Romana Italy – check in with the local tourist office for tour details.
Santarcangelo di Romana is made for a leisurely stroll. The main square and its small back streets are very atmospheric and just made for photos.
I stumbled across the most gorgeous lavender stall, including a lavender bike, in one of the town squares.
However, the best thing to do in Santarcangelo di Romana in the opinion of this Rimini travel blog, was visiting Marchi’s Printing House. I must confess, upon entry, I wasn’t sure why this little shop that sold tea towels and aprons was of such high interest.
Then we were shown to the area behind Marchi’s Printing House Santarcangelo di Romana. Out of nowhere, a giant wooden wheel appeared. This wooden wheel is used to iron the fabrics and to bring out their shine.
After the ironing, the fabric is printed using rust dye and handmade wooden stamps which date back to the 1600s. The stamps are applied by hand using different ink colors – although the rust color is the most well known for this area.
It is still the tradition today for local women to receive items from Marchi’s Printing House when they get married or to take an item from Marchi’s as a thank you for dinner or a stay in someone’s home.
Instagrammable Things to do near Rimini
12. Visit Forlimpopoli
I love the name of this town. Such fun to say it out loud. Forlimpopoli is home to the fantastic Casa Artusi (more below) but is also a gorgeous little Italian town.
Forlimpopoli Emilia Romagna is situated on via Emilia – the famous old Roman road between Milan and Rimini that is now famed for its food. Piazza Pompilio is the town’s main square and is home to the market.
The Piazza and the Forlimpopoli Archeological museum are now located in what was the castle of Forlimpopoli and live within its old beautiful walls. This is a wonderful little town for walking and exploring.
And in June every year, Forlimpopoli Italy holds a food festival devoted to its most famous resident – Pelligrino Artusi.
13. Make pasta at the Casa Artusi cooking school
Pellegrino Artusi (isn’t that a fantastic name) was the father of modern Italian cookery. He was actually a businessman, not a chef.
However, he spent a lot of time touring around Italy for his work. At that time, it was unusual for families to share their recipes – they were passed down to the next generation.
Artusi was the first person to convince the people of Italy to give him their recipes. And he then published them in the first-ever Italian national cookbook in 1891.
All of the Artusi recipes are numbered and by the time of the 15th edition had reached 790. The book has been translated into multiple languages and is still cited as a critical reference by today’s top chefs.
Artusi was born in Forlimpopoli, so it is the natural place for the house that now bears his name. Casa Artusi is a cooking school, a museum, an exhibitor of art, a restaurant (always serving the recipes of Artusi) and just a wonderful place.
I took a cooking class at Casa Artusi Forlimpopoli and it was a fantastic experience. Not only were we shown how to make pasta by a top chef we were then able to make pasta ourselves with the assistance of the Marietta’s.
Pellegrino’s collaborator was called Marietta. That name is now given to all the local men and women who now contribute their time to help to teach people like me to learn how to make pasta at Casa Artusi Italy.
For me, having a Marietta show me the ropes very much added to the total experience.
After making several different types of pasta, we were escorted to a beautiful room in Casa Artusi to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
We enjoyed some fantastic local wines with our tortellini, zucchini flowers, shallots, and tomatoes. This was followed by tagliatelle with the most amazing tomato sauce.
As if that wasn’t enough, we moved on to black pig salami and more meats and grilled vegetables.
⇒ Travel Expert Tip 1: Make sure that you book ahead to learn to make pasta or to enjoy a meal at Casa Artusi – it is very popular.
⇒ Travel Expert Tip 2: If you can’t fit Casa Artusi into your schedule, there are loads of cooking class opportunities in Rimini, as well as food tours and all other foodie things you can think of.
⇒ Love your wine? Read all about 12 Great Wineries in Montepulciano
14. Visit San Marino
San Marino is the oldest republic in the world and has never been taken over by anyone. This small country of just 61 square kilometers sits on top of a hill and overlooks the Italian countryside.
San Marino is home to just 30,000 people but has its own police, its own schools and it doesn’t belong to the European Union.
Taxes are lower in San Marino, but it is not a tax haven, as it is literally impossible to buy your way into the republic. Only citizens of San Marino can rent a house, let alone buy one.
Everyone in San Marino has a job, and they have two presidents at any given time. And the people in these roles change every six months.
In addition to all of these interesting facts, it is also rather beautiful and there are loads of things to do in San Marino that are very Instagram friendly.
A hilltop town in Italy will always be at least a base level of photogenic. San Marino then has multiple sculptures, and is mostly pedestrianized with lovely paved streets, excellent use of flowers throughout the country, and amazing views everywhere.
The highlight of San Marino is walking to the very top of the country and its famous three towers, which date back to the 11th century.
Two of the towers were still used as prisons up to the 1960s. It is possible to visit 2 of the 3 SanMarino towers, climb high inside (don’t if you don’t like heights as one involves a ladder), and get some amazing views of San Marino and the surrounding Italian countryside.
Another way to get fantastic views of the Italian countryside is to take the compact San Marino funicular. The funicular will bring you up into the main square of San Marino.
Something Different – Choke the Priest Pasta
Consorzio Terra di San Marino is a champion of small agricultural producers in San Marino. It is a museum, a cooperative, a shop, and home to taste workshops or cooking classes.
I took a fantastic taste workshop at Consorzio Terra di San Marino which involved making pasta as well as the delicious piadina – the local bread of the region.
It was all a lovely experience but the highlight for me was hearing the story of the form of pasta that we were making – Strozzapreti translates as “choke the priest” pasta.
San Marino is a very proud republic and not at all religious. It was said that priests often hung around San Marino’s homes around lunchtime, hoping to get fed.
The angry landowners, wise to the priest’s games, told their wives to make pasta as thick and difficult as possible so that it would choke the priest and they wouldn’t return.
Thus the name of this thick pasta – Strozzapreti – which does a great job grabbing sauce but can be a little difficult to swallow.
⇒ One of my favourite regions in Italy is lesser-known Puglia – find out if it is for you in my post on the 7 Best Places to Visit in Puglia
San Marino and Rimini Hotels
If you’re looking for high tech hotel design – complete with a satellite ring-shaped check-in desk then Hotel Duomo Rimini is for you
To feel like you are in a Fellini film, be decadent and stay at the historic Grand Hotel Rimini
If you decide to stay in San Marino, try Hotel Titano for fantastic views and a great location.
Restaurants in Rimini and San Marino
In Rimini, I enjoyed a fantastic dinner at La Marianna. This fantastic trattoria in the neighborhood of Borgo San Giuliano has a seafood focus.
I enjoyed cuttlefish salad with vegetables, polpo with amazing Italian tomatoes and potatoes, the tastiest clams Marinara style, grilled sardines, and mixed fried fish.
I highly recommend La Marianna Rimini.
I also had a couple of fantastic meals in San Marino. La Terrazza is part of the Titano hotel. It has the most amazing views over Emilia Romagna and is just a beautiful place to eat.
I highly recommend enjoying La Terrazza San Marino during the day to really appreciate the beauty of this restaurant.
And the food was pretty amazing as well. We started with a flan of radicchio, ricotta from San Marino, pancetta and fossa cheese.
Next up was green cappellacci pasta filled with fresh ricotta cheese and served with cherry tomatoes and basil.
The meal at La Terrazza was finished off with some fantastic homemade gelato.
San Marino also has a Michelin star restaurant Righi. This lovely restaurant is in San Marino’s main square. Downstairs is a trattoria and a bar.
The food at Righi restaurant San Marino was absolutely outstanding – as was the local wine paired with it.
Deep-fried rabbit salad, risotto with nettles and the local sauce. Piglet chops with spinach and potatoes. And then best of all, the semifreddo passionfruit and white chocolate with a strawberry sauce.
Whilst I imagine that the general standard of food is very high in Emilia Romagna, everything I ate during this trip was absolutely outstanding!
How to Get to Rimini
There are several options on how to get to Rimini Italy. Rimini has its own airport – with the wonderful name of the Frederico Fellini International Airport Rimini.
However, flights are quite limited and mainly charters. Ryan Air does fly directly to Rimini out of Stansted seasonally or you can fly Wizz Air or Vueling but not directly.
Ancona is 80 miles from Rimini but is quite a small airport and international flights are limited – this is another airport where most options will involve Ryan Air (who I seek to avoid flying with at all costs).
The best option is probably the Bologna airport. Bologna airport is 77 miles from Rimini. By car, the journey will take about 75 minutes.
The other option is to take a combination of bus and train from Bologna to Rimini. Every 15 minutes a bus leaves Bologna airport and takes about 25 minutes to get to Bologna Station.
There are then direct trains between Bologna and Rimini, leaving every 30 minutes.
The train journey takes just under one hour and Rimini train station is literally in the middle of Rimini city centre.
⇒ Travel Expert Tip 3: Save time and reduce stress by booking your train ticket from Bologna to Rimini before you leave home.
Getting Around Rimini
If you are planning a short trip to Rimini, you will unlikely need to hire a car. The city of Rimini is surprisingly big but also walkable – and bikes and e-bikes are available for hire.
However, if you are planning a longer trip and/or want to explore outside of Rimini I would highly recommend hiring a car. Taxis are expensive around Emilia Romagna.
If you are planning to stay in Rimini but also want to visit San Marino there is a great bus service between the two towns. The bus only takes one hour to get from Rimini to San Marino and they run about every 75 minutes in summer.
The stop for the bus to San Marino is opposite Rimini station. Taking the bus from Rimini to San Marino is an easy and cheap option.
⇒ Travel Expert Tip 4: If you love Italian design and a bargain check out Diffusione Tessile. They stock a huge range of Max Mara (labels were torn out) and have some amazing bargains – particularly for coats and shoes.
You’ll need to get a taxi each way from Rimini to Diffusione Tessile. It takes about 30 minutes each way and will cost about 100 euros return (which you will, of course, save on your amazing Max Mara bargains)
Who Paid for What in this Post
The lovely Emilia Romagna Tourism Board hosted me on this trip – thank you! This covered flights, food, hotels etc. But as always, my opinions are my own.
This post on things to do in Rimini contains affiliate links. This means that if you click through on them and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. This does not impact the price you pay. I just wanted to make sure you knew.
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