Unlike plenty other beach resorts, Rimini makes its way through on the tourist map of the world by its historic and architectural heritage too. This is why a short history of Rimini can complement the understanding by force of which one approaches their vacation in the most famous resort on the Adriatic Riviera.


Ancient times have been, one might say, along with the second half of the 20th century, the most benign moments for the historic trajectory of Rimini. It is to the Roman civilization that Rimini owes both its name and much of its architectural heritage. Under Roman rule, which began in 268 BC, Rimini (back then called Ariminum, after the name of the Ariminus River which today designates the Marecchia River), Rimini gained military-strategic and commercial importance, mainly due to its geographic location on the Adriatic coastline and on the road infrastructure of the former Roman Empire, at the intersection of Via Flaminia, Via Aemilia and Via Popilia.

Rimini underwent some rather troubled moments during the ancient times, being drift into the Gallic War and other belligerency circumstances. However, the greatness of that part of history is substantiated by several vestiges admired even today for their amplitude: the Augustus Arch, the Tiberius Bridge and the Amphitheater. These three architectural, historical and tourist landmarks of Rimini were the result of the keen interest several historic figures have taken in Rimini, namely, Augustus, Hadrian, Tiberius and Galla Placida.

Middle Ages and Modern Era

The most significant point of reference on the historic trajectory of Rimini during the Middle Ages refers to the rising of the Malatesta family. Before the emergence on the political scene of the Malatesta family and, of course, during its rule, Rimini underwent a period of political reconfigurations, being caught in the Gothic War and passed from one dominion to another, being alternately ruled by Goths and Byzantines, not to mention the interest the papacy harbored constantly as to Rimini, meaning it exerted its influence whenever the opportunity presented itself.

The Malatesta family contributed largely to the shaping of the historic destiny of Rimini, both politically and culturally. The most impressive architectural heritage from their times is Tempio Malatestiano, as the cathedral of Rimini is often referred to. Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, the last and, in fact, the greatest figure born of the Malatesta family, had this place of worship renovated, and he commissioned the famed Leon Battista Alberti (who had also worked, integrally or in part, at designing Palazzo Rucellai and the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence). The so-called Rocca Malatestiana should also be noted.

The most important events pegging out the Modern Era refer to the reconfiguration of Piazza Cavour and Piazza Tre Martiri, as well as to Rimini becoming part of Italy in 1861. Besides these moments, the fact Rimini has undergone plenty of troubled moments (pirate attacks, famine, conquering attempts, acts of god) should not be elided.

Recent history

Much of the Rimini all globetrotters know is the result of how the city was shaped by its recent history. The city was largely affected by the bombing during the Second World War, but, fortunately, the project of reconstructing Rimini and bringing it to its historic shine was soon implemented. This is precisely when the tourist prestige of Rimini started to reinforce, its fame as major destination on the Adriatic Riviera having already been ascertained.

Grand Hotel Rimini was built in the early 20th century, and its history coincides with the rising of Rimini’s tourist reputation. At present, Rimini is, together with Riccione and other surrounding resorts, an undeniable tourist hotspot on the Adriatic Riviera, overshadowing its counterparts not only by the specific mainstream tourist opportunities, but by its historic past too.

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