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Bill Thayer

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A town of eastern Romagna: 44°03N, 12°34E. Altitude: 6 m. Population in 2003: 129,700.

[image ALT: An old stone bridge of five arches, about 100 m long and in good condition, over a placid pond. It is the Roman bridge at the beginning of the Via Aemilia in Rimini (on the Adriatic coast of Italy).]

One of the town's great sights: Tiberius' bridge.

Many Italians today think of Rimini as a beach resort, and few foreigners think of the town at all, which is a pity. Now there is indeed a large new section of hotels and cabins and parasols strung along two beaches, and many people who live in the plain of the Po make their way to the coast and Rimini on summer weekends — yet historically Rimini was much more important than its modern character would suggest.

Founded as Ariminum, she owes her importance to two straight lines: one natural, the coastline of the Adriatic; the other manmade, the Via Aemilia, an ancient Roman road designed to bring agricultural produce from the fertile inland plain of the Po to harbor and sea transportation to Rome. Ariminum was pretty much the southernmost point along the coast that you could get to from northern Italy over flat terrain.

Along the Adriatic coast, Rimini is thus 51 km SE of Ravenna; keep on going SE and you will get to Pesaro (36 km), Fano (47 km), Senigallia (70 km), and Ancona (97 km). Northwestward along the Aemilia, Cesena is 30 km away, Forlì 49 km, and Bologna 97 km. Follow the Roman road in its rectilinear course thru Modena, Parma, Reggio, and Piacenza, and you will eventually get to Milan.

(For a rather thorough presentation of the city's history and the Tempio Malatestiano, see the Encyclopedia Britannica articles.)

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The Roman city of Ariminum: a famous bridge, an amphitheatre, the ghost of Julius Caesar just having crossed the Rubicon somewhere north of town and preparing to march on Rome . . .

[ 6 pages, 8 photos ]

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There are of course quite a few non-Roman sights in town as well; foremost of which is the extraordinary Renaissance temple to the ego of Sigismond Malatesta, known logically enough as the Tempio Malatestiano. Typically, though, I'll ease into things with the very minor, but interesting, Tempietto of S. Antonio.

[ 1 page, 3 photos ]


If you are planning a trip to the area, and being thorough and/or gastronomical about it, you will very likely find it useful to read the following entries of my diary — Oct. 23, 1997 Aug. 31, 1998 Jun. 30 - Jul. 1, 2000 — with 3 additional photographs; for complete and detailed general information on the town, you should see the websites in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page, of course.

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Site updated: 8 Mar 15