Most Americans don’t consider Italy to be a great beach destination, but parts of it absolutely are. But most Americans don’t travel to Europe for beaches, we have those at home. No, we want history and culture, great food and warm people when we visit the Old World. That’s what I sought out to find in the beach town of Rimini, famous for that beautiful coastline but a gorgeous city in its own right, away from the shore.
Like so many Italian towns, Rimini naturally has a history that tends to boggle the minds of most non-Italians. Important during and even before Roman times, walking through the old part of town is full of great little surprises. It’s also a busy area, people darting in and out of shops, getting their daily shopping done. In between grocery stores and boutiques though are beautiful churches and squares, remnants of important moments all but lost to time. Without an agenda or even schedule, I spent my morning doing nothing at all, just watching, sipping on some coffee and getting to know Rimini the only way you can, just by living it, if only briefly.
One of the most impressive aspects of Rimini that hasn’t been lost to time is the Bridge of Tiberius; a 2,000 year old bridge that has somehow escaped destruction throughout the centuries. It’s a point of pride for residents of the city and major redevelopment plans for the riverfront area are already underway to highlight the bridge. Walking across it, while nimbly avoiding cars and bicycles, I couldn’t help but feel awed by the history this mighty bridge has seen. From an American point of view, the age of the bridge is an amazing concept to try to wrap my brain around and one that I still don’t think I even fully comprehend.
Sure, Rimini has great museums, things to see and do and naturally amazing food to devour. But what I enjoyed more than anything else was a lazy morning, exploring in my own way and discovering the city in a very personal way. That’s why I think I love this part of Italy so very much. The towns and cities lend themselves to easy exploration and the rewards they hide just below the surface make the time spent there so very worthwhile.
Have you been to Rimini? What did you think?
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