This is how it used to be: beach chairs to the horizon, crowds and hotel castles. But the times of the “Teuton grill” are fortunately over! Rimini on the Adriatic reinvents itself, discovers its historical roots and develops unexpected charm.
You can rely on Rimini
You can rely on many things in life. Flirting Italians for example. The copy with the white turtle riding towards Rimini on the beach promenade has put on its most charming smile, indicating a bow and cooing a routine “Hello, Signorina, how are you?” Wink, flawless German, in the background flutter colorful umbrellas. I greet you with pleasure.
The sprightly gentleman must have exceeded the 70 long ago. But learning is learned. And in the 60s and 70s of the last century, when the “Teuton Grill” still blazed on the highest flame, not only the German Misses belonged to the inventory, but also the languishing Papagalli, who joined them on the bath towel. And who wants to let go of loving habits just because the retirement age is reached? Or because the bathing city of Rimini is about to become a completely different one, as is currently claimed everywhere?
Prejudices overboard! Here is the very finest Italy: jasmine fragrance instead of sun oil, Renaissance facades instead of Teuton grill
For more than 50 years, this place on the Italian Adriatic coast was the epitome of organized mass summer tourism: 15 kilometers of sandy beach, 240 beach resorts and 200,000 ruler-equipped sun loungers, followed by three to four rows of hotels and guesthouses. Sizzling on the beach, full board, German is spoken, and in the evening in the glittering disco – that was Rimini. A city that allowed you to poke your nose as a lover of true Italy without ever having been there.
This arrogance is now embarrassing for me since I got to see a perfectly preserved Roman Arch of Honor made of marble on my arrival, even out of the car. The arch is 2000 years old, belongs to the city wall and leads into an old town, which feels like the most beautiful Italy. And in fact everything is there: narrow streets where small boutiques alternate with old-fashioned trimmings and where Italian women, with their cell phones pressed to their ears, stomp their way over a humped cobblestone pavement.
I cycle past Roman excavations, the stately splendor of medieval palazzi and elegant Renaissance facades. There are secret places with umbrella pines, my favorite trees, and old gentlemen, peacefully sitting in their shade. Swallows catapult themselves chirping through the air. And when I think it could not be more beautiful, I bump over an ancient stone bridge over to the Borgo San Giuliano neighborhood, a former fishing village with jasmine perfumed in front of its colorfully painted cottage and where even the laundry flutters as if it had a movie maker hung there.
Rimini has two faces: the old town and bathing city – the mayor wants to bring them together
On the terrace of the ” Nud e Crud ” already a few chic Italian sunglasses wearers have settled down for lunch and bite into their piadina. The classic Adriatic pastry pies are so abundantly filled that you have to hold them with both hands, so that the soft squacquerone cheese and the thick salsiccia pieces do not slip out. The lovely Lambrusco is served in misted glasses, and on the first floor a smoking woman with a kitchen apron curiously leans out of the window. It smells like rosemary potatoes and not a bit of sun oil.
Rimini’s centro storico – just a kilometer from the beach turmoil – is a world apart. You could almost say that there are two Rimini: old town and bathing town. And she wants to bring Andrea Gnassi together. The boyish guy with the indicated chin-beard has been mayor of Rimini since 2011, wears cobalt-blue striped socks to an open shirt and does not have much time. “We want to clean up with the separation between high culture and bathing life,” he calls to me as we meet in front of the town hall. Then he pushes a yellow helmet on my head and sprints up the stairs to the “Teatro A. Galli”. The theater destroyed in the Second World War was finally rebuilt under the authority of Gnassis.
For 50 years Rimini had a deadlock – that’s over now
Behind the theater and the Renaissance castle behind it will be a green open space for open-air concerts and other casual events. The Cinema Fulgor just around the corner, where once a high school student named Federico Fellini demolished the maps, has been refurbished and just reopened – in honor of the famous director and son of the city. The Roman bridge over the Marecchia is to be closed to traffic. And the bank of the river, according to the plan, will become a new meeting place for locals and guests with the help of paths and terraces. An ambitious program; In fact, Gnassi lags behind the schedule. “Tiè botta!”, A punk calls after him as he chases down the theater steps again, “Hold on” in Romagnol. The politician of the left-wing Partito Democratico, the Democratic Party, waves back. “For 50 years there has been a standstill in Rimini,” he concludes. “This is our renaissance, the good thing is we do not have to invent anything, it’s enough to revitalize our roots, even on the beach.”
Like California on the Mediterranean: That’s what the new Rimini should look like
Along the waterfront, however, the typical hotel boxes of the Adriatic coast line up as ever. They bear prestigious names such as “Diplomat Palace” and “Bristol”, but over 1.5 kilometers, the Lungomare (the old promenade) has been rebuilt and with its plants, fountains and benches reserved for pedestrians and cyclists, beach and sea just behind ,
I would like to book now. But that is also on the beach. It is wonderfully wide and endlessly long. Only a few kilometers further south, unreally blurred over a thin layer of haze, a green promontory builds up that seems to block the way. I’m running. Glistening sea to my left, salt air in the lungs, crunching seashells under my bare feet. This incredible vastness, this sky, this freedom! I could go on forever The sea has no limits, no one can build it, no matter how Rimini will evolve in the future.
Banal sunbathing is a thing of the past
“Is there anything better than looking at the sea?” Asks Gabriele Pagliarani from “Bagno 26”, opening a deck chair in the front row – elegant gray-beige under a natural white shade – and answers the question: “Of course not! “ In any case, the black-curled Bagnino (lifeguard), Mr. over 15 employees and 1000 beach chairs, tirelessly developed alternative offers for bathers: bar, restaurant and Chiringuito, one of these typical beach shacks, here with DJ set, there are already in Bagno. For this season, he has come up with green lawns and solar powered battery charging stations right on the screen.
Banal sunbathing is a thing of the past in Rimini. Wellness is announced. In many beach baths yoga and stretching is offered, qigong and pilates, massages anyway. I participate in a guided “Nordic Water Walking”, in which I push myself knee-deep through the water, pursued by the stunned glances of Italian seniors.
And in the evening I drive out on a sailing yacht for sunset meditation on the sea. We sit with our eyes closed in a circle, the boat is rocking, for real deep relaxation is a bit too bad for me. But when I open my eyes again, the hotel silhouette of Rimini lies before me, long drawn, bathed in pink evening shimmer. She looks familiar, yet completely alien, a magical city, as if Atlantis had risen from the sea. Sometimes even the most daring experiments succeed.
On the beach and in the city: The best tips for Rimini
Il Brigitta. On the atmospheric harbor canal, artist Brigitta has transformed her guestrooms into the city’s most charming address with Provençal wooden doors, old stone basins, white lacquered beds and colorful artworks. Relax alternative to the beach: the romantic inner garden full of climbing roses (Via Sinistra del Porto 88/90, Tel. 339/481 64 86, www.airbnb.de/rooms/6830011 ).
i-suite hotel. Sea view of almost all suites, design in cool white and plenty of flat screens. It feels a bit like “Star Trek”. And hoping for at least one rainy day to enjoy the wonderful sea view from the panoramic top-floor spa (Viale Regina Elena 28, Tel. 05 41/30 96 71, www.i-suite.it ).
DuoMo. Modern hotel in the middle of the old town. Designer and architect Ron Arad designed it, along with the chic, yacht-style bathrooms and the bar, where even young locals love to meet for an aperitif (Via Giordano Bruno 28, Tel. 05 41/242 15, www.duomohotel.com ).
Nud and Crud. “Piadine” is everywhere in Rimini. But nowhere are the pasta patties so well filled with regional delicacies as here – with Carpegna ham, organic pecorino, Adriatic sardines … and everything tastes good. From 4.50 euros, decent wines and Andechs beer! (Via Tibero 27/29, Tel. 05 41/290 09, www.nudecrud.it )
Osteria de Borg. You can sit romantically outside on the small piazza as well as inside the pizza oven. Rather no tip for vegetarians, because here is very rustic cooked up. For example polenta with sausage sauce, tagliatelle with ragout (9 euros) and grilled mutton (13 euros). Luscious portions and good mood! (Via Forzieri 12, Tel. 05 41/560 74, www.osteriadeborg.it )
Abocar Due Cucine. Rimini’s best address! A young Argentine-Italian couple is at work here. Creative, committed and awfully nice. There are sepia with shallots and lemon, green asparagus with egg and hazelnuts and lamb with broad beans and tarragon. Much visited by local gourmets. Small menu 33 Euro (Via Carlo Farini 13/15, Tel. 05 41/222 79, http://abocarduecucine.it ).
Enoteca del Teatro. Tourists rarely get lost in this picturesque corner in Borgo San Giuliano, where Riccardo Agostini gives away 20 different open wines, including a wonderfully sparkling organic Lambrusco for 3 euros. These grissini and a nice audience. (Via Ortaggi 12, Tel. 05 41/718 80 or 3486424890)
Dalla Jole. Under the blue awning on the harbor canal you can find the mayor, his councilors and many other Rimini VIPs. Bar with a relaxed atmosphere, ideal for a coffee or aperitif. Great wine list, topped by the finest bites. (Via Destra del Porto 27, Tel. 338/818 92 90, www.dallajole.com )
In Rimini there are few chain stores and many nice little boutiques that offer real “Made in Italy” at affordable prices. Especially pretty: Laltrastoria , where I treated myself to a red leather handbag for 79 euros and a black top, to which I compliment all (Via Sigismondo 44). Another good address is the shop of Rame , a label from Emilia-Romagna, with feminine, narrow-cut parts. (Via Gambalunga 17).
Wellness on the beach. Roberto Gamberini organizes shiatsu and yoga, belly dancing and pilates, bio gymnastics and much more with his agency “Spiagge del Benessere”. Participation is free. He also organizes meditation trips by sailboat (38 euros). ( www.lespiaggedelbenessere.it )
The country code is 0039; Area code is always dialed, from abroad, including the “0”; Mobile phone codes, on the other hand, always start without “0”.
Author Annette Rübesamen explores Rimini by bike and learns: The Arch of Augustus is one of the Roman remains of the city
Look! The old town with its narrow streets and colorful facades is one of the finest in Italy
The “Ponte di Tiberio” leads across the river Marecchia and should soon be closed to traffic
The “Piazza Tre Martiri” with cafes and restaurants is a nice change from the beach life