DO & SEE
Great food, shores and a legendary nightlife. Riviera has always been the top spot for Italian summers. With many Italian and foreign tourists, this strip of beach is a constellation of beautiful cities and great swimming bays.
But among all the cities, the most beautiful and interesting to visit is definitely Rimini. The historic center is a gem kept well-hidden. Among Roman ruins, medieval palaces, great shops and restaurants, it is great to come here not only in the summer but in other seasons as well.
Start your visit from the Tiberius Bridge. This bridge has crossed the Marecchia River from 1st century AD to the present. Today it joins the center with the Borgo San Giuliano. Among the sites of interest in Rimini, this is perhaps the most well-known monument in the city and during the more important events, such as the Pink Night, it is lit up at night.
Another Roman monument is the great Arch of Augustus, located on the opposite side from the Tiberius Bridge. It’s been located here since 29 BC and is the oldest Roman arch in the world which has remained intact through time. From here you can go to Corso d’Augusto, the shopping street of Rimini.
Boutiques and book shops will beckon you and is this the best spot to find nice souvenirs. If you need a tip of what to buy to take home, we suggest the most Italian thing: food!
Food in Rimini and all throughout the Riviera Romagnola is simply the best. Piadina is the Queen of the food. Simply made with flour, water and lard, Piadina is stuffed with sliced meat and cheese. The most typical one is made with cooked ham and squaquerone, a tasty spread cheese. You can buy the piadine to take home, and surely you will make all your friends happy. Among the many kiosks in the city, it is difficult to choose the one that is most tasty. You can get the best piadine from Della Lella in via Covignano, or at Casina del Bosco near Piazza Fellini.
Now that you are satisfied you can continue to visit the city. To keep with the Roman experience, a must see spot is the Surgeon’s Domus. This domus is located in Piazza Ferrari and is part of the Rimini Museum. The archaeological importance of this find is world famous as the oldest and best preserved surgical equipment on earth.
Now move to Piazza Cavour to see the incredible Pigna Fountain. Created by Giovanni de Carrara in 1543, the Fountain left even Leonardo da Vinci speechless. Made of white marble and with perfectly congruent shapes, it is one of the most beautiful Renaissance monuments in the city. Here in Piazza Cavour take some time to sit at the café tables and enjoy the sunset drinking a spritz and eating an aperitivo.
Do you know Fellini? Not many know that Fellini was from Rimini and here the streets are named after him with his movie titles. The fairy atmospheres from Fellini’s movies are easily recognizable in Borgo San Giuliano. This district is famous for its colorful walls. Just walk around and take your camera for lots of amazing shots.
The characteristic village of San Giuliano is immediately recognizable for its colorful walls and the atmosphere of past times … the same atmosphere that made Fellini famous and inspired many of his films.
Riviera is very famous in Italy for theme parks and good times. A week won’t be enough if you want to visit all the parks.
Italia in miniatura
This historic park opened in 1970 as a miniature park close to Rimini. With over 250 miniatures of famous Italian and European buildings in 1:25 scale, here you will travel all over Italy without moving from Emilia-Romagna. The best miniatures are the Colosseum, the leading tower of Pisa and the incredible Gran Canal of Venice.
Address: Via Popilia 239, Viserba
Aquafan is one of the first water parks built in Italy. Inaugurated in 1987, the park offers classic water rides (waterslides, wave pools etc.) and innovative experiences like the “Black Hole”, a scary water ride. Don’t forget to try some of the best rides like the the Kamikaze, a 90-meter long upward slope where the descent reaches the adrenaline-packed speed of 70 km/h, or the Extreme River, a half-pipe ramp that slides effortlessly along in fluid motion until it drops.
Address: Via Ascoli Piceno 6, Riccione
This amusement park is located not far from Ravenna and is the biggest park in Italy. Full of rides, roller coasters and great experiences, this park will give you spins and laps. An entire day is needed to visit this large park, but the best attractions are Katun, an inverted roller coaster; Divertical, the tallest water coaster in the world and Eurowheel, an incredible ferris wheel.
Address: SS16, km 162, Savio
Oltremare is a nature-technological theme park specializing in the protection of unusual species of animals both on the land and in the sea. The attractions are especially focused on sea animals, namely teacups, aquariums, sea shows and small natural reserves. This park opened in 2004 and offers different areas to discover and amazing experiences for animals lovers.
Address: Via Ascoli Piceno 6, Riccione
Acquario of Cattolica
Founded in 2000, this aquarium is the second largest in Italy and the biggest one in the Riviera. Totally renovated, the Aquarium is an amazing building full of history and sea tradition. With themed exhibitions, bars, shops and restaurants, this is the perfect place to learn about the Adriatic sea.
Address: Piazzale delle Nazioni 1A, Cattolica
The beaches of the Riviera Romagnola are not really a land paradise, but the well-equipped beaches are the best in Italy. Here you can bathe without sacrificing any comfort, choosing from jacuzzis on the beach, motorized sunshades and spaces as big as a hotel room.
Lungomare – Viale Libertà, Riccione
In Riccione the most gay friendly spots are the beaches along the seafront of Viale Libertà, very close to the posh street Viale Ceccarini. With DJ sets all day long and long beaches to choose from, it will be easy to find gay-friendly spots to sunbathe and have a good time.
Marano Beach – Riccione
Swimming pools on the beach, jacuzzis and all the comfort you can imagine are found in this “Bagno”. But if you find a spot on the nearby free beach you will discover a good gay place to meet other men.
Chiringuito Tiki Beach Bagno 26
This beach is where the Rimini Summer Pride usually ends and is a wild, wild spot. Very gay friendly, here you find amazing DJ sets at sunset all week long. Grab a drink and enjoy your time dancing well into the night.
The Riviera Romagnola is a very good spot to spend a week of holiday and it’s only about beaches and parties. Nearby you can discover some of the very best places in all of Italy.
San Marino, which is technically not in Italy but is a state in itself (you won’t need visa to enter the country). This is a beautiful area, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. With a size of 61 km2, the main city is the amazing Serravalle with its beautiful historic center and a scenic castle. But San Marino is also very famous for tax-free shopping. Everything is inexpensive and tourists and Italians come here to buy everything, especially perfumes that cost very little.
Castello di Montebello
The Montebello Castle is one of many castles scattered around the area but it is very famous because of a popular medieval legend. It is said that in the castle there is the ghost of a dead baby. Azzurrina (literally light blue) was born albino, and since albinos were thought to be related to the devil, their parents blackened her hair, so she looked different from how she was born. During a storm, Azzurrina was found dead and from that moment on, every five years and during the summer solstice, it is said that Azzurrina returns to the castle to scare visitors. Do not miss this night time sight on the gost trails; it’s an incredible and powerful experience.
Castello di Gradara
Less creepy than Montebello, the Gradara Castle is a medieval fortress located in the town of Gradara. Located at 142 meters above sea level, this place represents an extraordinary urban and architectural combination. This is also the place where the famous and tragic love story of Paolo and Francesca happened; caught in each other’s arms and killed by Gianciotto, Francesca’s husband. This story was also told by Dante in the Divine Comedy.
Even if Senigallia is a bit far from Rimini and Riccone, this is a great place to spend a day or two. The city itself is beautiful but the best time to go is during the Summer Jamboree Festival. This 50’s-themed festival is a week long celebration that attract 50’s lovers from all over the world. You will see pin-up girls going to the beach and very cool daddy-o’s dancing the lindy hop and doing the boogie woogie. Take some vintage clothes with you or borrow a hawaiian shirt and enjoy the party!
BEFORE YOUR TRIP
You can get to the Riviera Romagnola many different ways. Rimini International Airport is small and only a few flights fly here, mostly Russian-based or private jets. If you can not find a flight to Rimini, you can travel to the Bologna airport, where you can take a train that takes you to all the seaside cities in the Riviera in 30 minutes. Renting a car can be very useful if you want to visit nearby cities and parks, although it will not be difficult to find buses and tourist transfer stops throughout the summer.
There are several interesting festivals and fairs in the area, but the most famous are:
- June: Rimini Fitness Fair
- July: Rimini Summer Pride
- August: Riccione Summer Pride
- October: Tourism Fair
Is Riviera a gay friendly place?
For many years, the Riviera Romagnola been a favorite place to go in summer for both Italian locals and foreign tourists. Away from the throngs of crowds on holiday, the Riviera continues to enjoy a lively atmosphere thanks to lively clubs and historic gay places open all year round. 7/10
Gay life: Recently the Riviera is trying to bring back the gay tourism that has been a bit lost over the years. The Summer Pride, which is organized every year in Rimini, is a time of celebration and is frequented by many. Gay beaches and clubs attract a variety of people during the weekend. 7/10
Gay only: There are not many men-only clubs here, except one in Rimini, but you will easily find some cruising spots and gay beaches like Ponte Marano, a place between Rimini and Riccione. 6/10
The Riviera is a great spot if you are looking to relax. Rimini is a very gay friendly city and the only stares you get will be from Russian tourists. There are many here, but they can only resign themselves. 7/10