Last destination in our three-weeks road-trip through Italy with 6-months old Eric, Rimini helped us remember the summer and the holiday season was over and that we need to go back home. While when we arrived in Italy we still felt the summer mood, now we were approaching the end of September and both the weather was turning grey and touristic activities were slowing down.
One of the most famous seaside resorts in the whole Europe, touristic destination since mid XIXth century, Rimini has more than 1,000 hotels spread along 15 km of large sandy beach, sometimes even 200 m wide. I have to admit these numbers are impressive but, to be honest, it didn’t seem a big deal for me. I was never a “beach person”, I don’t stay in the sun and I prefer anytime a rocky shore with spectacular cliffs to a vast area of sand and sea. Moreover, I think it is pointless and boring to go on a holiday just to lay on a sun-bed, even in a beautiful, private place, but to stay on the beach together with thousands of other people aligned next to each other is something I can’t understand. But that’s just me and I’m sure I wouldn’t have liked Rimini in high season, despite its enormous success. On the other hand now, when the summer was over and the touristic bustle was over, we enjoyed walking on the almost empty beach, where most of the people were actually workers preparing the premises for the off-season. Eric loved being again in a quiet and crowd-free setup and could peacefully sleep in his stroller, which wasn’t usual for him at that age, relaxed probably by the sound of the sea.
But Rimini doesn’t mean only beaches! Important establishment since the Roman times and with an active role in the artistic and also political development of Italy, it has various landmarks to be visited. We walked on the cobble stone alleys from the historical centre, where we’ve seen pieces of its 22 centuries of history: Roman age Arch of Augustus and Tiberius Bridge, medieval Church of Sant’Agostino, Renascence Temple Maltesiano, countless palaces and mansions with Baroque and Art Nouveau influence. You can’t really tell that a significant part of the city was destroyed during the Second World War, as it was properly reconstructed and restored to preserve and value its historic and artistic value.
Last days spent in Italy couldn’t be spent without eating… a lot… again! There’s something about Italian cuisine that we just can’t get enough. We were sure to miss pasta, pizza, gelato and all the other goodies, so we wanted to have as much as possible while we were still there. There’s enough time for dieting post-vacation. And now, that we passed through several different regions in a short period of time, we could better feel the differences between cooking styles in various Italian regions, all delicious, of course.
Since we were very close to San Marino, it was a great occasion to have a day trip there as well, marking another country on our travel map. One of the smallest states in the world, with just about 33 thousand citizens living on 61 square km, San Marino is also one of the oldest republics in the whole world, the last reminiscence from the Italian city-states era. Located in the Apennine Mountains, the landscape is dominated by Mount Titano, that hosts ancient fortifications and the capital, the City of San Marino. Listed as UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008, the city is small enough to just walk around through old streets and piazzas, visiting small souvenir shops, lots of them selling all kind of swords and knives (weird souvenirs if you ask me!). Pedestrian-friendly, San Marino is not necessary stroller-friendly also, as due to the hilly terrain it has lots of steep areas and stairs, but we already got used with them on this holiday. On the city walls there are some points offering a great panorama to the whole region. Unfortunately the weather was not very favourable to us, with low clouds and a bit of rain, but we did not let it ruin our vacation mood.
We left Rimini nostalgic, but in the same time happy to go home. Our first big trip in three was a top success, so we had to plan for the next destinations to be checked together. We got a big portion of Italy this time and there are other countries waiting for us to discover their beauty.
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