If Sigismondo Malatesta a famous 15th Century Lord of Rimini came back, what would he make of Rimini today? Apart from some of the obvious differences between the renaissance city of Malatesta and the modern city today, (Malatesta's castle is still standing) the presence of cars, modern buildings and electrical lighting would probably amaze him. The most amazing thing though apart from the above would probably be Rimini's move to the coast.
The city of Rimini in Malatesta's era had its defences inn which ran around what is today known as the centro storico. When Sigismondo Malatesta came to power he decided a change was in order and promptly embarked on a vast building program which included the Tempio
Malatesta – one of the finest examples of neo-classical architecture in Europe – and his mysterious and very modern fortress, the Rocca Malatesta. The city of Malatesta was built on top of the existing city – in other words on the site of the Roman city of Ariminum which was founded in the year 286 BC Malatesta used the existing Roman monuments at the time, including the famous Ponte di Tiberio and Arco d'Augustoand incorporated them into his city. These famous monuments can still be seen today on your trip to Rimini.
Taking a walk around Rimini today, Malatesta would find the beautiful sandy beaches and their magnetism quite puzzling during the summer months. Back in Malatesta's day the practice of lying in the sun on the beach and going for a dip would have been strange if not dangerous as the beaches back then were places for smuggling and brigandry as they were away from the city of Rimini's main defenses. Italian cities just like
Rimini were often at war with each other and were in continuous conflict with their neighbors. Malatesta, through his life was in a continuous power struggle with Federico da Montefeltro, Lord of Urbino and also the Pope.We also know that Pope Pius II excommunicated Sigismondo in 1460 declaring him a heretic.
So when did Rimini start to become a city that is, for Italians and the many tourists from the world over, synchronous with sun, sea, and sand? In his fascinating study of the history of sea bathing in Rimini – Una costa lunga due secoli (Panozzo Editore), Professor Feruccio Farina, of the University of Urbino, sheds light on one of the first tourist to take a dip in the beautiful sea in Rimini. Her name was Elisabeth Kenny, and she was the young Irish wife of a Roman noble. Professor Feruccio Farina says that she is recorded as having visited the city of Rimini in the summer month of August of 1790 (over 300 years after the death of Sigismondo Malatesta), and stayed for over two weeks to benefit from the wonderful sea air and waves .
Rimini is one of those classic holiday destinations for Italians and tourist alike. Rimini has been blessed with sun, sand and sea as well as culture. The classic beach holiday and culture holiday coexist here in Rimini much to the delight of all that arrive here. Rimini is easily reached by numerous direct flights from many cities around Europe.
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