Between art and history

Rimini dates back to the era of ancient Rome. Founded in 268 B.C., it was originally called Ariminum and rose at the crossroads of the principal communication routes. 
Located in a strategic position with a well-defended port, the city soon became an important commercial centre.
Under the rule of Augustus, it became a Roman colony and reached its greatest splendour with the building of great public works, many of which are still standing.
Centuries later, another important epoch left its historic and artistic mark on the region: the rule of the Malatesta family. The 14th and 15th centuries were a thriving artistic period and an era of great wealth. Imposing castles, citadels, and fortresses, indicative of this epoch, are still scattered about the region.
A journey in search of the traces and signs left by the region's cultural and artistic history is sure to be stimulating and extremely interesting. Just take a walk through the streets of Rimini or, perhaps, wander through the Conca and the Marecchia valleys and immerse yourself in the charms of the inland, which is rich in history, ancient villages, castles, fortresses, parish churches and monasteries… and, naturally, works of art.

Visit rimini

The city walls, the Arco d'Augusto (The Arch of Augustus), the Ponte di Tiberio (Tiberius Bridge), and the Roman amphitheatre are only some of the most important artistic attractions in Rimini. History has left us a veritable plethora of treasures, like the Palazzo dell'Arengo, in the beautiful Piazza Cavour or the Medieval Church of Sant'Agostino (1274), an artistically important building that houses the best works of the Riminese painting school of the 14th century.
Rimini's greatest artistic period came during the Medieval age under the Malatesta family as is best seen at the Tempio Malatestiano and Castel Sismondo.
The Tempio Malatestiano, the work of Leon Battista Alberti and a veritable jewel of the Italian Renaissance, has today been magnificently restored. It holds the tombs of Sigismondo and Isotta and invaluable artworks, like the bas-reliefs by Agostino di Duccio, the Crocefisso painted on a panel by Giotto, and other works by Piero della Francesca and Vasari.
Castel Sismondo is an imposing fortress in the heart of the city. Built under Sigismondo Malatesta, today, at last, it has been restored and opened to the public and can host exhibits and cultural events within its truly magnificent walls.
To learn more about Rimini's museums, which hold a great number of artistic and cultural treasures, please see the section entitled Museum.

Archeological sites

Entering Rimini along the Via Flaminia, you'll see the Arco di Augusto (The Arch of Augustus): a solemn monument, dating back to 27 B.C, the oldest in Roman history.
On the Via Emilia you'll find the Ponte di Tiberio (The Tiberius Bridge), on the Marecchia River, which was inaugurated in 21 A.D. and is unique for the oblique form of its pilasters.
In the city you'll find the remains of a beautiful Amphitheatre that dates back to the 2nd century A.D. It is still used to host theatre performances.
The Rimini region is also proud of its past as the cradle of the pre-Etruscan Villanovan civilisation, which occupied the area between the 9th and 7th centuries B.C.
In fact, over the centuries, three Villanovan necropolises have been unearthed around Verucchio, and 400 tombs and precious artefacts have been found.
Today, you will find all of these artefacts preserved at the Museo Archeologico in Verucchio. The collection houses some very rare and interesting pieces, including unique objects in wood, ancient fabrics, weapons and jewellery, and an exceptional inlaid throne.


The Surgeon's house in Rimini

The Surgeon's House was inaugurated on 7 December 2007. The important archaeological complex, situated in Piazza Ferrari, was discovered in 1989 and presented to the city of Rimini after 18 years of excavation and conservation activities. The archaeological area covering more than 700 square metres includes many different building elements, among which the most interesting is the so-called Surgeon's House (Domus). This was a residential building of the Roman period , built during the second half of the 2nd century A.D. Other finds of great archaeological interest were unearthed: remains of buildings dating probably to the Late Republic period, traces of an Early Medieval settlement as well as a burial ground. The complex provide us with an exceptional example of historical and urban stratification.

With a great deal of care and patience, the archaeologists of Rimini have brought to light a singular historical patrimony.