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Rimini is Italy's premier party spot, a long-established beach resort that has been attracting holidaymakers since 1843. With endless sandy beaches, a sleek marina and nearly 500 bars, Rimini caters for anyone seeking a lively seaside break in the sun. There are theme parks for fun loving families, and nightclubs galore for party lovers who want to dance till they drop. Once the home of the great Italian film director Federico Fellini, Rimini also has a small historic centre, and is within easy reach of a clutch of more peaceful Italian towns and cities. Inland the countryside is green and surprisingly unspoilt.
Rimini boasts 15km (9 miles) of prime sandy beachfront. However, this is divided into numerous private plots, each with its own facilities such as beach huts, sun umbrellas, loungers and toilets. Many beaches also offer games like table tennis, and sporting activities.
The old town of Rimini is well worth exploring. It has several Roman remains and a Renaissance monument, the Tempio Malatestiano. This is a stunning 15th-century temple that was built as a memorial tomb for the (fourth) wife of a powerful local ruler, Sigismondo Malatesta, and contains several pagan motifs. It also has a crucifix by the great artist Giotto. The countryside surrounding Rimini is home to several quiet villages that offer a peaceful respite from the rather brash beachfront.
Rimini is a great family resort. Not only are there clean beaches, and family-friendly restaurants and hotels, there are also plenty of attractions nearby. Fiabilandia (Via Cardono 15, Rivazzurra) is a theme park - billed as Italy's answer to Disneyland. Italy in Miniature (Via Popilia 239, Viserba) has a funfair and over 270 scale models of iconic Italian buildings. There is also Aquafan, a water park further along the coast which can be reached by bus from Rimini.
Bologna is a fine university city with plenty of cultural attractions, and a reputation for fine food. The streets are lined with porticoes, allowing shelter from the sun while shopping. Closer to Rimini is Ravenna, just an hour away by train. This tiny city is famous for its mosaics, and eight monuments have been designated a collective World Heritage site. Closer to the city is the tiny Republic of San Marino. The smallest republic in the world, it is on many tourist routes. Collectors love it, as it has its own mint and produces its own postage stamps.
Stay at Rimini's best known hotel, the 5-star Grand (Parco Federico Fellini) (www.grandhotelrimini.com), which opened in 1908 and was immortalised by Federico Fellini in several of his films. It has extensive grounds and an exclusive private beach, as well as sumptuous rooms and several restaurants.