Rimini, Italy is a very well known beach resort on the Adriatic Sea in north east part of Italy. It is located in the Emilia-Romagna region, and is the capital city of the Province of a Rimini. It is approximately an hour and 20 minute drive south east of Bologna and 2 1/2 hours from Florence. Rimini is the smallest of the three cities that we visited with a population of a little over 150,000.
Rimini has a 10 mile stretch of beaches that is filled with restaurants, hotels, volleyball nets and a lovely paved walkways.
It is also the hometown of Federico Fellini the famous Italian film Director. He said to influenced contemporary filmmakers, like Martin Scorsese, David, Lynch, and Tim Burton.
La Dolce Vita is an example of classic films that Fellini brought to life. When you mention Italian movies you think of Fellini.
During World War II, there was a lot of bombing of Rimini. Almost 80% of the city was destroyed, so there are a lot of newer buildings vs the other cities we had visited.
We hired a driver to take us from Modena to Rimini. The comedienne, Heather McMahan, had visited this winery while she was in Italy getting married so we decided to make this a stop. It turns out to be one of our favorite winery experiences ever at Enio Ottaviani. We had a lovely tasting and sat outside, absorbing the ambience of this beautiful winery.
If you have the time and are in the area, I highly recommend doing a full tasting. The tasting has some lovely nibbles to eat while exploring their beautifully curated wine list.
They were very kind and welcoming. It was a great way to start our visit to this part of Emilia-Romagna.
When we arrived in Rimini, we noticed that the city seems to be broken up into two main areas. The city centre which has more historical buildings and the beach district. We chose to stay in the beach district at the Grand Hotel Rimini well, because of Stanley Tucci.
Stanley Tucci shared this hotel on his CNN travel show when he visited Rimini. I was immediately in love with it all. When I looked at the website, I was afraid it was going to be way out of my price range since it is a five star hotel. Guess what? It wasn’t! I had paid more for a night at a hotel in Lubbock, TX then it was going to cost to stay here.
It is luxurious from the moment you step in to the hotel. From the bar where you can partake in apertivo, to the beautiful breakfast buffet that is set up on a daily basis, to their designated area on the beach, it was all first-rate and top notch. I can definitely see why this was a five star hotel.
We were greeted with such warmth and charm by everyone at the hotel. The gentleman checking us asked where we were planning on eating and when I told him he shared that he would not go to one of the restaurants and help me find another restaurant for that evening. More on that to come.
I took advantage of the spa and had a massage and a facial. It was an incredible experience, and was a great way to finish our time in Italy.
Once we got settled at the hotel we took a long walk from the hotel down to the beach and popped into some of the lovely shops along the way. We finally made it to a restaurant on the beach named Nettuno. Here we enjoyed a glass of wine and shared a tuna appetizer. The people watching it’s always the best near a beach, don’t you agree?
You can definitely tell that this is a beach area in comparison to the other cities that we had stayed at in Italy. It is a lot more laid back but still had that Italian flair. The shops and restaurants were geared towards tourists that visit this beautiful sea coast city but did not distract from my love of this area.
Our first night in Rimini we went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants of our whole trip, Osteria io e Simone. This was also featured in Stanley Tucci’s show, “Searching for Italy”.
We took a taxi to the city centre and as soon as he pulled up to drop us off, I was in love with this establishment. It looked so warm, inviting and cozy from the outside and it is located near the Tempio Malatestiano and the Mercato di Rimini.
This restaurant is very homey and definitely felt like a neighborhood spot. It was filled with locals, sharing wine and laughter. Not to mention they’re incredibly good food.
Of course, Scot scoured their wine list and chose a Nebbiolo late from the Langhe region from Cascina Fontana. Our waitress, Francesca was very engaging and knowledgeable. When we shared that we were from Texas and her eyes lit up. She asked if we were from Austin because she loves Matthew McConaughey. I explained that we weren’t far from Austin, in the wine country of Texas known as the Hill Country. I talked a little bit about how important Matthew is to the University of Texas and we chatted about our favorite movies of Matthews.
I couldn’t help myself and for my primi I ordered the Tortellini en Brodo. Scot devoured some Pumpkin Tortelloni’s. For the secondi course I had meatballs and Scot chose a beef dish with peas and tomatoes that he thoroughly enjoyed. I highly recommend stopping at this lovely restaurant. You will not be disappointed.
On our final day in Rimini, we decided to explore the city centre. I loved that you could feel the history around you. There wasn’t a ton of hustle and bustle so we got to soak up the sites.
We did a little shopping and ended up stopping for an apéritivo at one of the little wine shops. It was a little chilly outside, but the sun made it bearable. The streets were fairly quiet that day, and we felt like we got the city to ourselves. It was a bit magical.
That night for dinner we went to Lo Squero al Novecento, a beautiful seafood restaurant located within yards of our hotel. We were in a seaside town, so we had to have seafood, right?
The restaurant was beautiful. Wide open room with some modern touches. It was primarily in shades of blue to pair nicely with the beach location. When we arrived, we were identified on the reservation list as simply, Texas. I had to laugh because the gentleman at the hotel who had made the reservation for us spoke to him in very fast Italian but I distinctly heard him say TEXAS in a loud voice. I immediately started to laugh. It was a bit confusing for the host but with broken English/Italian exchange we finally got to our table.
Scot chose a lovely bottle of wine to pair with our seafood, heavy dinner.
We started by sharing a beef tartare with mustard sauce, capers, and a salted crumble. It was one of the best beef tartare as I have ever had.
For the primi course we shared Strozzapreti , a pasta also known as a “priest choker”. It’s kind of a long form of cavatelli, which is popular in this part of Italy. It was served with bacon and chicory and tossed with goat cheese.
For secondi course it was all about the seafood! Scot had the Frito Misto, Dell’Adriatico, which was basically mixed fried fish from the Adriatic Sea.
I had the Scamponi Dell’Adriatico alla Catalana which translates to shrimp from the Adriatic Catalan style. Catalon style is a very refreshing light salad that the warm shrimp are served on. The salad consisted of radicchio, celery, radishes, tomatoes, and onions. Man, was it every satisfying.
For dessert we had gelato and something resembling a tiramisu. We enjoyed our starlight walk back past the beautiful fountain to the hotel.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Rimini, and highly suggest visiting if you are in that part of Italy.
We will definitely check it out again and stay for a few extra days.