Rimini Riviera: a land of ancient origins

Rimini Riviera is a land of ancient origins, with a distinguished past which has left rich and precious tokens. A thousand years before the coming of Christ, the Etruscans founded in Verucchio one of the most flourishing centres of Villanovian civilisation. On the coast, the Romans founded Ariminum, marking the end of the Via Flaminia and the beginning of the Via Aemilia. Ever since, Rimini has been a meeting place, a crossroads of civilisations. Its Roman past has left imposing and fascinating traces in the town to this day: the Augustus Arch, Tiberius Bridge, the Amphitheatre, and the Surgeon’s House. There are traces too of a flourishing mediaeval town: Palazzo dell’Arengo and the splendid fourteenth-century frescos in Sant’Agostino church, masterpieces of a prolific School which drew its inspiration from Giotto. During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries these lands were ruled by the House of Malatesta, one of the most powerful families of the time. Its dominions extended through various regions of Italy, but the heart of the Seignory was always Rimini. Under Malatesta rule every inland village was fortified, and art and culture flourished. The Malatesta Temple was built in Rimini, one of the greater glories of Renaissance art, designed by Leon Battista Alberti and enriched with a Crucifix by Giotto, a fresco by Piero della Francesca, and carvings by Agostino di Duccio and Matteo de’ Pasti. Sigismondo Pandolfo built his sumptuous residence, Castel Sismondo, which now restored continues to dominate the historic core of Rimini. The rooms of the Fortress are used as a venue for Exhibitions of national and international significance. The Municipal Museum has (among other exhibits) a valuable collection of Roman engravings and an art gallery including works by the great masters who helped to write the history of art.

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