Italy – the perfect trifecta of history, food and natural beauty. People fly to Rome just for a quick view of the Colosseum and a plate of homemade tagliatelle. But what if I told you, you can have all this and also be on the beach? Rimini, Italy is one of those destinations you should add to your Italian itinerary to get a bit of sun along with your food and fun adventure.
Where is Rimini, Italy?
Getting to Rimini, and then getting around Rimini is going to be the biggest challenge of your visit. But once these logistics are ironed out, you’re due to have a wonderful experience in this charming beach town.
If coming from the U.S., one of the closest airports to fly to is Milan. Another option is the region of Ancona, about an hour’s drive or train from Rimini. Check Skyscanner for the latest rates and routes. Depending on the time of year, you’ll have several options for making it to Rimini, Italy.
While Rimini is wonderful, it might be best to include it as a stop on a longer trip through Italy. You can fly into Rome, then rent a car or take the train direct to Rimini from there. Florence is within driving distance, as well as much of the rolling Tuscan region. You could take trains or drive to the Amalfi coast too on the east coast of Italy.
Have a look at our review of Adler Thermae in Tuscany – only three hours from Rimini.
If you’d rather spend your trip funds on seafood and Aperol spritz, that’s perfectly fine! There are public buses available throughout Rimini. They can be difficult to navigate and often still require a hearty walk in the heat from places like the marina and beaches. It’s worth investing in a rental car or taxis to get around. Or, simply plan to be in one area of Rimini throughout the day to limit your time in transit.
Consider a private guide who has access to a vehicle if you’d like to explore the old part of time alongside the beaches. Bicycles are another great option, especially the e-bikes on hot days that give you a little electric boost to get around!
If you’d like to book any of these experiences below, feel free to check out the Rimini Experience page and use code ‘WANDERGYRE’ for a special discount!
A Loose 3-Day Rimini and Romagna Itinerary
- Day 1: Yoga on the beach at sunrise, SUPing on the beach, then pasta/gelato time!
- Day 2: Half day sailboat cruise and Scamporella
- Day 3: Yoga class at Forma Mi, e-bike ride through Old Town
- Where to Stay in Rimini, Italy
- Where to Eat in Rimini
Yoga in Rimini, Italy
What is better than a gentle stretch and meditation with ocean waves lapping nearby? Rimini has a budding yoga community that welcomes those new and familiar with the practice. There are several studios to choose from, but the best experience can be yoga on the beach. You can book a group class around sunrise on Rimini Beach. Our instructor was very sweet, and catered to our skill level (as well as energy level!) with ease. She even led us through Nadi Shodhan Pranayama, or alternative nostril breathing, to help energise and revitalize the body for the rest of the day.
You can book this beach yoga experience through the Rimini website here, and use discount code ‘WANDERGYRE’ too.
Be clear about what kind of yoga you’d like to do while in Rimini. Just like any other place in Europe, there will be several different styles and classes offered. Also, if you plan to do something like a Vinyasa flow, note it might be in Italian, so you’ll have to be familiar with the moves to enjoy the experience.
At Forma Mi in the Borgo San Giuliano area of Rimini, there are some English classes available. You’ll think you’ve found a secret garden, as behind the gate doors is a lovely grassy area with swinging lounge areas and quiet places to relax. Class spaces inside are large too and airy.
Cruising and Paddling the Sea in Rimini
You see right away that most people spend their time in Rimini on the beach.
At the marina, you can get a lay of the land first by taking a ½ day sail cruise along the coast. It’s an easy breezy way to enjoy the sunshine with your pals. The ship is in excellent condition and accommodations a small group; we had about six on board and were very comfortable. A celebratory bottle of bubbles was also welcome after a hot day – not to mention the stop off for a swim!
There’s plenty of operators along the beaches you can book in excursions with right away. We used Riki’s Tribu, which offered a variety of great options from paddleboards (SUPing) to windsurfing. Take note of the wave situation, both experiences can be tough when the sea is a bit rough! But it was great to be in the water and reserving activities with them was a breeze.
Don’t skip Rimini’s Old Town!
If you love Italian history, design and charm, it’s well worth exploring the old city center. Get your fill of the seaside fun, then go in town for a treat. It’s definitely a walkable area, with several squares to explore and, obviously, gelato stops to try. You can go for a stroll, or try an e-bike tour to see all the hotspots. E-bikes are simple to learn to use and give you and extra motorized boost alongside pedalling.
Have a peek at the old fish market in the Piazza Cavour, which has a beautiful archway corridor outside that still stands centuries after it was created. Nearby is the stunning old theatre, as well as Rimini’s oldest bridge called the Ponte di Tiberio. The stones and framework of the bridge is more than two millennia, surrounded by pretty green parks.
PS – did you know all the public fountains in Rimini have potable water? I loved this sustainable and class feature of the city. I think many Italian cities have the same system, which is wonderful. Not many tourists know you can refill your water bottle anywhere!
Just Outside Rimini – Scamporella!
While in town, you need to reserve one evening to experience this magical spot. You’ll find the Scamporella event about 45 minutes outside Rimini near the town of Cesena. Consider driving or booking a private car to the spot so your wine intake can be unregulated!
It’s an olive grove and picnic spot among the hills. They’ve done a wonderful job keeping things simple, elegant and classically Italian. Guest arrive and can choose a slow ride via wagon through the groves, or pop down at their pre-arranged blanket area.
Each duo receives a beautiful basket full of local delicacies to start – like rosemary cheese and paprika chips. You can share blankets with up to six people. All wine is included as well, so simply hop to the bar and pick up a bottle or red or white with stemmed glasses. If you prefer a cocktail, they have a full list too.
Once you settle in and the sun starts to go down, you’re surrounded in twinkling lights hanging from the trees and Italian music wafting through the warm night air. Each guest is brought a hot main dish (we had homemade lasagna!) and a dessert to finish (tiramisu of course).
This gathering is obviously popular, so making arrangement ahead of time is advisable. If you’d like a discount and reservations online, feel free to use the code ‘WANDERGYRE’ on the Experience Rimini website.
Where to Stay in Rimini
There’s plenty of options for accommodations in Rimini, many of which offer sea views and comfortable quarters. I enjoyed my stay at the Oxygen Lifestyle Hotel, about 15-minutes drive from the ferris wheel and old town section of Rimini. This is a good option for a small group or family, as rooms are spacious and offer stage closets, pull-out futons and large bathrooms. Décor is unassuming in the room, but the balcony space and strong air conditioning were welcome amenities.
The sand is just nearby, but make sure you leave time to splash in the baby blue pool to cool down between activities. There’s beachfront just across the street and you can reserve loungers/umbrellas with the front desk. Speaking of the staff, they are wonderful warm and welcome upon arrival. You can easily have them assist with taxis, dinner reservations and more.
Don’t skip the breakfast – it’s sprawling and lovely to indulge while sipping a cappuccino and sampling the European-style charcuterie to begin the day.
Being near all the action might be your priority when it comes to accommodations. You can check out the Villa Rosa Riviera hotel, near the marina and some of the best beaches in town. Not only is it’s location ideal to avoid too much transit, but they also boast an amazing breakfast/brunch to indulge. It’s called Panenostro. Everything on the menu incorporated fresh ingredients, like local berries and baked goods.
For something more upscale, there is the gorgeous Grand Hotel. It’s setting looks straight out of a Wes Anderson movie, with elegant marbled details and sprawling, manicured grounds. The property boasts influence from French and Venetian style, with private access to a nearby beach and spa onsite.
Where to Eat in Rimini
You’ll need to fuel up alongside all these amazing experiences in the sun. There’s a good mix of tasty tourist spots and local haunts to keep you satisfied three meals a day.
Now the purists will freak out – but I really dug the cream/cheese pasts combos with seafood! It sounds crazy, but the best dish I had in Rimini was cacio e pepe with mussels. Have a plate for lunch at Osteria e Pataca near the Grand Hotel. Delicious.
Another local nosh is ‘piades’. They are like paninis, but more in a thin pita pocket-like bread. You can catch these all over town. The classic variety is stuffed with parma ham, arugula/rocket, and a soft cheese called ‘squacquerone’. Have one or two of these at the kitschy yet fun Lella al Mare. The owner is a hoot and likes to wear a flowered straw hat – also donned by all of the staff.
Her first place is La Romana for gelato. There was hot debate among those who live in Rimini for the perfect gelato spot, but many agreed this unassuming store font was the best around. Inside its elegant façade offered fresh, homemade flavors with lots of chocolate, fruit or nuts to satisfy all tastes. I chose lemon and strawberry but quickly wish I opted for the dark chocolate and coffee!
For a beautiful setting and perfect pasta dishes, you can head to Ristorante Pacini. It’s near the Castle of Montebello where they say that there is the ghost of “azzurrina”. It’s fun to visit the castle, then have a meal next door, all about 30 minutes from downtown Rimini.
Janine’s favorite dishes are the ‘gnocchi di patate consigliati al formaggio di fossa’, which are potato dumplings and cheese. A close second is the the traditional ‘tagliatelle al ragù’ or handmade noodles with meat sauce. Ristorante acini is also famous for the dessert called ‘porko spino’ (hedgehog), and the recipe remains a secret to this day.
Head there to enjoy the food a wonderful view over the countryside of Rimini.
If you’ve officially had your fill of housemade pasta, you can head to the city center of Rimini. Called l’ingrata, this restaurant specializes in meat dishes, such as carpaccio and Florentine steak. The house favorite is the ‘spiedone mix’ of barbecue meat. Definitely don’t miss the dessert trio of mascarpone too!
There’s a little bit of everything that will help you plan your upcoming trip to Rimini and the surrounding region of Romagna. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions. Enjoy all that Italy has to offer!