A Day in 19th and 20th century Rimini

Rimini’s tourist art, between Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau

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Rimini reached the peak of its splendour and elegance in the early 20th century. 

Like many coastal towns in Romagna, between the late 19th century and the early 20th century, it became a luxurious and sophisticated destination, brought on by the optimism of a gilded age that best expressed itself in architecture and tourism.

This was a golden period for all the cities in Romagna, which soon found themselves populated by a large number of unmistakeably elegant buildings, with a style that mixed neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau elements.

Also thanks to their proximity to the sea, many of those cities, including Rimini, became popular destinations for many middle-class families, who increasingly chose them for their holidays, and for building their Art Nouveau seaside houses, as was the custom throughout Europe.

This full-day walking tour will help you discover Rimini’s tourist core, at the beginning of the 20th century.

  • Length
    24 hours
  • Interests
    Art & Culture
  • Target
  • First stop - Viale Vespucci Rimini Marina Centro

    The 20th century Rimini tour starts in Viali delle Regine, a thoroughfare that runs parallel to Rimini's southern waterfront, and then proceeds to Piazzale Kennedy and onto Viale Vespucci.

    The latter, built in 1919, is one of the most iconic in the city, with its fascinating combination of ancient trees, luxury shops and trendy restaurants.

    Along this route, the first stop is the Cacciaguerra Villa, which in the 1930s was home to the famously fashionable Embassy Club. Here, celebrities such as Mina and Fred Buscaglione entertained their guests with unforgettable musical performances.

    A little further on, there is the elegant Villa Adriatica, from 1879, which was once the home of the Marquise Toulongeon Des Vergeres, before becoming a hotel. Hotel Villa Adriatica, founded in 1896 when the former villa was renovated, retains its ancient forms, and also a fascinating history, with illustrious guests such as the famous Eleonora Duse, who stayed here in 1897, beginning a tormented love affair with Gabriele D'Annunzio.

  • Second stop - Fellini Park Rimini Marina Centro

    The Fellini Park is the tourist heart of Rimini, located at the end of Viale Vespucci.

    Passing through it, you can admire the evocative Fontana dei Quattro Cavalli, and the bronze busts telling the story of the founders of the local tourism industry, the Riminese counts Ruggero and Alessandro Baldini.

    At the two corners of the park stand the Palazzina Roma, now used as the local tourist office, and its twin, the Palazzina Milano, now part of the Grand Hotel. These are the elements left of the magnificent Kursaal bathing resort, which was destroyed after the war.

    Even today, the legendary Grand Hotel, built between 1906 and 1908 by Swiss architect Paolito Somazzi, still exudes the luxury and cosmopolitanism of the Belle Époque. Both these buildings are immortalised in the precious 1913 short film 'Riminil’Ostenda d’Italia', preserved in the local film library.

  • Third stop - Viale Principe Amedeo Rimini Marina Centro

    Inaugurated in 1863 as the main link between the sea and the historic centre, Viale Principe Amedeo displays some of the most sumptuous and imposing mansions of the early 1900s Rimini. 

    Among these, a special mention goes to the Neo-Gothic Villa Solinas, still visible today. Built in 1874 by architect Gaetano Urbani for Sardinian deputy Gian Maria Solinas Apostoli, this villa is an exceptional example of the style and elegance of the period.

Last update 14/04/2024

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