In Rimini , a new outdoor museum recently opened, dedicated to the history and traditions of Rimini seafaring. It is the Museo Diffuso della Marineria: a “barrierless museum” that brings sea landmarks together.
We recommend dividing the route into two days, between the historical centre and the Marina. While it is best to go by foot in the historical centre, on the first day, we recommend going by bike, following the port quays, and passing through the Darsena in San Giuliano, up to the Museo della Piccola Pesca in Viserbella.
Lungofiume degli Artisti flanks the deflector canal of the Marecchia River; it is characterized by the surviving fish huts, and decorated by murales on the back of the Barafonda houses, the nickname of the old San Giuliano Mare hamlet. The murales, made by local artists, depict seafaring scenes and stories (such as the one of the cachalot that ran aground on the San Giuliano beach, in 1943), and are complemented by Guido Lucchini dialectal poetry, creating an indissoluble link between these contemporary paintings and Rimini’s roots and traditions.
Rimini’s Porto Canale is built around the original mouth of the Marecchia River, with quays on two sides and extensions on two docks. It is considered a symbol of Rimini’s seafaring identity since the Roman, Medieval and Malatesta times.
Fishing-related activities are located to the left of the Port, such as the shipyards, the mechanical workshops, and the wholesale fish market.
On the Port Molo di Levante, the Lighthouse stands out, a seafaring symbol, watching over the Porto Canale from its 27 meters of height, with a luminous capacity of 15 nautical miles, while the last stretch of the dock, the historical 'Palata', is the place that inspired Director Fellini for the night appearance of the Rex ocean liner, in Amarcord, and for the walk in the fog of the protagonist of La prima notte di quiete, by Director Valerio Zurlini.
Rimini’s port landscape has long since been characterized by the presence of dry docks and shipyards, to build fishing boats, especially on the left side of the Port canal, and in the adjacent land. Today, after three generations, the Cantiere Navale Gori - an important reference point for the Adriatic Coast and its fishermen, due to its finely crafted maintenance work - and Cantiere Navale Carlini - founded right after the war, and popular for the creation of the Moro Di Venezia 1976 - are still standing.
Rimini’s Fish Market is one of the most important markets on the Adriatic Sea. Being tied to different sectors, such as catering, fish processing and trade through fish wholesalers and shops, the role of fishing in Rimini is extremely strategic. It all starts in the fish market, where the fish auction is held, with over 100 participants between fish shop owners, street vendors and wholesalers.
With its 622 places and a stretch of water of over 100,000 square meters, since 2002, the functional, structural and architectural features of Rimini’s new harbour make it an important hub, popular among sailing and yachting enthusiasts. Today, it is also a marina resort, with house boats. The tourist harbour features a fascinating and romantic 1200 meter elevated walkway overlooking the sea, and flanking the mooring docks.
In 1943, in San Giuliano a Mare, a big cachalot was killed by mistake by coastal navies, who had confused it for an enemy submarine. The event remained imprinted at the time, and is remembered by a sculpture by Elio Morri, the most important 20th century sculptor from Rimini. It was inaugurated on 29 June 1969, and it is still present on the so-called Whale Square.
The Museo della Marineria e delle Conchiglie in Viserbella was built in 1999 by a group of citizens strongly committed to recovering the history and traditions of this small hamlet, in one portion of the coast north of Rimini. The museum name is inspired by the iron tool used for fishing clams, and it houses vintage documents on small-scale fishing habits and customs, artefacts and equipment. It also displays typical boat collections, such as battane and rowing mosconi, fishing equipment and tools belonging to shipwrights and caulkers. It also features the Collezione Capici, the most important shell collection of the Mediterranean Sea, and a section dedicated to the fossils donated by Ivilia Rosa da Torino. To visit the museum, contact them directly.
Crossing the Ponte di Tiberio (Link), Borgo San Giuliano is famous for its alleys, squares and houses with colourful murales made by Rimini painters, which depict the films and life of Director Federico Fellini, who managed to narrate the hamlet’s life in a poetic and nostalgic manner.
This ancient, picture-perfect hamlet, between the end of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, was the old fishermen quarter. Recorded by the Società de Borg in 2009, old sailor and fisherman homes have been identified and marked by ceramic tiles, decorated with sailboats painted by Giuliano Maroncelli. In the ancient hamlet centre, the Church of San Giuliano Martire hosts the Venetian School’s masterpiece Il martirio di San Giuliano by the Veronese, Bittino da Faenza’s polyptych with the Martirio di S.Giuliano, and the urn with the Saint’s remains.
The Fish Market at the San Francesco Market Hall (Mercato Coperto) is the biggest and best stocked fish shop of the area, with over 60 sales counters, where you can buy fresh fish brought in every day by the fishing boats. Here, you can still meet the true people of Romagna, who, apart from selling their products, will also give you tips on how to clean and cook your fish. The Market is open from Monday to Saturday, from 7:00 am to 7:45 pm, all day long for all sectors, including the fish shop, with no midweek closing day.
On the left side of Piazza Cavour, in Rimini’s historical centre, you will find the entrance to the old fish shop, a wonderful example of functional architecture for a fish market. By Rimini architect Giovan Francesco Buonamici, it was built in 1747. Ice-houses in underground holes were built to store fresh fish near Castel Sismondo’s walls and trenches, at the service of the Fish Market.
In the Museo della Città di Rimini (City Museum), you can see the tale of man’s journey in the Rimini territory, from prehistoric times to the contemporary era. A one million year long tale, which starts on the beach and traces the changes of the city and of its artistic culture until the 20th century.
Here, the archaeological section houses the famous Diotallevi Mosaic, found in 1976 during excavations at Palazzo Diotallevi, in the historical centre, which shows two sailboats, about to enter Rimini’s ancient port on one side, while a pilot or lighthouse keeper signals from a tower. The black and white floor mosaic (1st-2nd century a.C.) is completed by the figure of Hercules, the mythical founder of Ariminum, in the act of raising a libation cup, a port scene alluding to the outstanding fortune in its seafaring business. Hypothetically, it shows the ancient harbour, 172 meters from the city walls, between the Ampitheatre and the current railway station area. Perhaps, the famous loads of goods and bricks directed to the other side of the Adriatic sea set sail from here.
To know more: museicomunalirimini.it/museo-diffuso-marineria-riminese