Ever since the 1700's the Romagna Riviera lent itself to "spontaneous" tourism, yet it was officially established with the opening of the first organised beach, the 30th of July 1843, in Rimini. From that date on, the city of Rimini itself, as well as the other Romagna towns looking onto the Adriatic, have become growingly central in Italy's tourist industry. Initially only nobles and highest middle class would use the area, but holidaying on the Riviera gradually grew to being a mass phenomenon. A trace of the first period remains in the splendid villas and hotels, first and foremost Rimini's Grand Hotel, which was built around 1906. The second period reached its peak in the Fifties and Sixties, when the Riviera was a destination for mass tourism on one hand, and the setting for the dolce vita, unruly and seductive, of actors, artists, international playboys on the other.
Today the Romagna Riviera offers its guests tourist services of the highest quality, cultural holidays through itineraries of great richness, fun for everyone, from children to the elderly, and itineraries through extraordinarily beautiful nature.
It is quite impossible to describe all of the Riviera's artistic heritage. The landscape itself, with its ancient villages scattered along sweet hills, deserves special attention; if you consider that the Riviera is made up by many different locations, each with its own history and peculiarities, you easily realise how many experiences are possible along the coast and in the inlands. In Rimini, for example, you must stop under the Arco di Augusto and walk along Tiberio's bridge, the former marking the end of Via Flaminia and the latter the beginning of Via Emilia, both a memory of the city's Roman past. Still in Rimini, you can admire the sober elegance of the Malatesta Temple, an ancient Franciscan church of the 15th century, chosen by the powerful family as a burial place and decorated by important artists and architects, from Leon Battista Alberti to Piero della Francesca. A remain of the Malatesta domination is also the Malatesta Fortress in Cattolica, built in 1490. Finally, those who go the Romagna Riviera for a holiday must really pop in for a visit to the most ancient republic of the world, the Republic of San Marino, with its surprising fortress system made up of three strongholds connected by walls, dating back to the 12th century.
The Riviera offers lots of events, food fairs and traditional festivals: not just sea, therefore, for those who wish to spend a few days on the Adriatic. Among fixed dates, it's worth seeing the International Kite Festival, which is held in Cervia since 1981 attracting kite lovers and curious people. Every year in June the Witches' Night takes place in San Giovanni in Marignano, in province of Rimini, uniting Christian and pagan tradition in five days of shows, street markets and performances.