Founded by the Romans in 268 BC, Rimini has been the scene of many disputes in its two-thousand year history. Significant traces of the city’s past remain today: the Arco di Augusto [the arch of Augustus (27 BC)], the Ponte di Tiberio [the Tiberius bridge (21 BC)], the Anfiteatro Romano [Roman amphitheatre (2nd century AC)], and, the Tempio Malatestiano, old church of San Francesco which in the 15th century Leon Battista Alberti, working to a commission by Sigismondo Malatesta, transformed into one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture anywhere in Italy. The 15th-century Castel Sismondo offers further testimony to the domination of the family which made such a mark on the history of Rimini.
Today, the old town is full of charm and vitality and rich in remains from its very eventful past. The Museo della Città houses a remarkable collection of 14th-century paintings by the Rimini school, as well as treasures from the Roman and medieval periods.
A valley flanked by great limestone crags on which fortresses and towers stand. This route goes from Santarcangelo to the hilltop from where Poggio Berni dominates the valley. On top of a rocky outcrop stands Torriana. A little further on lies Montebello. From yet another steep crag, the village of Verucchio.
Europe’s smallest and oldest republic was founded by Saint Marino, a stone-cutter monk who fled here to escape persecution by the emperor Diocletian in the 4th century.
San Marino lies on Monte Titano at a height of 760 metres above sea level and has plenty of monuments, attractions and traditions to offer visitors, as well as a long and proud history of freedom and independence. Particularly spectacular is the investiture ceremony of the Capitani Reggenti [the higher magistrature of the Republic], held every six months in evocation of an ancient protocol. The republic comprises nine villages, each with its own castle surrounded by gardens, museums and shops.
San Marino has its own mint, makes its own stamps and does not operate customs controls. There are excellent shopping opportunities along the main road leading from Rimini to Monte Titano, which is lined with shopping centres and other retail outlets.
The landscape becomes gentler and less steep as you approach the Valconca valley, which still bears the indelible traces of the 15th century Malatesta domination.steep crag, the village of Verucchio.