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Roman Rimini

Everybody knows the most famous vacation destination in Europe.  But Rimini, or better ancient Ariminum, is also a city of art with over 22 centuries of history.


Tiberius Bridge


Rimini is a Roman city and certainly not just any old city, but one of the most important of ancient Rome.  The official date of its founding is 268 BC when the Senate of Rome sent 6000 colonists to establish a new settlement there which took the name of the river Marecchia (Ariminus).


In the beginning it was a strategic settlement.  Then (90 BC) it became a “municipium”, and finally a blossoming city of the Roman empire, with a grand forum (piazza Tre Martiri), two central streets - the cardo maximus (via Garibaldi and IV Novembre) and the decumanus maximus (corso d’Augusto) – and triumphal monuments: the Tiberus Bridge and Augustus’s Arch.  And let’s not forget a rarity: the Surgeon’s Domus, a unique medical clinic from the ancient Roman world, miraculously still intact in 2011 AD.


Augustus ArchAmong the great works decided upon by the Senate of Rome, there are the two Roman roads: the via Flaminia and the via Emilia.  The first connects Rome to Rimini and ends at Augustus’s Arch.  The via Emilia starts at the Tiberus Bridge and runs 100 km to Piacenza.


It is a delight to walk among these historic places where cars are not allowed and every five minutes you run into a monument.  To begin to get to know Roman Rimini, you must begin at Augustus’s Arch, the most ancient of the surviving Roman arches.  Located in a strategic position – marking the end of the via Flaminia – it was commissioned by Emperor Augustus in 27 BC.


The tour continues with the Tiberus Bridge.  One of the most noteworthy Roman bridges still around, began by Augustus in 14 AD and completed by Tiberus in 21 AD, it is impressive because of its architectonic design, the size of its structures and the building technique used.


Not many people know it, but this city also had a large amphitheater – only the Coliseum was larger – that was always crowded and held more than 12,000 spectators, with only 1800 seats not covered.  Here a convent and other buildings were built.  Today, only the ruins of the amphitheater on the side nearest the sea are visible.  Guided tours of the site are organized by the City Museum.


The grand finale of the tour must not be missed: a stop in piazza Ferrari at the little Rimini Pompei, the archeological site called the Surgeon’s Domus.  This exceptional archeological find was discovered right here: it held the most complete surgical toolset from the Roman era found to date.


First visitors will be astonished by the 700 square meter archeological area in which the working instruments of a surgeon who worked inside a house of Ariminum in the 3rd century, used in part for practicing medicine and as a pharmacy, were found.


An excavation that the architectonic work protects and emphasizes available for all passersby to see.  The structure is set into the urban space around it, integrating itself into the garden of piazza Ferrari.  On the inside there is a system of transparent walkways, suspended over the ancient structures, making it easier to visit them.


Luck would have it that the Domus is located right next to the Museum, which makes up an important part of the tour of this site.  The City Museum houses, in fact, the exceptional surgical instruments found in the domus.


For tourist information:

Office of Rimini

Last modified Jan 10, 2017

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