A lazy smoky morning welcomes me in Bellaria in this first day of the blog tour organized by Hotel San Salvador. I know this small town very well. It’s a quiet, cozy, slow place. Quite a paradise if you think that Rimini and its madness are a few kilometer from here. Stefano and Federico Poggi are the owners of the Hotel. Two smart brothers, indeed. “ I saw the façade in Sweden, so I called my architect and told him, I want it exactly like this!”, told me Federico.
White, with a contemporary glamorous Miami style. It’s a good beginning and it’s quite uncommon. Most of the hotels here, although nice and comfortable, still have a 70’s design. Notwithstanding the real lack of a feminine touch, even the interior of the hotel has a fresh, shabby chic allure, with a fantastic open view kitchen where you can watch the chefs (all coming from surrounding towns and all local) working and preparing the food.
Just the time to enter my huge room and it’s time to meet my fellow bloggers and leave towards Santarcangelo.
The beach is the real deal here: the Adriatic Riviera was very famous in the 50’s and 60’s because of the comfortable hotels, the taste of tradition given by the local people and the sea, not so deep as others in Europe and with a lovely warm climate.
But not far away from here, just behind the line of the beach, you can see the slow, smooth skyline of the hills, full of little spots to discover, medieval boroughs, vineyards and much more.
Santarcangelo: the culture of Sangiovese
Santarcangelo is one of these pearls: the center point of the town is a crossroad that gathers 5 streets, 2 going to the old borough and to the Malatesta Castle, and the others going towards the ancient via Emilia. Stay there for a while, sit in a typical bar with a cappuccino and listen to the people talking. You will perceive the essence of Romagna. Tradition, wellbeing, slow rhythm and an underlying happiness that shines on their faces. Here the doors are not locked, everyone know each other and trust each other. Something is really rare to find nowadays.
This place has also another appealing element: it is the home land of Sangiovese, the scented red wine, typical of Romagna. The legend tells that the Capuchin Fathers of the Santarcangelo Convent, skilled vine growers, one day gave hospitality to a very important person, a bishop. During the banquet, they served him a cup of their best wine. The host was stunned by the excellence of the beverage and asked its name. The wine had no name, but one of the monks, inspired by the name of the hill on which the monastery is built and the intense color of the wine (as red as blood), immediately replied “Blood of Jupiter”. Only over time, the name changed into “Sangiovese”.
The borough is worth a one day visit: starting from the ancient caves, the small but unique Button’s Museum, the narrow lanes with flowers and the dreaming museum of Tonino Guerra, poet and writer who worked with Federico Fellini. Take your time to stop at two top places: the shop of Marchi family, since 1633 producing the typical printed linen of Romagna (ask Gabriele to show you the Mangano and the old way of printing tissues), and the Sangiovesa, the kingdom of Piadina, squacquerone cheese and tagliatelle.
Rimini is history and movida
The Rimini of Fellini is not so far, just a few kilometers on the via Emilia and you will enter the borough of San Giuliano, right on the other side of the famous Tiberio Bridge. A little fishermen spot that has the Cote d’Azure allure, with its colored and brilliant houses, the pottery plaquette on the walls telling the history of the owner and the wall Murales.
Though I do not speak dialect, it was fun reading the phrases and understand them, in their old wise way to express their life and how hard it was at those times. The houses are still owned by old people, retired fishermen that once every two years open their houses to the visitors, during the Festa de Borg (party of the borough). This is maybe one of the places in Rimini that kept its original shape and mood.
Rimini has a very important history and it was nice and uncommon to have a special storyteller with us, who, other than telling us some historical facts, enjoyed us with some dialect poems of Tonino Guerra. History can be boring if you do not have the right guy that let you discover some gossip, too!
If you do not have a lot of time and do not want to spend it visiting the city museums, just walk from the Tiberio Bridge (2000 years of life) and go along the so called Decumano, the road going from East to West of the town, until you reach the August arch, a wonderful example of the majesty of Roman Empire.
Forget the shopping and the nice vintage and fashion shops in the center town and keep your eyes up to see (sometimes covered by the new buildings) the ancient rest of this town where Eutyches, a Greek doctor, had his house and his clinic (Domus del Chirurgo), just near the sea.
It’s almost sunset, lights are slowly going down and it’s time for us to enjoy the Rimini by night. The Bounty is our destination. An historical place that exists since long with the crew dressed like pirates and the internal fitting that really gives you the idea of being on a pirate’s boat. Quite a pleasant evening and the cocktails are really very good. Every evening they offer a special event so that the atmosphere and the people is never the same. (http://www.bountyrimini.it/)
This first day has ended. Follow my story to enjoy our second day.
Disclosure: this post was realised during the first official blogtour Athotelsansalvador, in may 2015. Thanks to Federico and Stefano, who welcomed me and my fellow bloggers with love and care, to Sabrina with her lovely smile and to Tonia, social media everything during the tour.