In June, along with a few Citalia colleagues, I was lucky enough to embark on a road trip along Italy’s sunny Adriatic coast, with a stop in Bologna first. Here’s how we got on…
Bologna often features on Italy’s top must-visit cities list, but what do you really know about it? It’s the culinary capital of Italy, for sure! Bologna is on people’s radars for its foodie delights, and gourmands certainly won’t be disappointed. There is definitely more to this city than just food, however.
Bologna has quite a young and diverse culture, and it has its university to thank for that. The university building itself is one of the oldest in Europe.
Bologna is also typically Italian with tiny, cobbled streets, terracotta rooftops and historic buildings. The best way to take it all in is by climbing to the top of the Asinelli Tower (Towers of Bologna). We enjoyed stunning, panoramic views of the whole city.
For lunch we headed to the medieval Quadrilatero district and what an experience it was. As well as market stalls selling local products like fruit and veg, there were also a variety of stalls selling street food. I tucked in to salumi misti formaggi (antipasti with meats and cheese).
After lunch, we made a beeline for the University, weaving our way through the quieter side streets of Bologna, leading to piazzas and churches along the way.
That evening, we came across an Italian car-themed restaurant called F.G Pasquini. I can highly recommend the tortellini Bolognese (best Bolognese I have ever had – and reasonably priced, too). The restaurant is located on the north-east corner of Piazza Maggiore. We then enjoyed a drink in a lovely bar just off Piazza Maggiore. We weren’t hungry in the slightest, but we still enjoyed a selection of complimentary nuts, cheeses, crisps and sandwiches. Maybe the city is all about food after all!
“Piazza Maggiore hosts music festivals during the summer. They are free to watch and the atmosphere is fantastic.” Adam Williams, Training and Development Manager.
From Bologna, we jumped in our hire car and drove to the Adriatic Riviera and our first stop, Rimini. The journey takes approximately an hour and a half.
Rimini is the largest of the resorts along this coast. The main road is lined with hotels, which look over the long, sandy beach opposite. The best way to explore the promenade is by cycling.
Away from the coastline, head for Rimini’s old town – it’s lovely. We spent the afternoon exploring the tiny streets, sitting in piazzas and viewing Roman ruins.
“Rimini has a slight reputation as a party town, and although that scene is great, there is definitely more to it than nightlife – you only have to visit the historic centre to see that.” Katie Barton, Italy Expert
From Rimini, we moved on to Riccione, approximately 20 minutes south of Rimini. Riccione is not too dissimilar to Rimini, with a long stretch of sand, lined with hotels, restaurants and bars. The beach here offers quite a lot of watersports. We didn’t get a chance to take advantage – next time! Our visit to Riccione was brief but it was well worth seeing.
From here, we travelled a further 20 minutes to Gabicce Mare. If you are looking for something a little bit off the radar and exclusive, Gabicce Mare is for you. The beach here is smaller and quieter than the others we visited – perfect for peace and quiet. Do you have a family with small children? The waters here are a lot calmer, so it would be ideal for you.
Gabicce Mare is surrounded by a national park and it’s a wonderful place to explore, with lots of walking and cycling routes.
Last, but by no means least, we made a beeline for San Marino. The city itself is on UNESCO’s books, and as soon as you arrive it’s clear to see why. The town is built on a steep hillside, boasting incredible views from all angles across the Italian countryside. The pedestrianised streets that weave through it are immaculate and the shopping is tax-free!
The best panoramic view can be enjoyed from the top of Mount Titano. The view overlooking the Italian countryside is one of the most impressive I have ever seen. You can see all the way from the countryside back to the Adriatic Riviera and where we had come from.
It’s definitely a must-visit – even to be able to tell your family and friends that you have visited the world’s oldest and smallest country.
“The gelato in this area is amazing. I enjoyed a hazelnut gelato while watching the sunset over the Italian countryside – perfect.” Adam Williams, Training and Development Manager.
“Although it’s not necessary, I would recommend hiring a car if you want to combine all these great destinations. It is easy to do! For example, the route from Bologna to Rimini was just one motorway with an eight-euro toll.” Katie Barton, Italy Expert.