Roman relics, jam-packed beaches, hedonistic nightclubs and the memory (and memories) of film director and native son Federico Fellini make sometimes awkward bedfellows in seaside Rimini. Although there's been a settlement here for over 2000 years, Rimini's coast was just sand dunes until 1843, when the first bathing establishments took root next to the ebbing Adriatic. The beach huts gradually morphed into a megaresort that was sequestered by a huge nightclub scene in the 1990s. Despite some interesting history, Fellini-esque movie memorabilia and a decent food culture, 95% of Rimini's visitors come for its long, boisterous, sometimes tacky beachfront.
Once a thriving Latin colony known as Ariminum, Rimini changed hands like a well-worn library book in the Middle Ages when periods of Byzantine, Lombard and Papal rule culminated in the roguish reign of Sigismondo Malatesta in the 15th century. But the worst was to come. Rimini got whacked more than any other Italian city during WWII, when bombing raids were followed by the brutal 'Battle of Rimini', during which an estimated 1.5 million rounds of Allied ammunition were fired on the German-occupied city.