Rimini's beaches are like a slice of California in Italy. Spend 10 minutes on the promenade in August and you'll realise that all kinds of new trends kick off here – wacky or otherwise. You'll see Nordic beach-walkers, office workers getting a reiki massage, gym enthusiasts pumping iron, clubbers in search of a hangover cure, computer geeks surfing on their sun loungers, and more.
For navigational purposes, patches of beach are numbered (from one to 150 heading south, one to 75 heading north, divided by a five-beach supersized area known as Lido San Giuliano between Porto Canale and the Marecchia River). These beach segments are controlled by establishments, known as a bagno, which maintain a designated area and provide services and items for a fee, such as lounge chairs, changing rooms, sun umbrellas. Each bagno has an assigned number. As a quick primer, Nos 5 and 14 are sporty (with foot volley and volleyball), respectively, No 8 is posh, No 26 is the party beach and Nos 1-50 are where the locals head. The bagni are generally open from 7am to 7pm Easter through September. Free patches of sand are rare: try Lido San Giuliano.
In peak season it's hard to see the sand through all the assembled umbrellas, sunloungers, amusement parks and crowded beach bars. Suffice it to say there's 15km of it, mostly backed by clamorous hotel development.