It is a popular seaside resort with 15km of beaches and well over 1,000 hotels; it began to be exploited for tourism in the early 19th century.
The residents of Rimini are called Riminesi.
The original colony here was called Ariminum, from the name of the local river Ariminus (today known as Marecchia).
The patron saint of Rimini is San Gaudenzio di Rimini and is celebrated on 14th October each year.
There have been settlements in the area since Etruscan times, however the first major settlement here was built by the Romans and called Ariminum. It was a strategic point, being both a port and at the junction of Via Flaminia and Via Aemilia, thus a doorway into northern Italy for the Roman army.
Following the fall of Rome, Rimini was conquered by the Goths and became a pawn in the continuing power struggles and wars in the region. At times it was under the control of the Papal States, the Byzantines and the Lombards before becoming a pawn in the local power struggles of local noble families. By the 16th century it was once more in the hands of the Papal States however by the 18th century it began to suffer badly at the hands of marauding pirates, famine, floods and other disasters.
In 1797 it became part of the Cisalpine Republic. Following the restoration, the city moved towards tourism with the first bathing resort opening in 1843. Over the next few decades more and more sprang up along with hotels, bars, restaurants and the like.
In the 20th century the city suffered badly both during the First World War when it was a target of the Austro-Hungarian navy and then again during the Second World War when it suffered greatly from Allied bombing.
During the 17th century the economy was heavily dependent on fishing, however this was gradually replaced by tourism.
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