The history of the Italian Riviera

Storia-riminiRomagna. From Umbrians to the Papal State
The Riviera Romagnola is part of a larger territory, Romagna, which includes a portion of the hilly hinterland which is today full of villages and castles.
The history of Romagna is ancient, we are talking about Paleolithic-era finds, but real settlements arouse with the Umbrians and then with the Celts around 350 BC. The Celts in particular, with the Senoni tribes, settled in an area corresponding to the present Romagna, including the northern part of Marche.

The Romans advance was inexorable and some years later 295 BC the Senoni were finally overrun. The most important cities of Romagna were founded during this period by the Romans: Ariminum and Forum Livii (Rimini and Forlì) are an example.
The Imperial epoch instead legitimated the city of Ravenna with the port of Classe that became the capital of Flaminia, one of the two provinces of Gallia Cispadana. The whole area withstood continuous invasions, keeping even the most typical Roman traditions and laws. For this reason it was finally called "Romània" and then Romagna as opposed to the territory which underwent the Lombard invasion that was called Langbard to become Lombardy.

The events that characterized the years to come are marked by a succession of dominations that brought Romagna to be dominated by the Longobards and the French, until it became part of the Papal State.

The birth of the Riviera Romagnola.
Precisely under the Papal Government in 1843 Rimini officially inaugurated its first beach resort that will become afterwards the Riviera Romagnola. Its geographical boundaries extend from the mouth of the Rhine River up to the promontory of San Bartolo, but most of all Rimini originally develops the tourist vocation of this area of the Adriatic coast.

The development of the first beach resort in Rimini was followed by the construction of the Kursaal and the hydrotherapy resort, in response to a new trend among the aristocracy and the upper middle class, who appreciated sea-bathing for its therapeutic properties.

After Rimini, Cervia developed a beach area in 1911, giving life to a small residential settlement just north of what today is known as Milano Marittima.
Riccione, another important location of the Riviera Romagnola also turned to seaside tourism around the ‘30s, with the first buildings of hotels, guesthouses and small residences. As a matter of fact in these years there was such record attendance thanks to the start of the so-called mass tourism on the Riviera Romagnola.

After the Second World War many beach resorts arise in the area from Riccione to Milano Marittima and, since the ‘50s, also the seaside is full of areas devoted to bathing. Along with Milano Marittima, Rimini became famous throughout Europe as major tourist destination.

In the ‘60s Rimini and the Riviera Romagnola were finally recognized as leading touristic locations, also celebrated in numerous films of the period thanks to the interest catalyzed by Federico Fellini, illustrious personality from Rimini.
In recent years also the northern part of the Riviera Romagnola begins developing, the area included in the province of Ravenna where many beach resorts are arising. Both for its younger age, and for its particular shape with natural pine forests that separate the beach resorts from the seaside, the area of Lidi Ravennati today has a wilder and more pristine landscape, with natural areas of great scenic and fauna interest.


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