I had breakfast as soon as it was ready in my San Marino hotel so I could get an early bus to Rimini. My friend John Harrison, who taught Art History, and with whom I had planned originally to go to Ravenna – before tickets in September proved so expensive that I opted out though he then went by himself – had told me there was nothing much to see there, but I thought he was wrong after a day of delightful exploration.

The tourist office had told me where I could keep my bag, opposite the station, and I had equipped myself with a map the previous day so I could set off at once to wander through the city. Though nothing was as memorable as in Ravenna, it had range of sights, Roman and mediaeval, and modern too, for this was Fellini’s city and they had a museum for him which was spread over several buildings and open air sites.

I walked past the house where he had lived as a child, nothing remarkable but it was on my way to the amphitheatre, which was small and charming, with no one else there except two girls from whom came a whiff of marijuana. Then it was to the Augustus Arch, put up in 27 BC when Augustus had consolidated his hold on the Roman State. Rimini was an important town in those days, for this was where the Via Flaminia, one of the famous roads of old Rome, ended.

I went back into the heart of the city then for the Malatesta church which had a beautiful 15th fresco by Piero della Francesca, and then it was back to another old entrance to the city, the Montanara Gate which gave access to the town from another Roman road, the Via Aretina.

Nearby was the Sismondo Castle which also housed the main Fellini museum, which was fascinating, not least for some of the scenes it showed from his pictures including the hysterically funny ecclesiastical fashion show in ‘Roma’. Outside the Castle were other memorials to him, but before I went to the other museum building I looked at another church and the grand city buildings, one of which housed an interesting museum of modern art.

After the second Fellini museum I went on to the Tiberius bridge at the opposite end of the main street from the Augustus arch, a structure Augustus had begun and which his successor completed 35 years later, in 21 AD. I also went to the very interesting City Museum,  which had a luscious Bellini amidst other joys. Next to it was what was called the Physician’s House, an archaeological site which showcased the foundations of a couple of houses, though what had been found in that of the Physician had been moved to the Museum.

And footsore again now, I hastened as best I could to collect my bag, and then took a train to Ancona, because my plan was to take a ferry across the Adriatic, to the Croatian city of Split on the Dalmatian coast.

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