The history of Riccione
Riccione has ancient origins that can be traced back to the Neolithic Era, ascertained by findings of remnants of farming villages dating from the 2nd Millennium B.C. (Copper Age).
Riccione owes its true glorious age to the Romans, who founded the Ariminum colony (now Rimini) and gave much importance to the Flaminia High Road, which still connects the Romagna coast to Rome.
The Agolanti, a noble family of Florentine origins, are worth mentioning in the history of Riccione. They arrived in Riccione in 1260 and during their long stay in the “Green Pearl”, they gave hospitality to eminent personalities, such as Christina of Sweden.
Nowadays it is still possible to visit the remnants of the Agolanti Castle on the hills of Riccione. The castle has been recently renovated and is home to numerous exhibitions and cultural events of Riccione and surrounding area.
The Agolanti held major offices within the Rimini administration and during the 14th century, they formed alliances with other influential ruling families of the time, among whom the Malatesta of Rimini.
The Agolanti castle, which was destroyed in 1786 by an earthquake, then became a farmhouse and was sold to the Comune of Riccione in 1982 by the Verni family.
Another important family that marked the history of Riccione is that of Giovanni Ceccarini and his wife Maria Boorman Wheeler, who started several welfare and health care activities.
Thanks to them the first Workers’ Mutual Aid Association was set up in Riccione to distribute meals to less fortunate families.
In 1891 the Ceccarinis also contributed to founding the first nursery school whose pedagogical approach was based on the development of the personality of the child, similar to what would later be the theories of the famous educationalist Piaget.
Another major health care contribution was the construction of the “Ceccarini” hospital where the ill could be treated free of charge.
Mrs Ceccarini commissioned the construction of Riccione Harbour and upon her death, she left her entire estate to the hospital.
One of the most famous shopping streets in Italy is named after this family, “Viale Ceccarini” in Riccione.
Tourism in Riccione
Over the course of its history, Riccione changed from an ancient Roman settlement to one of the most coveted tourist destination in Italy.
Benito Mussolini elected Riccione the elite tourism destination. In fact Villa Giulia Galli Barnabei, the summer residence of the Duce, was located in Riccione and the beaches of Riccione became the backdrop of Mussolini’s political propaganda campaigns, contributing to the growing popularity of the city. Indeed the “Green Pearl” hosted important political events of the time, like the meeting with Austrian Chancellor Dolfuss, who was assassinated while his family was on holiday in Riccione.
Nowadays Riccione is a true and proper capital of hospitality, where to enjoy a seaside holiday on the golden beaches of the Riviera or take part in the numerous events held here for all age groups.
At the same time, tourism in Riccione is increasingly becoming an all-year round phenomenon thanks to the numerous activities organised for the world of business, with congresses and conventions, cultural events, art exhibitions and the many Theme Parks of the Riviera, some of which remain open in winter too… without forgetting the trendy streets, the shopping and the fashion shows of our town.