I’ve just spent two weeks in Italy. I was back in Riccione, a town on the Adriatic Coast. The main reason for my travel there was to attend my friend’s 50th birthday party. I had a great time, we all had a great time, as a lot of good friends came at the same time. There was a lot of socialising and being together, something that I like and enjoy very much. The focal point of the stay was the birthday party, especially as my friend invested a lot of time and effort and organised an event that, I am sure, everyone present will remember for a long time. Being together with close and dear people is priceless.
Another important factor that immensely contributed to my enjoyable stay was the weather. Apparently, the day when I arrived to Italy, right at the beginning of June, was the first proper sunny day after months of rain. That was pure luck, especially as hot and sunny weather remained throughout my entire two weeks stay. What I also liked was that, as it was the beginning of June, day time temperatures were around 25-26 degrees C, which means that it was never too hot, like in July or August.
So, I went to the beach every day. Because of prolonged bad weather in May and as it was early June, there were not many tourists in Riccione. I was there in the same period of the year in the past. But, I’ve never seen so few people like this time. Of course, it was a plus and I tremendously enjoyed the tranquil aspect of the town.
The beach to which I went to is the biggest free beach. I’ve already written about this beach in my previous posts. The beach is at the border between Riccione and Rimini’s neighbourhood Rivazzurra. It’s in front of the abandoned Colonia Santo Volto, on Viale Principe di Piemonte.
I cycled to the beach every day, while my friends were going there by car. It was an excellent daily exercise, some 6km each way. It’s not a huge distance, but I still felt very tired at the end of the day. Also, as you can see from the photos in this post, the beach was nearly empty, especially during the week. There were more people on the weekends, but not in excessive numbers. I practically had the beach for myself.
The only downside was that the water was still cold and it was not possible to swim for longer than several minutes. In other words, it was too cold for my taste. Previously, when I came to Riccione in early June, the water was much warmer. But, in those years it had not rained that much in the preceding period.
Every morning, I was waking up to the beautiful view from my friend’s flat, in the hills of Riccione. I would have a coffee and breakfast and then I would go to the beach.
Riccione looks as pretty as ever. As a matter of fact, this is perhaps the best time of the year to go there. Days are the longest in early June. Also, it is not too hot and there are still not too many people. My journey to the beach would first take me through Riccione Paese.
From there, I would reach Viale Ceccarini. The whole street, both the upper and the lower pedestrian part, are kept in perfect condition. For the occasion of La Notte Rosa, the centre of Riccione has been appropriately decorated in pink colour. Someone may mistake such decoration for celebration of the LGBT equality, tolerance and inclusion. But, as it’s Italy, it’s nothing like that. La Notte Rosa is a totally different event, nothing to do with LGBT. It’s a summer festival organised in Romagna and the northern part of the Marche region.
Anyhow, the street looks pretty and the decoration builds the excitement for the event scheduled for the first weekend in July.
Viale Dante has also been similarly decorated, but only the part from Viale Ceccarini until the port. They have not decorated the entire length of this long street, perhaps it would’ve been too much. Plus, the decorated part is where you can find most restaurants, bars, coffee and ice-cream shops.
That was the route that I was taking every day on my way to the beach.
It was very pleasant and I frequently stopped to take a photo or simply enjoy in beautiful trees along Viale Dante.
Once you arrive to the end of Viale Dante, the cycling path runs along the beach. As a matter of fact, the cycling path is all along the beach, but I chose to cycle along two of Riccione’s most beautiful streets. Beaches in Riccione are all very well organised, with sun loungers and beach umbrellas.
They are numbered and mostly reserved for use by the hotel guests. Some sections are open to everyone, but you have to pay to use them. They all look very pretty and are well kept.
Regardless, I still preferred to go to the free beach. Unless you are a hotel guest and can use the allocated beach for free, there is really no need to pay. Especially, when you have a fantastic free beach a bit further away.
One other point to take into consideration is that these organised beaches are primarily for families with children. So, if you want to have a peaceful and relaxing time, you really have to stay away from these beaches.
At the end of the day, it’s a matter of preference. I understand that a lot of people want to spend their time in these nicely organised beaches, with comforts that sun loungers and umbrellas provide. Especially if they are part of your package, that comes with the hotel that you booked. They are clean, well kept and pretty looking. They provide an enjoyable ambience, something so closely associated with Italy.
My enjoyable and healthy stay in Italy also included visits to restaurants and bars. This time, I visited some new places, but I also went back to places to which I had been in the past. It’s always precious to go for a dinner or for an aperitivo with friends.
The actual day of my friend’s birthday, we went to Agriturismo Albarosa, in Via Laureto 874, in Mondiano. I’ve previously written about this type of restaurants. They are usually in the countryside, away from touristic hot-spots. They primarily cater for the local Italian population. These places are where you eat fantastically, for little money.
That was the first time for me to go to this particular place. It’s a rustic restaurant, with a splendid decor. Food was phenomenal. It took us approximately 30 minutes to get there from Riccione by car. Anyhow, it was an excellent choice and I strongly recommend this place. It’s a place where I would like to go back.
The photo below is an area in front of this restaurant. Agriturismo I Crinali is in a wonderful setting, in the middle of nothing, surrounded by fields and trees. I already look forward to going back there, the place is so good.
Another restaurant to which I went for the first time is I Due Fratelli, in Via Scacciano 15, in Scacciano. This is some 5 minutes by car from my friend’s place. Despite the fact that I’ve been going to Riccione for so many years, I’ve never been there before. There is another excellent restaurant in Scacciano to which we always go, so this place was somehow neglected.
This is one more of those fabulous places, where you eat excellent food and the cost is very reasonable. As it’s away from Riccione’s touristic areas, the Italians are the main customer base. This means that the restaurant keeps a very high standard in order to have people coming back regularly. Everything brought to the table was superb and delicious. I will definitely also go back to this place.
There is a new restaurant – Manna – in Riccione Paese. We went there, to check how it is. It is in Viale Lazio 30. This is a proper restaurant, a bit pricey, but we went there for a pizza. They advertise as Cucina con Pizza, which means Kitchen with Pizza. It was good, although we had to wait for a long time for our meal to arrive. I suspect it was because for them pizza is secondary, they probably primarily concentrate on proper meals.
We also went back to Pepper Riccione, in Viale Lazio 12. As I previously mentioned, it’s an excellent bar, away from the main touristic spots. A perfect place for an afternoon coffee or aperitivo.
Finally, when in Italy, one has to eat an ice-cream. Truly, the ice-cream in Italy is the best that you can get in the whole world. Italians have mastered it to perfection. Adler is a famous ice-cream shop, in Viale Dante. If you are there and feel like having an ice-cream, go to this place and try it. It’s excellent.
But my favourite ice-cream place in Riccione is Panna & Cioccolato. Their ice-cream is divine. Although, I’m perfectly aware that I should never eat such things, I couldn’t resist. Anyway if we do it very occasionally, perhaps it’s OK.
All in all, I had two perfect weeks in Italy. Surrounded by friends, on the beach and having delicious meals in excellent restaurants. All that, combined with sunny and hot days and pleasantly warm nights as a background.
So, how much more do we need in life to be happy?