For many of us, a shopping trip to Italy conjures up images of majestic squares, sprawling boulevards and historic cobbled streets. But away from the main cities, high style and culture can be discovered on the Italian coast, which has been a popular destination for the jet set since the 1930s. With a backdrop of the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea, Rimini and Riccione offer natural beauty, a rugged coastline, waterfront promenades and a superb range of boutiques.
In the 1800s, Rimini became a popular seaside retreat. It is the birthplace of acclaimed film director Federico Fellini, and it's little wonder that he went on to portray classic and impeccable Italian style, given the environment in which he grew up.
Alongside international fashion brands such as Max Mara, Armani and Escada, Rimini’s medieval Corso d’Augusto, Via IV Novembre and Via Tempio Malatestiano are also filled with local shops selling pieces by Italian craftspeople, such as Rosanna Pellegrini who makes intricate, hand-woven knitwear. She creates bold monochromatic pieces, and pastel wraps and shawls which are ideal when the sea breeze rolls in during the evening. Handmade jewellery is available at Gioielleria Tamburini, which has workshops in Valencia creating the brand’s incredibly delicate gold filigree droplet earrings, floral-patterned cuffs and elegant pearl and silver necklaces. Sitting alongside the label’s own designs are pieces from Gucci and Mikimoto.
There is a wealth of cultural richness to capture on camera here. Rimini was important to the Romans as a key link between the north and south and has some stunning architecture, such as the huge Arch of Augustus.
When in need of a break, stop at Le Méridien hotel’s La Dolce Vita restaurant, named after Fellini’s famous movie. Situated close to the beach, it has stunning views; take advantage of this much sought-after spot in the summer, unwind with a cocktail and enjoy the ever-changing menu of fresh seafood.
Nearby Riccione has been a popular holiday destination for musicians and politicians particularly since the 1940s. An atmosphere of bonhomie and playfulness is evident, and each year an art and culture festival, Pink Night, kicks off the summer season, which has involved artists and musicians such as Patti Smith. During the same period, the beach and waterfront are bathed in pink light in the evening.
Before relaxing at sunset, take a stroll to Viale Maria Ceccarini with its wealth of shopping opportunities including Swarovski, Ferretti, Trussardi and Armani. Then head to the Makkaroni bar for a pink cosmopolitan cocktail and watch the lights glow in fantastical cherry-blossom tones. It’s like Disney’s Fantasia film, set on the coast.