Riccione Italy – Disco lights on the Adtriatic coast

Riccione Italy is a town south of Rimini which is famous for its discos, beach parties and the Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Italy’s answer to Ibiza can be found in Riccione just south of Rimini. Riccione is not just a derogative slang word. It is also synonymous with umbrellas in drinks and on the beach, amusement parks, power shopping and party all night. Over the last hundred years the town has been the bathing spot per se for the upper classes of Bologna, as can be deducted from the congestion out of the city towards the sea every Saturday and Sunday mornings during the summer months.

Especially after the Second World War, Italian and German tourists gathered round “the Green Pearl of the Adriatic”, led by Benito Mussolini, who in 1934 built a summer residence on the waterfront. In the 1960s a variety of celebrities such as Pele, Mina, Vittorio De Sica and Gina Lollobrigida followed suit by making Riccione their preferred holiday spot.

Personally, I think, Riccione is far over the top, but then I’m not in the target group for dolphinarium or discos. There are fine sandy beaches, but you have to walk halfway to Croatia to find a suitable swimming depth and a regular ocean of people in the summer months makes it difficult to move around. The city centre consists of fashionable brand shops spread over pedestrian streets and a US-inspired mall in tiles and cast concrete. And there are so many hotels, holiday apartments and campsites that you feel slightly cramped.

The most interesting aspect as regards Riccione is perhaps the town’s claim on the invention of Spaghetti alla Carbonara, the pasta course where a few eggs and some fried pancetta or bacon is spread over a plate of steaming spaghetti just before serving. According to Wikipedia pancetta and eggs were virtually the only groceries to be bought on the black market in Riccione in 1944, so the chef at the Hotel des Bains served these with inspiration from a Slovenian recipe.

However, there are also those who maintain that the recipe is much older, and that it came from Lazio and Abruzzo, where charcoal-burners brought it from home in their lunch box, and therefore gave name to the dish. Others argue that this kind of preparation originates in the Carbonara district on the outskirts of Bari. And then there are those who insist that Carbonara is simply a reference to black pepper resembling coal dust when grinded over the pasta.

All this is of course irrelevant in relation to Riccione, but it adds spice to a sunny, but in my opinion slightly unsavoury, spot in Emilia Romagna.

Other things to see and do around Riccione Italy

San Marino: Old republic in the heart of Italy

Cesena Italy : Old books and barflies

Rimini for children


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