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Rimini’s Giant Camera

The Giant Camera outside Rimini's Grand Hotel

Outside Rimini's Grand Hotel, facing the sea, is one of Rimini's most surreal landmarks, La vecchia macchina fotografica, or the old photo-camera. A giant sized camera, built in 1948 by a photographer from nearby Pennabilli, Elio Guerra. Guerra, rightly, believed that by building his small shop in the shape of a camera he'd attract the attention of passers by. The small shop (or Bottega) was a place for tourists to get films developed of their holiday snaps - a burgeoning business in the post-war Adriatic riviera. It quickly also became a landmark.

In the mid '70s Guerra sold up the shop to Ario Rastelli and his wife Laura Renzi. With time the shop's business dwindled and closed, but the landmark remained. In 2002, in recognition of this, Ms Renzi donated the structure to the Comune of Rimini. It was restored to its current condition, and passed over to the Consortium of Small Quality Hotel owners as a booth for tourist information and the promotion of special events.

Nowadays it has been passed over to the Federico Fellini foundation, a fitting tribute for Rimini's surrealist son.

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