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5 major international events in Rimini you should know about

For a city that has a population of roughly 140,000 Rimini has a surprising amount of high-profile international events. We’ve put together a list of five of the biggest (though, as anyone who has browsed through the site will realise, there are plenty more).

Pio Manzu International Conference

Every October a major international conference, under the auspices of the United Nations, is held in Rimini by the Pio Manzu international study centre (based in the town of Verucchio).  Its executive board includes people of the calibre of former Russian President Mikhail Gorbaciov,  American social critic Alvin Toffler,  former UN Under Secretary General Giandomenico Picco, and American senator Gary Hart to name just a few.

This year's Pio Manzu conference will be held in October in Rimini

This year's Pio Manzu conference will be held in October in Rimini

The Pio Manzu centre was founded in 1969 by an avant-garde group of scholars, who established a network of researchers in Bologna, London, Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Boston and Moscow, working as a non-profit organisation which “through the constant quest for common interdisciplinary languages across a whole range of spheres of interest, seeks above all to establish the centrality of man, both in terms of his creative and spiritual capabilities and in the setting of a meaningful relationship with nature and the environment.”

What does that mean in practice – well, for starters it means an annual three day conference in Rimini where experts from around the world arrive to discuss broad themes. These workshops, open to the public, are then later published by the centre.  If a martian were to land tomorrow, and ask for information on the social, cultural and technological fabric that holds this ever-changing world together, she would be well served by picking up a collection of the Pio Manzu research findings

The final day of the conference also includes a special prize-giving ceremony, where the conference awards medals to politicians, thinkers, scholars and activists. Guests of honor have included Kofi Annan, Princess Diana, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (and former Irish President) Mary Robinson,   Henry Kissinger, Pavarotti,  George W. Bush senior, Nobel prize winner Derek Walcott, Asma al Assad  (the first lady of Syria), and many more.


Every easter, before Rimini’s beaches come back to life after their winter hibernation (incidentally, a walk on Rimini’s beach during the winter is one of the most beautiful and haunting experiences one can have!), a mini-city gets created to host what is one of the most interesting and enjoyable sporting festivals in Europe or perhaps even the World.

The Paganello is a beach ultimate  frisbee and freestyle frisbee cometition, on paper at least. In reality it’s an event that draws teams from all over the world, to compete in great spirited matches on the beach where the players auto-regulate themselves – there are no referees (in the land of Serie A football it’s hard to believe such a thing could work, and work so well!).

It’s also a big party, as squads from all over the world arrive in Rimini, play their matches on the beach, and then stick around to dance, eat and drink the night away.

It’s the perfect antidote to cynicism that so many sporting events provoke, and it’s almost impossible to not be swept away by the atmosphere and enthusiasm. The event has been held annually since 1991 and attracts over 15,000 competitors, and plenty more spectators.

It’s also one of the biggest and best beach parties in Europe as a result. “just imagine 1500 people who left Texas, Finland, Australia or Spain, have travelled for hours or even days to get themselves all in the same place, all at the same time.

And on Thursday they meet for the first time to give rise to an explosive reaction whose reagents are: “volcanic” spaghetti, grilled fish, free red wine, shows, two different dance floors, one chill-out zone, moonlight swimming.After three more parties and 10 exhausting games, the Paganello ends on Monday afternoon, with the huge prize-giving ceremony right after the three finals. And nothing else matters in the world!”

Rimini Meeting

Every year an average of 700,000 people attend the Rimini Meeting, or to give it its official title The Meeting for Friendship Amongst Peoples. The meeting involves a week’s worth of public debates, cultural events, exhibitions, and dialogue centred around a chosen theme.  Organised by the ecclesiastical movement Comunion and Liberation, the meeting is generally a place where religion, culture, politics, and ethics intersect with interesting and important results.

Knowledge is always an event - the Rimini meeting 2009

Knowledge is always an event - the Rimini meeting 2009

Now in its thirtieth year, the meeting has grown and grown to the point where it is perhaps the most important thing happening in Italy during the month of August. It’s more than a national event though, as every year it has a long list of international guests, and its outlook is boldly global.

Some examples, the meeting has been addressed by figures ranging from the Holy Father John Paul II to Chaim Potok, the then Cardinal Ratzinger, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the Dalai Lama, Lech Walesa, Carlo Rubbia, George Smoot, Ennio Morricone, José Carreras, Jean Guitton, Luigi Giussani, Simone Veil, Martha Graham, and countless other politicians, journalists, scientists and philosophers.

The meeting is more than just debate though, and has a number of large cultural events arranged around it – and sometimes before, as for example the staging of a number of long-term exhibitions in Rimini’s Castel Sismondo including the highly succesful display on Constantine, the first Christian Emporor.

This year sees various high profile guests including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair set to attend, to discuss the theme ‘Knowledge is always an event’.

And as if all this wasn’t enough to convince you to attend, the entrance admission to hear these world-class debates is free. That’s right, free admission. The event is held in Rimini’s spectacular Fiera which is worth a visit as well.’

Notte Rosa

The Notte Rosa is an all-night party held annually all along the Adriatic Riviera, with its centre obviously being Rimini. There are hundreds of events, including free concerts, classic cars exhibitions, dancing, fashion shows and a whole lot more.

The Notte Rosa - the Summer's New Year's Eve Party

The Notte Rosa - the Summer's New Year's Eve Party

The idea is a cross between those all-night festivals in major European cities like Rome and Paris, conjured up to convince people that cities are safe and pleasant environments for all the family to enjoy, and the traditional New Year’s Eve festival which is held in Rimini each december.  So, a major party but one that also feels comfortable and safe, held in the Riviera – the place to be during the hot months in Italy.

This year’s festival had an estimated 2 million participants! That’s one hell of a party, stretching along some 100km of coastline, with a huge synchronised fireworks display punctuating festivities at midnight. We’ll be bringing you details of next year’s festival as soon as they’re made public.

The San Marino Riviera di Rimini Moto Gran Prix


Emilia-Romagna is the home of Italian motorbiking, with top of the range manafacturer and world-champion Ducati whose home is in the regional capital Bologna. People here are bike mad, and its no surprise that the recently relaunched Cinzano San Marino Riviera di Rimini grand prix, which takes place just outside Rimini at the world-famous Misano circuit, is an annual highlight of the sporting calendar.

MotoGP is the world’s premier motorcycling championship, with a season of 18 Grands Prix in 14 countries bringing together the world’s top motorcycle manufacturers such as Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati, Kawasaki, Aprilia and KTM – plus an elite crop of riders, an impressive amount of which are Italians – including Valentino Rossi who, coming from Tavullia in the Marche region is considered almost a home-town champion here in Emilia-Romagna.

The motorcycles used for MotoGP are purpose-built racing prototypes which are unavailable for purchase by the general public and cannot be legally ridden on public roads.

The San Marino and Riviera di Rimini motogp is a big event that’s geared (pardon the pun) around more than just race fans. There are other big events always scheduled around the race, that happen in Rimini, Riccione and Cattolica. These range from concerts through to fireworks displays, stunt shows through to fashion – you name it.

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