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Gradisca – this friday in Rimini

The annual launch to the summer season, the Gradisca festival, ran into bad luck last weekend when poor weather conditions hit the whole of Northern Italy. A decision was made to move the festival back a week, so now it will take place this coming Friday night 26th June.

The festival is one of those ones where tourists and Riminese mix easily together on the beachfront, as the various beach operators lay on free food (usually piadina and delicious tasty grilled sardines) and free wine.

The festival’s name is Fellini inspired. In his film Amarcord, set in a fictional but very recognisable Rimini, the character the whole town seems to lust after is nicknamed ‘gradisca’, after an episode where entertaining a prince in Rimini’s Grand Hotel she purrs ‘Maestà, Gradisca’ roughly translated as ‘Majesty, enjoy’

So the festival is about enjoyment – enjoying in particular the fine sandy beaches, local wine, and simple but tasty fresh fish! The various local tourist committees in the town come together to provide a huge feast for locals and tourists alike. Stroll down to your favourite beach and you’ll find out what they’re doing in particular. The organisers expect to serve up about 1,000 kilos of pasta (the delicious strozzapreti), 2 tons of fresh fish, washed down with up to 10,000 litres of local wine (Trebbiano white or Sangiovese red, as you prefer). There’ll be 70 orchestras providing music for the feast, along 14 kilometres of beach front – from Torre Pedrera through to Miramare.

And if those numbers give you pause for thought, the night will culminate with fireworks (starting at 22.45) with over 6,000 pieces launched in a synchronised display from 10 different points along the coast.

What’s not to enjoy!!

Note We’re still in some patchy weather at the moment, and most forecasts are for outbreaks of thunder tomorrow night – which will either make the festival more spectacular or a wash out. Check before heading out!

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