This is explore Rimini day, right after breakfast. I am shocked and bit dismayed at the extensive breakfast buffet the hotel provides. What I find perturbing is the vast number of sugary selections including 7 different cakes and desserts and 3 heavy coated sugary cereals. Starch and sugar are king and queen for breaking the fast. My choices are the 4 types of ham and one of cheese. Okay, it will do after 4 trips to the espresso machine.
The bus to downtown leaves right outside our hotel, but only once an hour at 36 minutes past the hour. At 9:36 we are waiting with tickets in hand. A covered market is our first discovery; it is like a small version of the great market in Budapest, but without separating stands. All the sellers are joined at the hip without the benefit of walls or anything that may assure privacy.
St. Rita’s Church was the next item on our tourist map for the historic things we must see according to the tourism bureau. While we were standing outside reading the sign explaining the church, suddenly I felt something brush against my arm. Thinking it was Ron, I only slowly turned around, but then was jolted into another state of reality. There were 2 unseemly women at my side, one with a babe in arms and the other the likely grandmother. They started begging for money, but when refused, they showed their aggressiveness by starting to paw me. This tactic surely was to get into my shoulder or cut the cord of my camera from my neck. I pulled back and yelled firmly “Stop!” I have had better success getting dead animals to follow my commands then I did these two. It was like I was using telepathy rather than vocalizations. They kept at me. Ron suggested we enter the church. It felt like sanctuary where the vampires could not enter and neither did these two.
Though they did not enter, they were blocking the doorway to leave once we were done. Two young woman were standing on the other side wondering what was happening and trembling slightly. Ron walked through them without cause, but this was the token freebie for the hour, now I had to pay the toll to cross over to daylight. Regardless of what words I used, all English mind you, and with no deference to tone or decibels, they were immune to any verbal actions. They stubbornly refused to budge, so I had to try to move through them. This is where it went from bad to disgusting. There was a stringent attempt to molest me, not for sexual reasons, but for whatever goods I may have on me. Knowing the feeling being violated, reality left while survival kicked in. Like a linebacker, I made it past them, sending them flying to the sides of the doors as I rushed onward. It took hours to temper the memory.
There is an extensive chapel, very interestingly decorated. It looks like each section was designed by a different artist. Marbles of varied colors adorn the walls and balustrades while a wide assortment of small statues are placed on them. There are no pews and few chairs. Best of all, there no women waiting to attack.
It is not clear whether this is a Saturday thing or a general occurrence, but the main streets within the center of the city were primarily pedestrian. We even witnessed a police officer stop two autos trying to drive into the center. There were an incredible number of bikes with riders ranging from pre-teen to octogenarian. Some of these frisky seniors mounted their motorcycles, donned a helmet and took off down street.
Our own walking tour included the Gate of Augustus Caesar, St. Augustine Church, and the open air market, which surrounds the old castle and wraps around to flow to the lower level. Here they sell produce, plus anything else you can imagine. There were humungous dealers with hundreds of pairs of shoes and another with just as large assortment of purses. We found the castle closed, so touring the interior was impossible. Later we were informed it is only open for special occasions.
One of the best ways to learn about a city is to visit their city museum. As will many things Italian, the museum was closed for a 2 hour lunch break, so we waited in the nearby park for it to open. With a mix of art, architecture, and history, this was a delightful couple of hours. It was additionally relaxing as we had the entire 4 floors entirely to ourselves with the exception of a guard on each floor.
Across the street from the museum was a Greek restaurant. With good intentions of lunching there, after seeing the door wide open, we walked in and sat down. It was empty, which can play either of two ways. The food is either so horrible, the locals will not eat here or we were just off kilter with our eating times. The latter turned out to be true. We were informed it was too late to serve food. Apparently 2:30 pm is their bewitching hour. The restaurant across the street was happy to host us and served up delicious salads.
Fortified with nutrients, we walked to the river, then to the train station. We bought our tickets for San Marino’s excursion tomorrow. They were €9 Euro each for a round trip. Not bad considering an individual bus tickets within the city is €1.20 each.
Just for the fun of it, we took the ferry back to our side of the shore. It is 80cents per person.
Dinner was at Newport Beach Restaurant. With menus only in Italian, we had to suffer with having pizza again. It was the only thing we could interpret. With every table filled and only 2 waiters, we did not ask if either could interpret, but when we ordered we realized it would have been a fool’s errand anyway; his command of English was equal to our Italian.