Home to historic cities over thousands of years old, an ever-extending list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the most out of any country, and gorgeous coastlines, Italy is the trendiest spot to be in Europe this summer, especially now that new Transatlantic flights are launching.

The major downsides facing American visitors?

Well, the crowding situation can get a tad overwhelming, particularly over the summer period, and the surging prices in cities like Rome, Florence, and the now-restrictive Venice have ensured budget travelers are kept out.

There are not that many a hidden gem left or affordable spots to be discovered in Italy, a country where not a single stone has been left unturned by tourists, but if you’re still keen on a cultural sunny getaway, and one that won’t break the bank, then you should give overlooked Rimini a chance:

Is This The Cheapest Coastal City In Italy?

Aerial View Of Golden Sand Beach In Rimini, An Italian Resort City In The Adriatic, Mediterranean Sea, Italy, Southern Europe

This bustling seaside resort straddling the Italian Adriatic has been a hugely popular destination for Italian middle to low-income families for years, who flock there between June and September while their fellow Europeans and Americans are burning through their savings in Amalfi.

Our Italian readers will probably want our heads for this, but we’ll let you in on their little secret

The Adriatic side is much, much cheaper than the opposite coastline, on the west side of the Italian boot, and we’ll also tell you why:

Row Of Beach Loungers With Closed Umbrellas In Rimini Beach, Italy, Southern Europe

Though the Italian Adriatic is by no means a gray zone on a map—it hosts millions of tourists every year, and far more than other true off-path locations like Albania, at that—the local tourism industry still mostly caters to domestic holidaymakers.

Rimini is brimming with tourists every summer, but they’re Italians in their vast majority, with Germans, Poles, and the odd British visitor sprinkled among them, but the guest profile is at complete odds with the well-off, rich American who’s island-hopping off Salerno.

Beachfront Ferris Wheel In Rimini By The Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean Sea In Italy, Southern Europe

Rimini is what we like to call Amalfi on a budget: it has the beachside clubs, the shallow waters, the gorgeous architecture, and the delectable cuisine, but if you’re the splurging type anyway, you’ll have to try a little harder to break the bank here.

You see, for a mid-size Mediterranean port dotted with beachfront hotels with a lively social scene in Italy of all places, Rimini is a steal of a deal, and you don’t need to take our word for it; you can see it with your own eyes:

Hotels For Less Than $40 Per Night

Rimini Beach, Italy, Southern Europe

A single seaview room at Hotel Giorg, a 3-star listing within walking distance of Miramare’s honey-colored sands, costs only $58 to book this July.

Elsewhere in the city center, staying overnight at Hotel La Gradisca will set you back by an acceptable $61, and if you’re willing to sacrifice some comfort for the sake of savings, the modest Hotel Parigi is charging guests only $35 per night.

These are only 3 of several budget-friendly hotels scattered around Rimini, but the list is truly endless: well, to be more precise, there are exactly 190 listings on Booking.com under $100.

Aerial Panoramic View Of Rimini During Sunset, Italy, Southern Europe

If you’re wondering how many accommodation providers offering simple rooms for less than a hundred bucks in Amalfi, it’s zero. Niente.

Still don’t believe us? You can check for yourself—just remember to pick your jaw off the floor when you see rates for some of the ‘cheapest’ hotels in town.

Overall, a one-week stay in a three-star hotel in Rimini will average $428.

Cheap, Incredible Food

Alfresco Dinner, Traditional Italian Pasta And Wine At Sunset, Rome, Italy

On top of that, food is incredibly inexpensive: there are countless ristoranti in the Centro Storico, the beachside Miramare, or the marina where a basic lunchtime menu, including a main and a drink, will cost $14, or the equivalent in euro.

Rimini is also distinct for its delectable traditional cuisine, with variations of pasta you won’t find elsewhere, such as pasta all’uovo, or ‘egg pasta’, commonly used in local tagliatelle and ravioli recipes, and our personal favorite, the piadina romagnola.

Neapolitan pizza

This thin flatbread is prepared in only a handful of towns in the historical Italian region of Romagna, which Rimini is a part of, and it’s traditionally made with olive oil, white flour, salt and water, served with various stuffings, though the most popular would be freshly-caught Adriatic fish.

Then of course, you have all your usual pizzas, bakery faves like cannoli and cream-filled croissants, usually cheaper than you’ll find them in tourist hotspots like Rome or Venice; to sum it up, you definitely won’t go hungry here, even if your budget is $50 per day.

An Overlooked Cultural Gem Of Italy

Old Town Rimini Seen From Across A River, Italy, Southern Europe

Like the good Italian city it is, Rimini just oozes Old World charm.

Yes, it’s mainly a beach destination, but it doesn’t change the fact it’s a historic port founded over 2,300 years ago, and it will only take you a quick stroll around the Old Town to stumble upon Roman ruins, landmark temples, and the classic cobbled maze lined by pastel buildings.

Among the main points of interest in Rimini, the most noteworthy include the Arco di Augusto, an arched entryway and triumphal arc dating back to the Roman period, the Malatestiano Temple, last retouched in the 15th century, the colorful San Giuliano district, and the medieval Sismondo Castle.

Old Town Rimini, Italy, Southern Europe

Have we mentioned Rimini is famous for its long stretch of sandy beach, unfolding for a whopping 10 miles along the bright-blue Adriatic?

Yep, not only is it far more affordable than the west side of Italy, but the coast here isn’t at all rugged, so pebble-haters can rejoice: they can run straight towards that inviting, warm water without minding their step!

How To Get To Rimini

Old Town Rimini Seen From Across A River, Italy, Southern Europe

Rimini hosts flights from select destinations in Europe and North Africa, but to our American off-path explorers, it’s unlikely you’ll arrive at the teeny tiny Fellini Airport, unless it’s Tirana in Albania, or Cagliari in Sicily you’re flying in from.

Luckily, Rimini is connected to several major Italian destinations by rail: from Milan, it takes just over 2h30 to get to Rimini, with advance tickets costing as cheap as $13 on Trenitalia, while from Bologna it’s less than an hour and a negligible tenner.

Tourists Walking A Narrow Street In Rimini, Italy, Southern Europe

Though it’s farther up the Adriatic, the nonstop train departing from Venice still takes only 2h45 to complete the journey (tickets from $36 booked early), and coming up from Rome, it’s 4 hours, except there are no nonstop trains.

Traveling from the capital, you’ll be required to change at Bologna, tickets for the entire journey costing $69.

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