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Travel: Italy - Rimini, Bologna, San Marino

Swayed by the promise of sunshine and cheap flights we found ourselves back in Italy for the second time this year. Rimini has the best of both, miles of beach to attract sun worshippers and a cultural centre with Roman remains and a Renaissance cathedral.

We stayed at Hotel Bahama, a little dated in decor but we couldn’t fault the hospitality of the staff. I don’t like to make a fuss with dietary needs but they clearly had their eye on me, eventually asking if I was Vegetarian. I explained I was in fact Vegan (for ease of communication) and next morning at breakfast was presented with a carton of soya milk and vegan croissants. The only downside to our location was we hadn’t realised that some areas of the resort closed down for winter, this meant we had to go slightly further afield to find restaurants open for dinner.

Rimini city centre is typically Italian with narrow cobbled streets and piazzas. The town’s Roman past is still visible with the Tiberius Bridge and Arch of Augustus. Soaking in the Italian architecture is lovely but I’ll openly admit I’m here for the food. If you’ve been following our Italian adventures over the years you’ll know that I can usually sniff out Vegan food relatively easy. In Rimini old town we had an evening meal at Loving Hut (a vegan cafe) and I grabbed Vegan gelato at La Scintilla and Cuor di Cioccolato. Near to the beach the restaurant called Newport had a small vegan menu but I will say my vegan burger wasn’t quite to my taste. We ate twice at Chi Sburoun but by far the best Marinara pizza of the holiday was at Rossopomodoro, although the service was a little patchy, our waiter seemed bored of work, not that I blame him having to deal with tourists.From Rimini we took day trips to San Marino (by bus) and Bologna (by train). San Marino is situated up on a mountain top, is the world's oldest republic and Europe's third smallest state. It’s a beautiful place to amble around the steep streets, taking in spectacular views the higher you climb. We stopped for lunch in Palazzo Pubblico after I spotted the magic word “vegan” on a menu and I had a delicious meal of chickpeas with vegetable gratin and swiss chard.
In June we had flown into Bologna but didn’t stop before making our journey to Florence. It’s a decision with hindsight that we regret. Bologna is beautiful and exactly as you would expect from a busy Italian city. It’s easy to amble around on foot and lunch is a must whilst taking in the wonderful architecture. We didn’t have much of a plan and basically got lost whilst possibly walking around in circles. When our tummies grumbled I was scouring restaurant menus. Traditionally Bologna is known for its Bolognese (Ragu) which is a meat based pasta sauce so I felt super lucky to spot a blackboard advertising Vegan food alongside Vegetarian and gluten free options. I’m pleased to say I had the most delicious lentil soup at Brusce and would recommend this little bistro.

If you image search Rimini you'll see images of miles of beach jam packed with sun loungers and umbrellas. I’m not sure that would be my idea of heaven in the height of summer but for a cheap last minute autumn getaway it was pretty perfect. We still have so much more of Italy we’d like to see so maybe we will be back next year. If you'd like to catch up on our Italian road trip that we took earlier in the year, then follow this link - Florence, Pisa, La Spezia, Cinque Terre and Genoa

Sarah x

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