It is now almost 100 years old, but as we always say in these circumstances, it really doesn’t look its age.
For many, Viale Ceccarini is the most representative and iconic symbol of Riccione and from a tourism point of view, has mirrored its history since the beginning.
Before becoming famous and home to designer boutiques and trendy bars and restaurants, this wasn’t even its name: in fact, it was little more than a path that joined the village of Riccione (which was a few kilometres from the beach, on the old Via Flaminia) and the sea.
The History of Riccione in Viale Ceccarini Street
It wasn’t effectively named until 11 October 1912 when the Municipality of Rimini, of which the small hamlet of Riccione was just a part at the time, approved naming the road after Maria Borman Ceccarini, one of the village’s benefactors.
Borman, an American and the widow of a doctor from Riccione called Ceccarini, was responsible for building the town’s hospital, named after her, as well as a series of social initiatives that contributed in a decisive manner to the town’s economic and urban growth.
In 1925 the road was broadened and paved with stone and handy pavements were added to accommodate both the growing number of vehicles and the constant growth in tourists who were beginning to frequent the resort in the summer season.
The following year, the first 110 pine trees were planted and have lined the road since then. Along with its lush pine forest, they have afforded the town of Riccione the nickname of “Perla Verde” or “Green Pearl”.The history of Riccione goes hand in hand with that of Mussolini who built his summer residence here and for the following 10 years spent his holidays in the resort, dividing his time between bathing in the sea and meeting crowds of people, some during his famous walks along Viale Ceccarini.
The Second World War left its mark on the symbol of Riccione too, but it was quickly renovated in time to welcome the waves of tourists flocking here in the immediate post-war period.
In the first half of the 20th century Riccione was, above all, the beach favoured by the richest families from Emilia, but in the 1960s Riccione and Viale Ceccarini quickly became a main attraction for all Italians: for years the “Via Montenapoleone” of the Adriatic became a cult place to visit.
“Viale Ceccarini, Riccione…” was also a hit for the Bologna-born singer Dino Sarti who dedicated a song to the town’s famous street in 1974; it is a song that still well defines the atmosphere of a certain era of seaside holidays.
At the beginning of the 1980s, Viale Ceccarini was closed to traffic and underwent complete architectural restyling, with modern and elegant street furnishings added.
Along with the numerous shops already present, boutiques featuring the most popular and latest fashion designers were added, to the extent that Viale Ceccarini became the precursor for up-to-the-minute fashions and trends; in the mid 1980s one of the very first Swatch Stores opened here at a time when the Swiss watch was starting to become really popular.
On the coast, Viale Ceccarini opens onto Piazzale Roma, which is dominated by the “Bosco della Pioggia” or “Forest of Rain” fountain designed by Tonino Guerra and the huge covered stage that has hosted events and concerts for many years.
Now that the stage has been dismantled, a new project is today taking shape designed to make the road “continue” further, with a modern wharf that will extend past the beach and into the sea.