The urban reorganization has only partially affected the characteristics of a neighborhood of sailors and fishermen, full of tiny houses and narrow streets where colorful murals recall the Master and the characters in his films.
Viale Matteotti preserves remains of the 15th-16th century walls and acts as a barrier between the seaside expansions of San Giuliano a Mare and the traditional atmosphere of the ancient hamlet. Every two years, in even years, the hamlet becomes the scene of the "festa de' borg" (festival of the hamlet), one of the most important and authentic events in the town.
A bit of history
Appearing around the year 1000, it was the ancient fishermen's district. Today the houses here are highly sought after, and it is a pleasure to stroll through its narrow streets and squares, a classic example of ancient, poor, medieval-style but perfectly restored popular housing. In the atmosphere full of poetry, you can still breathe that anarchic and creative spirit that has always characterized its inhabitants.
It is the right place to taste the typical flavors of Romagna cuisine, as well as to enjoy a romantic candlelight dinner... a stone's throw from the Tiberius bridge, currently for pedestrians only. In recent years, the hamlet has become a real evening meeting point, enhanced by the redevelopment of the reservoir: the charming Piazza sull'Acqua (Square on the Water) and the pedestrian passageways along the walkway that connects the riverbanks.
Ghost and legends
The Devil's Bridge.
The ancient Tiberius Bridge is also called 'Devil's Bridge' according to an age-old legend that tells of its origin and power.
Begun by Emperor Augustus in 14 AD it was completed by his adopted son Tiberius in AD 21. This admirable example of the Roman technique got its name from its last builder, and took on the legend that still today accompanies its thousand-year-old stones.
It took Tiberius seven years to complete the construction of the Ariminum bridge, begun by his father. The work proceeded very slowly because there were often accidents and newly-built parts collapsed. It seemed to be a work destined not to see the light and to undermine the glory of the emperor. So Tiberius, after praying to all the gods in vain, played his last card and consulted the only supernatural being who could have a hand in it: the devil.
And as legend has it, it seems that he really did have a hand in it. Tiberius appealed to him, begging him to come to his aid. And he did: He agreed to build the bridge, but in exchange, he wanted to take the soul of the first one who crossed it. The emperor had no choice but to accept, and the devil got down to business. The construction of the bridge was completed in one night and was solid and imposing. The moment of the inauguration came, and the official procession was ready for the parade, when the emperor realized that he had to get rid of the pact with the devil.
Tiberius then ordered that, as a propitiatory sign, a dog should be the first to pass over the new bridge. So it was, and the devil, who was waiting for his soul on the other side of the bridge, was left high and dry. In a fit of anger, he decided to take revenge on the spot and tear down the bridge. He kicked several times at the stone but in vain, it had been built too well, and it was indestructible. So, he had to leave, but as evidence of this event some goat footprints remain imprinted on one of the large stones placed on the side facing the town. Since it has remained standing for almost twenty centuries, surviving the wars, and enduring the town traffic, one wonders if it really was the work of the devil!
The Devil's Stone
There is another legend, or rather another version of the legend, regarding the famous Tiberius Bridge.
Here is what has been handed down regarding it. Before starting the exceptional job of completing the bridge, the emperor Tiberius asked the Father of the Gods this question: «Lord, where on earth will I be able to find material that is suitable for this construction?» His God replied: «At the Mountain of Perticara you will find suitable boulders and in abundance».
The emperor asked how he would be able to get them to Rimini. And this is where the devil comes into the picture. «Only the Devil can do this for you, and I'll put in a good word. »
This was the proposal: «Spirit of darkness, the people of Romagna are building a bridge over the Marecchia and need you to transport the stones from Perticara to the site of the bridge. If you help them, I'll tell you who will be crossing the bridge first. » The evil one accepted the challenge and immediately made a commitment. In a short time, the work was completed.
Now it was up to God to keep his word, but Tiberius had a dog cross the bridge first. The devil, disappointed and angry, refused to carry the last load. So, one boulder, destined for the Tiberius Bridge in Rimini, remained at Monte della Perticara and that is why the boulder is called the 'Devil's Stone'.