The fabled director’s centenary is being celebrated with a major exhibition in the city where he was born, but just strolling the streets gives a taste of its allure
Rimini is best-known for its vast swathe of Adriatic beach – and as the birthplace of revered film director Federico Fellini. The visionary behind La Dolce Vita and 8½ is regarded by fans and critics as one of the world’s greatest film-makers. I explored “his” city, including its Old Town, where Fellini grew up, taking in history and architecture that spans Roman to Renaissance, art nouveau to right-about-now in its compact, wanderable streets.
Fellini was born 100 years ago this month and spent his first 19 years in Rimini. The city, or his memories of it, has a starring role in several of his films – Amarcord (local dialect for “I Remember”) and I Vitelloni (The Layabouts) in particular, but appears in scenes in many others. He didn’t do any shooting here, but lovingly reconstructed his home town at the Cinecittà studios in Rome, and found surrogate stretches of beach just outside the capital. This year, Rimini will be celebrating its most famous son in a way that will leave a lasting legacy.