For the next part of our trip, we decided to go to Rimini, a city located on the Adriatic coast. It is an hour and a half train ride away from Bologna.
Once we got there, we took a bus to our hotel – Grifone. There are two ways of purchasing the tickets, one you can buy tickets on the bus itself, but they are slightly more expensive than those that you can purchase at a kiosk right beside the train station. By the way, the bus tickets are sold everywhere, you just need to look out for a bus ticket sticker on the shops and kiosks and you can buy them there.
Hotel Grifone (http://www.hotelgrifone.net/bellariva/) turned out to be lovely. Staff were very friendly and had good English, they were also very attentive and helped us to arrange trips to amusement parks and a chair and an umbrella rental for the beach. We got the room on the 6th floor with a massive balcony that had a couple of chairs to sit down and enjoy the view, which came in handy when it was bedtime for boys and gave us some alone time:)
The room had a king size bed for us and a bunk bed (much to Alexei’s delight) for kids. There was also plenty of space to set up the cot for Matthew. The only thing that it lacked was a bathtub, something that you kind of need when you have a baby. The shower absolutely terrified Matthew and washing him became a struggle towards the end. So much so that even upon return home he was initially hesitant to get into his bath until he saw that it was safe and he was no slipping everywhere.
I have to say that Rimini quickly became one of my favourite places to go on holidays with kids. The atmosphere is very friendly, especially towards our kids. Everyone would stop and have a chat with Matthew and pat his cheek if allowed.
There are plenty of places all around to stop and have your food if you are hungry and most of them are child-friendly as well.
The beach was very nice as well, you could go to paid beach or unpaid. If you are travelling with young children I would suggest paid beach. It has all of the facilities, down to the changing room. They also come with entertainment for kids, such as bouncing castles, playgrounds and other activities, depending on where you are staying. We paid 15 euro per day for two beach chairs and an umbrella and the beach opened with the sunrise and closed at 7 pm.
Every evening the people that own this part of the beach would give it a good clean, so there was no rubbish or even cigarette butts to be seen. Matthew definitely enjoyed visiting all of the people crawling around with me chasing him 😛
There are also plenty of places to visit in Rimini if you get tired of the town itself. We usually have to have quite an active holiday as my hubby hates spending all of his time at the beach, so we compromise spending half of the day out and then ending it with the beach visit.
During our short visit there we visited a number of places. The first one was a park called Fiabilandia. Its a very nice park especially for those with younger kids and was within walking distance from our hotel. There are plenty of rides there that both Matthew and Alexei could go to and Alexei enjoyed the ones that were a little bit more adventurous.
There is a lake in the middle of the park where you can get a boat to the other part of the park, of course you can walk there as well, but it was cooler near the water so we took this route.
The theme on the other side was mostly American.
There also was a massive playground in the centre of the park and there were shows you could visit, such as a circus or theatre. Also if you are feeling hot there are plenty of water rides and even a separate area with lots of water slides and such, but you have to pay extra for that.
The other trip that we took was to a Oltremare, a park that houses a lot of marine animals, fish, parrots, and other land creatures. It is not too big, so you will definitely get through all of the attractions in a day, and there are plenty of breaks that you can take in cafes and other sitting areas.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Italy and are definitely going back for longer than 5 days next time. I know that Alexei really enjoyed himself as he keeps asking when are we going back:)
Hope you all have a wonderful day.