Considering it was well into the early hours, Rimini seemed to have absolutely no intention of going to bed. It was staying up and having a ball; all the shops were open, the bars were doing great business and all along the beach in each direction you could only see a sea of pink. Pink Night is something a little special in Rimini. Not, as you might first think, a celebration of anything remotely gender based, but simply a celebration of a summer version of New Year’s Eve.
Locals might tell you it began as a night for women to shop all night,(hence the pink) but the truth is it’s when summer officially kicks off along the Emilia Romagna region’s beautiful sandy coast and from Lido di Comacchio in the north, past Riccione to Cattolica in the south, all 110 kilometres of coastline is a blaze of pink for just one night only.
La Notte Rosa (Pink Night) is serious business. There is a steady build up in the days leading up to the 1st July , with small outdoor concerts and cultural events, and of course some obligatory pink purchases. Local entrepreneurs make hay with the mandatory items such as t shirts, hats and flags whilst the streets are festooned with pink balloons, streamers and lights.
Arriving in Rimini and seeing all this for the first time, I had mixed emotions it must be said. Lurid visions of a tourist nightmare scenario came to mind, kiss me quick hats and overpriced dodgy pasta. It seemed an eternity away from my fond childhood memories of Rimini as a seaside town of sun, sand and happy times. But as it turned out, I was completely wrong. It was a genuine celebration of summer, and everyone – local and visitor alike was just in the mood for a traditional festive time.
You couldn’t help but be swept along with it all. There was live music seemingly on every street and we were all one big happy pink family. Midnight was approaching and we all made our way down to the beach for traditional fireworks; not just any old fireworks you understand, a coordinated display, duplicated in every town along the coast. It was quite a moment I can tell you. 110 kilometres of beach ablaze with synchronized fireworks. It heralded the start of the party and Rimini got into serious part mode till dawn.
If you’re feeling glamorous and you’re pockets are deep enough, then stay at Rimini’s Grand Hotel. It was Frederico Fellini’s favourite hotel and he had a permanent suite there.
La Notte Rosa is a must see experience, after all it’s not everyday you can promote your pink side so blatantly. Pink is most definitely perfect!
Main image (c) Andy Mossack
I want to go to Pink Night When is it?
The 2014 version of Pink Night (La Notte Rosa) is 4th July and this year’s theme is Passion.
The nearest airport from the UK for direct flights is Bologna.