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Postcard From Rimini, Italy: Designer Alberta Ferretti on Transforming Her Family Home into a Magnificent Hotel

What does Rimini mean to you?

“Rimini is my home. I grew up in Cattolica, a nearby village, and I’m incredibly proud of this region of Italy. It’s an often-overlooked part of the country, but there is so much to explore in this area, from the food to the beaches, the culture and, most importantly, the people. There is an easiness to Rimini that makes you feel like a local even when you are just visiting.”

Palazzo Viviani hotel

“There is an easiness to Rimini that makes you feel like a local even when you are just visiting,” says the Italian designer Alberta Ferretti.

Giacomo Terracciano

Where do you stay?

“My family home is in San Giovanni in Marignano, a small Baroque town near Cattolica. But in 1994, I bought a 13th-century castle in the medieval village of Montegridolfo, in the Emilia-Romagna region, about a 45-minute drive from Rimini. I restored it to its previous grandeur and turned it into Palazzo Viviani, a hotel full of personality and charm. The eight bedrooms are furnished with antiques and original terracotta floors, and there’s a swimming pool and sloping lawns with beautiful views of the countryside. We serve up a vast breakfast too. I would also recommend Carducci 76, a sleek architectural hotel in Cattolica, designed by my brother Massimo.”

Rimini beachfront

For travelers in the Rimini area, Ferretti recommends a stay at either Palazzo Viviani or Carducci 76, the hotels she and her brother restored and designed, respectively.

Francesco Lastrucci

Where’s a great spot to go for a drink?

“One of my favorite things to do is have an aperitivo at Osteria dei Poeti, a buzzy little wine bar behind the historical Piazza Cavour. For me, it’s a home away from home. I won’t make a reservation; I just turn up in the evening, safe in the knowledge that friends and family will be there. It’s like a magnet. The bar is lined with beautiful photos of old Rimini. I’ll order a bottle of local wine, such as a Sangiovese, and some seasonal small plates.”

To eat out?

“My two sons decided not to follow in my footsteps, but to open restaurants instead. Il Falco is my favorite. It is far away from the nightlife of the town, with its feet in the sand on Rimini’s beachside boulevard, Viale Principe di Piemonte. Dining on the beach and watching the sunset always moves me. The emphasis is on seafood, and the fresh fish here is unmissable, cooked simply on the grill. Another of my favourites is A Pesce in Faccia, which is an old saying for rude behavior, roughly translating to “being slapped in the face with fish.” This gorgeous little taverna on Via Dante is young, easy, and playful, encompassing the vibrancy of Rimini. I always recommend the passatelli (pasta made from breadcrumbs) cooked in fish broth or the cappelletti (similar to tortellini) with bottarga, which is like caviar made from tuna and is a regional speciality.”

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