As its inscription declares, the arch was built in 27 B.C. as an honorary gate to celebrate Emperor Octavian Augustus. It once formed part of the stone-built city walls, the remains of which are still visible, but is now isolated because the adjacent structures were demolished in the 1930’s.
The structure, which was originally topped by a parapet bearing a statue of the Emperor, is richly decorated with religious and political references. In fact, the divinities represented in the round shields (Jupiter, Apollo, Neptune and Rome) recall the grandeur of Rome and of Augustus himself.
As the inscription on the internal parapets recalls, work on the bridge over the Marecchia River, then known as Ariminus, began under the Emperor Augustus in 14 A.D. and was completed under Tiberius in 21 A.D.
The bridge still connects the city centre to Borgo San Giuliano and leads to the consular roads Via Emilia and Via Popilia that lead north.
Built in Istria stone, the bridge consists of five arches that rest on massive pillars with breakwater spurs set at an oblique angle with respect to the bridge’s axis in order to follow the current. The bridge’s structure on the other hand, rests on a practical system of wooden poles and the foundation is a single one so that it guarantees a more complete stability. Today you can admire it from the water aboard small rowing boats (Association Marinando)
The Amphitheatre, which dates back to the second century as a coin of the Emperor Hadrian, found buried in the walls, testifies, was situated close to where the coast once was. It was originally a sombre brick structure, consisting of two superimposed orders with a colonnade of 60 arches. It was an extremely impressive sight, particularly when approaching from the sea. The Amphitheatre was elliptical-shaped and measured 117.7 x 88 metres while the arena was 73 x 44 metres wide, almost the same as those found in the great amphitheatres. Gladiatorial events held here, drew even 15,000 spectators at a time.
The Archaeological Museum, the Roman Stone Museum and the Domus
The Museum is housed in the former Jesuit convent erected between 1746 and 1755
In December 2007 the new archaeological section of "the Surgeon's House" has opened with finds from Imperial Rimini (II and III cent.). Among the most notable ones: the extraordinary surgical instruments and precious furniture for the preparation of medicines, the reconstruction of a "taberna medica" and the glass paste panel depicting fish.
Mosaics, stuccoes, sculptures, ceramics and tools of a Domus was also found under Palazzo Diotallevi.
The inner courtyard-garden of the museum contains the Roman Stone Museum with inscriptions dating from I century b.C. to IV century A.D. giving information on everydaylife, religion and politics of that time.
Download the map that guides you to the discovery of an ancient city, still alive at present
Watch the video of the Roman itinerary in Rimini