Rimini, Diocese of (ARIMINUM), suffragan of Ravenna. Rimini is situated near the coast between the rivers Marecchia (the ancient Ariminus) and Ausa (Aprusa). Coast navigation and fishing are the principal industries. The thirteenth-century cathedral (San Francesco) was originally Gothic, but was transformed by order of Sigismondo Malatesta (1446-55) according to the designs of Leone Baptista Alberti and never completed; the cupola is lacking, also the upper part of the facade; in the cathedral are the tombs of Sigismondo and his wife Isotta. The plastic decorations of the main nave and some of the chapels, a glorification to Sigismondo and Isotta, are by Agostino di Duccio, and breathe the pagan spirit of the Renaissance. On the southern side are the tombs of illustrious humanists, among them that of the philosopher Gemistus Pletho, whose remains were brought back by Sigismondo from his wars in the Balkans. There is a remarkable fresco of Piero della Francesca. In San Giuliano is the great picture of Paul Veronese representing the martyrdom of that saint, also pictures of Bittino da Faenza (1357) dealing with some episodes of the saint’s life. Among the profane edifices are the Arch of Augustus (27 B.C.), the remains of an amphitheatre, and the five-arched bridge of Augustus over the Marecchia. The town hall has a small but valuable gallery (Perin del Vaga, Ghirlandajo, Bellini, Benedetto Coda, Tintoretto, Agostino di Duccio); the Gambalunga Library (1677) has valuable manuscripts. There is an archaeological museum and a bronze statue of Paul V; the castle of Sigismondo Malatesta is now used as a prison.
Ariminum was built by the Umbri. In the sixth century B.C. it was taken by the Gauls; after their last defeat (283) it returned to the Umbri and became in 263 a Latin colony, very helpful to the Romans during the late Gallic wars. Rimini was reached by the Via
Flamminia, and here began the Via ‘Emilia that led to Piacenza. Augustus did much for the city and Galla Placida built the church of San Stefano. When the Goths conquered Rimini in 493, Odoacer, besieged in Ravenna, had to capitulate. During the Gothic wars Rimini was taken and retaken many times. In its vicinity Narses overthrew (553) the Alamanni. Under Byzantine dominion it belonged to the Pentapolis. In 728 it was taken with many other cities by the Lombard King Liutprand but returned to the Byzantines about 735. King Pepin gave it to the Holy See, but during the wars of the popes and the Italian cities against the emperors, Rimini sided with the latter. In the thirteenth century it suffered from the discords of the Gambacari and Ansidei families. In 1295 Malatesta I da Verucchio was named “Signore” of the city, and, despite interruptions, his family held authority until 1528. Among his successors were: Malatesta II (1312-17); Pandolfo I, his brother (d. 1326), named by Louis the Bavarian imperial vicar in Romagna; Ferrantino, son of Malatesta II (1335), opposed by his cousin Ramberto and by Cardinal Bertando del Poggetto (1331), legate of John XXII; Malatesta III, Guastafamiglia (1363), lord also of Pesaro; Malatesta IV l’Ungaro (1373); Galeotto, uncle of the former (1385), lord also of Fano (from 1340), Pesaro, and Cesena (1378); his son Carlo (1429), the noblest scion of the family, labored for the cessation of the Western Schism, and was the counsellor, protector, and ambassador of Gregory XII, and patron of scholars; Galeotto Roberto (1432), his brother Sigismondo Pandolf (1468) had the military and intellectual qualities of Carlo Malatesta but not his character. He was tyrannous and perfidious, in constant rebellion against the popes, a good soldier, poet, philosopher, and lover of the fine arts, but a monster of domestic and public vices; in 1463 he submitted to Pius II, who left him Rimini; Robert, his son (1482), under Paul II nearly lost his state and under Sixtus IV became the commanding officer of the pontifical army against Alfonso of Naples, by whom he was defeated in the battle of Campo Morto (1482); Pandolfo V, his son (1500), lost Rimini to Cesare Borgia (1500-3), after whose overthrow it fell to Venice (1503-9), but was retaken by Julius II and incorporated with the territory of the Holy See. After the death of Leo X Pandolfo returned for several months, and with his son Sigismondo held tyrannous rule. Adrian VI gave Rimini to the Duke of Urbino, the pope’s vicar. In 1527 Sigismondo managed to regain the city, but the following year the Malatesta dominion passed away forever. Rimini was thenceforth a papal city, subject to the legate at Forli. In 1845 a band of adventurers commanded by Ribbotti entered the city and proclaimed a constitution which was soon abolished. In 1860 Rimini and the Romagna were incorporated with the Kingdom of Italy.
Rimini was probably evangelized from Ravenna. Among its traditional martyrs are: St. Innocentia and companions; Sts. Juventinus, Facundinus, and companions; Sts. Theodorus and Marinus. The see was probably established before the peace of Constantine. Among the bishops were: Stennius, at Rome in 313; Cyriacus, one of his successors, sided with the Arians; under St. Gaudentius the famous Council of Rimini was held (359); he was later put to death by the Arians for having excommunicated the priest Marcianus; Stephanus attended at Constantinople (551); the election of Castor (591) caused much trouble to St. Gregory I, who had to send to Rimini a “visitor”; Agnellus (743) was governor of the city subject to the Archbishop of Ravenna; Delto acted frequently as legate for John VIII; Blessed Arduino (d. in 1009); Uberto II is mentioned with praise by St. Peter Damian; Opizo was one of the consecrators of the Antipope Clement III (Guiberto, 1075); Ranieri II degli Uberti (1143) consecrated the ancient cathedral of St. Colomba; Alberigo (1153) made peace between Rimini and Cesena; Bonaventura Trissino founded the hospital of Santo Spirito; under Benno (1230) some pious ladies founded a hospital for the lepers, and themselves cared for the afflicted. At the end of the thirteenth century the Armenians received at Rimini a church and a hospital. From 1407 Gregory XII resided at Rimini. Giovanni Rosa united the eleven hospitals of Rimini into one. Under Giulio Parisani (1549) the seminary was opened (1568). Giambattista Castelli (1569) promoted the Tridentine reforms and was nuncio at Paris. Andrea Minucci was severely tried during the French Revolution; under him the Malatesta church (San Francesco) became the cathedral. The diocese has 124 parishes, 125,400 inhabitants, 336 priests, 10 houses of religious with 56 priests, 24 houses of religious women, who care for the hospitals, orphanages, and other charitable institutions, or communal and private schools. There are also 1 school for boys and 3 for girls.