About Arch of Augustus – Rimini
The Arch of Augustus in Rimini, known as Arco d’Augusto, is an Ancient Roman monument constructed in 27 BC for Rome’s first emperor. Thought to have been the gateway to Ancient Rimini which would have formed part of the city walls, the Arch of Augustus is an ornate structure depicting various deities such as Neptune, Apollo and Jupiter.
Arch of Augustus history
This Roman triumphal arch is the oldest of its kind in northern Italy and was commissioned by Emperor Augustus in 27 BC. It marked the entrance to Rimini for travellers on the Flaminian Way built by Consul Flaminius in 220 BC to link Rimini and Rome. The arch stands an impressive 17m high on modern-day Corso d’Augusto.
The arch honours Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus, better know as Octavian or Augustus who was the first Roman emperor from 27 BC to 14 AD.
The whole structure, covered in Istrian stone, presents strong religious and propagandist characteristics and the architecture reflects that of the temple.
The main peculiarity of this arch is that the archway is especially large for a gate of the time, potentially due to the peaceful policies of Augustus. The so-called Pax Romana, made a civic gate that could be closed seem unnecessary since there was no danger of attack.
The gate remained in use after antiquity with some modifications. The battlements on the upper part date back to the medieval period when the city was held by the Ghibellines. The arch remained one of the city gates until the Fascist period, when the city wall was demolished and the arch was left as an isolated monument.
When the fascists were in power in the 1920s, and all things Roman were to be lauded, the local authorities decided to demolish the defensive city walls on either side of this magnificent archway in order to remove it from its medieval context and place it firmly back to the days when Ariminum had a larger role to play. An ideological move which has left the archway looking somewhat stranded in the 21st century
Arch of Augustus today
Along with the Bridge of Augustus and Tiberius, it is today one of the symbols of Rimini, so important that it appears on the city’s coat of arms.
The original archway would have had a large statue of Augustus which has been lost to history. Today the images of the four Roman gods to whom the gate was dedicated, Jupiter, Apollo, Neptune, and Roma, are still visible, as well as the inscription dedicating the archway to Augustus.
Getting to the Arch of Augustus
The Arch of Augustus is located on the western side of the Alcido Cervi Park in central Rimini. The nearest train station is Piazza Tre Martiri and the nearest bus stop is Arco d’Augusto. Visitors can walk down the Corso d’Augusto to see the arch appear on the horizon. Nearby parking areas include parcheggio Italo Flori, Parco Cervi and parcheggio Settebellovia Roma.