The history of tourism in Riccione is intimately related to the political history of this resort. This is why, in order to get a full grasp of Riccione and its array of tourist attractions, a short history of the resort might come in handy.

Ancient history

The commune nowadays known as Riccione was founded by the Romans, somewhere around the 2nd century BC, who called it Arcioni. However, human presence in this area is documented for as early as the Neolithic age. The remains of sundry human settlements discovered in the hinterlands of Riccione prove it. All in all, Riccione entered the European history as Roman colony, just like the northern Rimini, another tourist hotspot on the Adriatic Riviera usual visitors of the Italian coastline most certainly know about. Riccione, just as the said Rimini, used to be located on Via Flaminia, one of the main infrastructural thoroughfares essential for the economic and political life of the Roman Empire.

This conjunction invested both Riccione and Rimini with a significant strategic role within the Roman Empire. It was during the Roman rule that people discovered the curative potency of the natural resources of Riccione, that is, its thermal waters and some medicinal plant used as drug for alleviating sundry conditions was extracted. One might rightfully state these are the rudiments of medical / spa tourism Riccione later took to a high level of excellence and professionalism.

Middle Ages and Modern Era

The decay of Roman rule in Riccione was felt somewhere during the 3rd century AD, when the barbarian invasions started to ravage Europe, the Italian peninsula included. The most significant episode which marked the history of Riccione during the Middle Ages refers to the rise of the Argolanti family on the local political scene. The family had been exiled from Florence in the late 13th century and came to Riccione. The proof of the large-scale influence of the Argolanti family in Riccione and its hinterlands consists of both the remains of the Argolanti Castle (one of the most impressive architectural structures in the province of Rimini) and the fact the Argolantis are known to have maintained a fairly consistent relationship with the Malatesta family, rulers of Rimini for several centuries during the Middle Ages.

Riccione fell into oblivion for a long time for the rest of its political history, until the late 19th century. The coming of the Ceccarini family in Riccione saw the small community of locals crawling in poverty, fishing and cultivating the land for a living. The Ceccarini family, in particular, the wife of Giovanni Ceccarini, an American called Maria Boorman Wheeler, proved to be very compassionate about the state the locals were in, and they can now be rightfully portrayed as the most noteworthy direct benefactors of Riccione. The family founded a Mutual Aid Society for workers, a nursery, a hospital, as well as they supported the design and the construction of the port of Riccione.

In honoring the contribution of the Ceccarini family to the economic and moral welfare of its locals, Riccione understood to name one of its streets after this family. At present, Viale Ceccarini is one of the several main thoroughfares and the genuine backbone of the resort in terms of shopping opportunities, a hub of tourist life on a par with the beaches in Riccione.

Recent History

The event which has boosted tourism and, actually, set Riccione on the tourist map of Europe, at least, was the decision of the Mussolini family to buy here a summer residence and turn Riccione into their favorite vacation destination. The house they bought is now known as Villa Mussolini, where tourism-related researches are presently being carried out. However, what is interesting is the reference to the Mussolini family quickly turned Riccione into an exclusive destination chiefly frequented by the Italian elite that could afford to buy or build houses in this particular spot on the Adriatic Riviera.

The prestige of playground for the rich and the powerful Riccione has long lived up to started to naturally decay after World War Two, when the resort understood that in order to survive from a tourist point of view, its rigor had to relax. However, Riccione has yielded nothing of its tourism magnetism, since it continued to observe its quality standards in terms of tourist opportunities.

Thus, nowadays Riccione is both an ideal family-oriented destination which accommodates just as well with the label of ebullient nightlife spot. Families and the young drawn to the plethora of discos and bars famed throughout the Riviera come here each summer as if to ascertain constantly one destination can create that ideal balance between both canny and wild opportunities. Shallow waters and clean beaches fitted with all thinkable facilities intended for the entertainment of the little ones and of the adults alike, effervescent nightlife and highly gratifying shopping opportunities, all these concur to the successful tourist formula of Riccione.

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