Sand, sea and sand at Rimini on the Adriatic coast of Italy (photo © Ilfede / dreamstime.com)
The summer train timetables bring some extra colour to Rimini station in Italy. The city which Italians know as Monaco di Baviera returns to the departure boards at Rimini. That particular Monaco has nothing to do with the Riviera principality. It’s the Italian name for the Bavarian city of München (Munich).
Austrian operator ÖBB will extend its current Munich-Innsbruck-Verona-Bologna service (EC85) to Rimini on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer season. The first run is on Friday 17 June. The return journey from Rimini to Munich (as EC84) is on Saturdays and Sundays.
ÖBB will use a rake of nine traditional Eurocity carriages for the summer service to Rimini: six second-class, two first-class carriages and a restaurant car.
This is certainly not the first time that ÖBB’s EC85 has been extended beyond Bologna. Ten years ago, the EC85, in those days called Michelangelo, used to run from Munich right through to Rome.
NTV’s sleek red Italo trains also return to Rimini for a brief summer season in 2016. In its early days, Italo had a Turin to Ancona service which stopped at Rimini. That year-round service slipped from the schedules. But the company will now operate four direct trains between Milan and Rimini on Saturdays and Sundays in high summer. In addition there will be a late evening Friday train from Milan to Rimini, with a single Rimini to Milan train on Monday mornings. Perfect for Milan business types who need a weekend on the beach. Italo’s Rimini season runs from 31 July to 28 August.
These seasonal services will give a boost to Rimini, which has seen visitor numbers drop following the fall-off in Russian trade to the resort. Direct charter flights from Russia used to bring thousands of Russian visitors to this stretch of the Adriatic coast. But the declining value of the Russian rouble made many Russian visitors look for cheaper options elsewhere. Rimini airport was forced to close for a spell in autumn 2014 as the company managing the airport faced bankruptcy. The airport is back in business, but the number of flights arriving from Russia is a fraction of what it was three years ago.