Giuseppe Zanotti’s perfect weekend in and around Rimini

The shoe maven is known for his flamboyant design and rock ’n’ roll approach and his latest collaboration is with musician Rita Ora

Giuseppe Zanotti in Rimini
Giuseppe Zanotti in Rimini | Image: Danilo Scarparti

“I love the sea air around Rimini: the Adriatic coast is popular for sailing and it’s only a three-hour cruise to Croatia. Saturday begins at my home in San Mauro Pascoli with decaf coffee, squeezed orange and lemon juice from my grove and a boiled egg, fresh from the chickens that my girlfriend Nicoletta gave me for my birthday.

Then we drive to Rimini’s old town with our French bulldog, Lion – if you go early you catch a lot of activity around the port. About 50 years ago they created this waterfront that leads up to the 21 AD Ponte di Tiberio. There are moorings along the river and in the new marina where I keep my boat, a Riva 86 Domino. I’ll visit the market for fruit and vegetables to take onboard and pick up some fresh local squacquerone cheese, which is amazing with piadina flatbread. 

I am licensed to drive my boat, but I am not always confident about the technical systems, so I employ a captain and two crew. Slightly south of Rimini is Gabicce Mare and San Bartolo National Park in the Bay of Vallugola, where we’ll drop anchor. The town is tiny, but there are three fantastic restaurants – one in Gabicce Mare and two uphill in Gabicce Monte. The family-owned Ristorante Dalla Pia in Gabicce Mare does delicious seafood, such as prawns and lobster with tomato sauce, and uses the juices from cooking the fish to enrich the pasta.

I take a siesta on the flybridge in the afternoon or listen to music and write – when I relax, I get ideas for the collections. I tend to have family or guests staying and we will often take a taxi to Gabicce Monte for dinner at Ristorante Posillipo, known for its amazing raw-fish dishes, or to Dalla Gioconda. Both have beautiful views and spectacular sunsets. We return to the boat around 11pm to smoke cigars, drink wine – I source local wines from Cantine Spalletti in Ribano – and talk.


I am up before 8am on Sunday, walking the dog and buying the newspapers. As my guests don’t generally emerge until after 11am, Nicoletta cooks breakfast onboard and I have three hours to myself to catch up on emails and talk to the captain.

It’s an hour’s cruise across the bay to Cesenatico, an intimate, picturesque port. It was prone to flooding, but in 1502 Leonardo da Vinci redesigned the canal that runs through it to better protect the town. It is a famous boatbuilding area and the floating Maritime Museum exhibits colourful 19th-century boats. We’ll also wander around the beautiful Biblioteca Malatestiana, which has Unesco status as it lays claim to being the first library in Europe to open to the general public.

It is also home to my favourite restaurant, Casa Tua da Silvano, famed for its fish dishes and where we’ll have lunch of risotto with clams, though it’s best to go in the evening when there is music and more atmosphere. My other lunchtime choice is Magnolia, whose chef Alberto Faccani produces delicious creative dishes.

We’ll take a mid-afternoon siesta before returning to Rimini. If we arrive before sunset, we’ll stop by the lively Darsena Sunset Bar overlooking the marina for an aperitif. We’ll finish the weekend with lobster pasta at La Petite Langoustine, where there’s a terrace overlooking the marina. It has a DJ and great ambience. Tired but happy, we’ll finally leave the port at about midnight for the short drive home.”


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