We return to Emilia-Romagna this week to take a look at what is probably , to Italians, the most famous New Year festival of them all – “L’anno che verrà” or “The Year to Come” in Rimini. This spectacular show is broadcast live on Italian television and thus rings in the New Year for the whole of Italy. This New Year’s Eve will mark the eighth time that the honour has fallen to Rimini.
For the lead-up to the great occasion, the resort has prepared many other seasonal attractions for visitors and among these are its Christmas lights and the enormous sand cribs which can be seen on the Torre Pedrera and piazzale Boscovich beaches until 9th January. Another attraction is the 2,000-metre Rimini Ice Village which has two skating rinks and is open until 30th January. One of the rinks has been constructed especially for children and there will be a team of “penguins” and “bears” to help them. Meanwhile, their parents might like to have an “aperitivo sul ghiaccio” [aperitif on ice] available at the special bar.
At the city’s Castel Sismondo Museum visitors can enjoy two interesting exhibitions which will run until the end of March. These are “Parigi, gli anni meravigliosi” [“Paris, the Wonderful Years”], a show of Impressionist art and “Caravaggio e altri pittori del Seicento” [“Caravaggio and Other Painters of the XV11 Century”]. Caravaggio’s “Ecstasy of St Francis” is on display along with thirteen other important works by painters of his period.
There are also street and Christmas markets to enjoy and Rimini will be the only Italian city to open the New Year with an opera: Bizet’s “Carmen” is at the Auditorium Palacongressi from 1st – 3rd January 2011.
Over 50,000 spectators are expected to gather in Rimini’s piazzale Fellini for the New Year show, which will be presented by a woman for the first time this year: Actress Maria Venier will introduce the show along with comic and presenter Pino Insegno. Many of Italy’s favourite television stars will appear and the singers Pooh, Loredana Berti, Nevruz, Noemi and Boney B will take part. There will also be songs from “Abba the Show”.
The show will begin at 9pm, immediately after President Napolitano’s televised speech to the Italian nation. Admission to the square is free and naturally, there will be fireworks to enjoy once the New Year has been rung in! The celebrations will continue until at least 1 am.
Visitors to Rimini will, until 27th March 2011, be able to buy a special city pass which will entitle them to discounts on cultural events in the city.