4) $PLATFORM=1; else $PLATFORM=2; } elseif (preg_match("/MSIE (\d)/i",$HTTP_USER_AGENT,$v)) { $browser="msie"; if (($version=$v[1])>4) $PLATFORM=1; else $PLATFORM=2; } elseif (preg_match("/Mozilla(?:\/|\s)(\d)/i",$HTTP_USER_AGENT,$v)) { $browser="navigator"; if (($version=$v[1])>4) $PLATFORM=1; else $PLATFORM=2; } else { $browser="other"; $version="unknown"; $PLATFORM=2; } } ?> Italy's Rimini and Riccione
A Weekend of R and R
 by: Michael R. Read

Rimini and Riccione are as good as Italy has to offer, if a sun, sea, sex, and clubbing combo is your preferred option. The region's party reputation seems untarnished by the country's new drinks law, banning the serving of alcohol after 4am.

Rimini is the more relaxed of the two. An Adriatic Blackpool, offering all the style that an Italian golden mile implies. It's hardly sedate, with a seaside swirl of small clubs, bars and restaurants, but it's clearly geared more towards families. Packs of them promenade of a night-time, giving the resort a different feel to its wilder, wider-eyed sibling. Nevertheless, it offers varied and intimate venues, and will be preferable to those without the transport or ego needed for a trip out to the more distant clubs of Riccione.

Riccione boasts bigger and, arguably, better clubs, bars and beaches than those in Rimini; certainly, the famous and more (self?) important venues are to be found there. A taxi or car is essential to join the clubbing cream in the hills outside the town. Many would view these offerings as more commercial, and perhaps as brash and "samey", but they're places to see and be seen in at least once. A number hold more than 3000 people - some manage that on the dancefloor alone - and most are packed at the weekend. Several are open-air clubs, with dancefloors exposed to the elements, so check the forecasts to ensure your night isn't a washout. Names like Cocorico, Ville Del Rose, Pascia and Byblos are becoming evocative in the clubbing community, as those in the Balearics did before them.

You can eat, speak and party English all weekend if you like, but there are plenty of peaceful parts to outmanoeuvre the English accents and their jarring reminders of Monday morning. Move back from the beach and you find an historic town that is well worth a piece of the action.

Ryan Air runs regular flights from Stansted to Rimini. At the time of writing, its special fare of £14 + tax (!) each way was no longer available, but sub £100 flights shouldn't be impossible to track down. Info on hotels can be found at the excellent Italian Tourist Web Guide, www.itwg.com. Accommodation is available from about £20 a night and bookable online. You'll need to plan your bed ahead if you're going in high season. Enjoy.

About The Author

Michael R. Read is a freelance journalist and writer, specialising in travel, technology, business and health issues. This article was posted on January 13, 2002 on articlecity.com