Learn how to mix the coolest tunes and the smoothest cocktails on a party weekend package in Rimini, on Italy's Adriatic coast
I flew out to the glamorous city of Rimini for a short break billed as a ‘Party Weekend Package’ and hosted by one of Italy’s hippest hotels, the DuoMo. This hedonistic two-day bender offers the chance to learn how to mix both the coolest tunes and the tastiest cocktails, along with VIP entrance to the city’s most happening clubs.
Rimini is situated on Italy’s Adriatic Coast and is often hailed as the Italian answer to the Costa del Sol or compared to the classy French Riviera. Its impressive 25-kilometre coastline, with its beautiful golden sand beaches, has for years been a haven for sun worshippers, but over the last few years Rimini has experienced somewhat of an overhaul. Now there’s a new reason to visit. Dubbed ‘the clubbing capital of Italy’, Rimini is to Italians what Miami is to Americans. I couldn’t have come to a better place to take my first DJ lessons.
Rimini is awash with luxurious clubs and stylish bars. I spent the first night in Byblos, one of Rimini’s better-known clubs, and was pleasantly surprised. An international playboy-type restaurant-club-bar, with garden, pool and sea views, it’s located up the spectacular Riccione Alta, the most visited hillside on the Romagnola Riviera.
The club’s location, décor and scantily clad, sun-kissed clientele puts it at the top of the pile, and makes it a bling night out that even P Diddy wouldn’t forget. It’s the sort of nightclub where models and movie stars wouldn’t look out of place. The affluent-looking crowd, dripping in designer gear, with their airbrushed looks, made it hard not to feel a little intimidated but with the excellent music supplied by Ministry of Sound DJs, and helped along by a couple of bellinis, I slipped right into the mood. The outside restaurant serves up fantastic barbecued fish around the poolside area, and from the balcony you can enjoy stunning views of the sea.
My hotel, the uber-trendy DuoMo, is set in the heart of Rimini’s beautiful old town, tucked back from the coast. Since opening a year or so ago, it has raised eyebrows with the locals, who are bemused by its contempory edifice. It’s the work of leading British designer Ron Arad, who designed every detail of this astonishingly modern hotel. Its curved plastic walls, leather floors, futuristic furniture and seemingly constant flow of chill-out music are a little overbearing to begin with, but it’s that very uniqueness that sets this place aside from any other break you’ll have this year. Even Arad himself described it as ‘Big-Brother-house meets Teletubbyland.’ It the perfect place for city folk who just want to party.
It’s the little touches that appealed to me straight off, like the honesty bar (try that in London) and the alternative door signs that read ‘I had a great time last night, please straighten me out’ or ‘I am dreaming, please leave me that way.’ But the hotel’s highlight is the adjoining club, noMi. This too-cool-for-school club would give any Soho haunt a run for its money, with a Gaudi-esque steel bar that curls around the room housing a remarkable array of spirits and equally impressive list of fancy cocktails.
NoMi is where I met with Italian DJ Ciuffo, who was about to give me my first DJ lessons. Before coming out to Rimini I read up about him. It would seem he too is a superstar DJ – he’s been in the DJ business for 25 years, and is cited as a pioneer in Italian house music.
I was feeling surprisingly confident about it all and became even more so when I realised we would be mixing CD not vinyl! ‘How do we scratch?’ I asked. ‘We do not scratch; we play house music,’ he snapped back with authority. ‘Scratching is for hip-hop DJs.’ As I was already familiar with a mixing desk, the numerous dials and faders did not perplex me much, though the thought of the beautiful people sipping their champagne and expecting to be entertained did. So I listened hard.
Ciuffo taught me to ‘leak’ my song into the existing track by counting a 4-4 rhythm, using the headphones to listen to both tracks simultaneously. Slipping the fader from right to left, realizing no one even noticed the mix, is exhilarating. The gadgets on today’s hi-tec CD decks are great fun. Ever wondered how dance tracks create that phaser effect? Well, that will be the ‘jet’, ‘zip’ and ‘wah’ effects that I couldn’t seem to keep my hands off. The night continued into the early hours. After the lesson Ciuffo and his friends showed me around Rimini’s other clubs. VIP all the way of course. Fantastic.
Even when the booze has worn off and the sun has risen from behind the picturesque mountains, Rimini’s still a fine place to be. It’s not just the high-octane nightlife that impressed; it has a wonderfully romantic old town too. Sitting at one of the smart al fresco style cafes with the aperitivo set, enjoying a cold Pinot Grigio, is as good a way as any to chill after the night before. Young Italians whiz up and down the cobbled streets on their brightly coloured Vespas whilst elegant Sophia Loren types prowl the chic boutiques. This place has all the Italianisms you could wish for, with a sprinkling of bling to keep you happy by night.
The DuoMo ‘Party Weekend Package’ is ideal for groups of friends, or stag or hen nights looking for a bit of honest fun and something a little different. You won’t return home a Fatboy Slim but you’ll have partied hard the VIP way, mixed with the beautiful and had a lot of fun along the way.
Based on a minimum of eight people in the group, it costs around €242 per person for two nights in a double room including VAT, breakfast, one free drink in noMi, a DJ lesson, cocktail mixing lesson, VIP entrance to Byblos or Paradiso, a visit to the designer outlets and free use of city bikes.
EasyJet flies to Rimini from London Luton with prices from around £28 one-way or £50 return.