Three Towns on the other Side of the Sea

written by Predrag Matvejević



On a long pier supported from the sides by huge blocks of stone, rises the “lighthouse tower”. It can be seen from afar, both from the sea and from the land. It stands at the entrance into the port of Rimini - into the channel where once Marecchia flowed. The river changed its course and found a new mouth. The townsmen enlarged and deepened its old bed and turned it into a port. Several ports developed on this straight and shallow coast in the same way.


The piers in the channel are made partly of bricks, partly of stone: they have rows of pawl bitts, with ropes, chains, tools, anchors on the side. At some time of day and year, three ships moor side by side, on the left or on the right. The passage through the middle becomes narrow. The crews have to agree among themselves or with the port office when they are going to sail in or sail out, who sails first and who follows.