This is northern Italy's oldest surviving triumphal arch, marking the entrance to Rimini for travellers on the Flaminian Way built by Consul Flaminius in 220 BC to link Rimini and Rome.
The gates of the city were located in correspondence with the principal streets inside the walls: Porta Montanara at the extremity of the cardo maximus where it joined the Via Aretina and Porta Romana at the confluence of the Flaminian Way and the decumanus maximus. This latter gateway would be later demolished in 27 AD when the Arch of Augustus was erected by the Roman Senate as the city gateway.
The Arch honours the figure and the politics of Ottaviano, starting from the inscription which praises him for the restoration of via Flaminia.
The whole structure, covered in Istrian stone, presents strong religious and propagandist characteristics: the architecture reflects that of the temple, while the opening of the door, so huge it could not be closed by panels, proclaims the peace obtained in 31 BC with the defeat of Antonio in the battle of Azio.
The decorative apparatus, including the panel of the gable, is full of symbols; between the arched lintel and the Corinthian capitals, there are four clipei in which four divinities can be admired: Jupiter, father of all the gods and the most important deity for the Romans; Neptune, Italic god of all the waters; Apollo, son of Jupiter and protector of health; Minerva, protector of the city of Rome, of arts and of trades. On both of the arch's façades there are two bull's heads which symbolically attest to the quality of the Roman colony of the city of Rimini.
Originally set into the stone city wall, whose remains are visible, the Archway was topped by an attico whit the statue of the emperor on horseback or on a chariot. During the Medieval period the arch, then known as the Aurean Gate, was partially dismantled and the top part removed. The present battlement was constructed in the 10th century.
Augustus Arch was recently restored and has thus been returned to its original splendor.