What to see
Grottoes of Catullus
Grottoes of Catullus is the name given to the ruins of a Roman villa which was built at the end of the 1st century B.C. and the beginning of the 1st century A.D.
It was a huge building with sophisticated engineering solutions to get through the gaps and drops of the rocks and create a wide terrace almost suspended above the lake. According to the archaeological findings it was a luxurious building decorated with columns, mosaics, frescoed walls and a private spa.
Even today is a quite fascinating place, a maze where, between half collapsed arches and cyclopian walls, grow centuries old olive trees with the blue lake as back drop.
According to the legend, the villa was the house of the famous Latin poet Catullus that mentions Sirmone in some of his most beautiful poems.
Catullus Grotto is an ideal destination for an half day guided tour or as part of a full day guided tour with the tourist guides of lake Garda.
The Scaliger Castle
The castle was built in the 13th century and was a port fortification used widely by the fleet of the Scaliger family. The castle dominates the landscape of the town and has a large moat where ducks and swans can be seen today. There are 150 steps which lead up to the ramparts and the tower is open to public for viewing.
From the top of the tower, beautiful views of the Lake Garda can be enjoyed. The courtyard of the castle was a garden earlier where the mainland was controlled by the guards from the embrasures. The prison was located below the main keep.
The Sirmione castle has large crenellated walls and towers and an inner porch which is set in medieval and Roman stones. The entire structure is surrounded by water and a second defence wall can be reached through a drawbridge. There is also another walkway along the wall from where the striking dock can be admired. The doors were fitted with several different systems for locking. The drawbridge was for the pedestrians and carriage which had a metal sluice and had two hinged doors.
In a wonderful medieval town steeped in history, the “Pearl of Garda” so praised by Catullus, lies Aquaria, the Thermal SPA of Terme di Sirmione. An oasis of wellness immersed in a large park, a place to enjoy moments of intense pleasure all year round, during the day or in the evening, alternating the sensorial experiences of the thermal water, the steam and the heat, the pampering of personalised treatments. Amidst the thermal water and the breathtaking views of Lake Garda that suffuse Aquaria with the enchantment of the sunset, guests find beauty, equilibrium and harmony.
Must see ( By car or Ferry)
Other stunning locations easy to reach from Sirmione are Bardolino, Lazise, Limone, Malcesine, Peschiera, Salo, Isola del Garda, Verona, Mantova and Venice.
* Isola del Garda is reachable via Ferry only between March and October.
Borghetto di Valeggio sul Mincio
Borghetto is a small Village built in the 14th century, characterised by small Windmills, gardens and ancient ruins. It’s located along the coast of the Mincio River and it is listed as one of the most attractive “Borghi” of Italy.