On a peninsula that divides the lower Lake Garda, this is where Sirmione is located, a small town in the province of Brescia that enchants its visitors with the beauty of the breathtaking landscapes and architecture full of history, so much so that it deserved to fully carry the title of “Pearl of Garda”.
For centuries, a military outpost, Sirmione is now one of the most important and appreciated tourist destinations in Lombardy, suitable not only for families, but also for young people and those who love to immerse themselves in the beauty of historic villages. Discover in this “SiViaggia” article what to see in Sirmione, we have selected for you 5 things that are really worth visiting.
1. Scaligero Castle in Sirmione
Guarded by the only access point by land to the historic center of the city, the Scaligero Castle is a fortress built around the mid-thirteenth century during the Scaliger era, a dynasty that ruled the city of Verona for one hundred twenty-five years. It is one of the rare examples of lake fortification as well as one of the most complete and best preserved castles in Italy.
The fortress, with its three towers and the forty-seven meters high keep is surrounded on all four sides by the waters of the lake, a feature that gives the structure a fairytale and suggestive appearance. Following a very long staircase made up of 146 steps it is possible to access the walkways and enjoy a spectacular view of the Sirmione castle, overlooking Lake Garda.
2. Catullo Caves in Sirmione
Although the name may suggest the typical underground cavities, as soon as you arrive at the Catullo Caves, on the tip of the peninsula, you will find yourself in front of a Roman domus built between the end of the first century BC and the first century AD. You cannot visit Sirmione without taking a leap to take a look at this archaeological complex, considered the most relevant example of a Roman villa on the territory of northern Italy.
Before the excavations the ruins of the villa were covered with thick vegetation and appeared to the visitor in the form of caves, hence the term “caves”. Although there are no certain data on the subject, according to tradition this villa was owned by Gaius Valerio Catullo, who claimed in a poem that he had possessions in Sirmione to which he could not wait to return. The place offers an atmosphere steeped in history, completed by a breathtaking panorama.
3. Jamaica Beach in Sirmione
After admiring the spectacular panorama of the Catullo Caves you can drop by to relax at Jamaica Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the city. This piece of paradise offers swimmers an exotic atmosphere comparable to the best tropical places, but unlike the sea, the coast is surrounded by the waters of Lake Sirmione. A perfect place to spend a few hours of pleasant relaxation, sunbathe or cool off in the Garda waters.
4. Rabbit Island and Garda Island near Sirmione
One thing to do absolutely while you are in Sirmione is a boat trip to the islands close to the town. About twenty minutes of navigation for example, you can admire the small island of San Biagio, commonly known as the island of rabbits. A small piece of paradise characterized by a beautiful and thick vegetation and the presence of numerous bunnies in the area, the inhabitants of the place, now accustomed to the presence of man.
In the north you can instead admire the island of Garda, one of the largest islands in the lake. The island, although private, has been open to tourist visits since 2002 and the offered route consists of a two-hour visit where you can admire the magnificent English and Italian gardens, three rooms inside the magnificent villa in Venetian neo-Gothic style and the natural park.
5. Thermal baths of Sirmione
After exploring Sirmione, a village to be seen, take a moment to enjoy another opportunity to relax and immerse yourself in the beneficial thermal waters. The city is in fact known also and above all for its Aquaria spa, which offers everything you need to find serenity and well-being. Surrounded by the plants of an evocative park, the center offers thermal pools, vascular courses, aromochromatic showers and much more. In the evening you can admire a beautiful sunset, immersed in the hot water swimming pool overlooking Lake Garda.