Sirmione Travel Guide

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Sirmione Overview

Sirmione, according to Catullus it´s the Gem of all the peninsulas. It´s located on a small peninsula that separates the southern part of Lake Garda. The historic center is strictly non traffic, except for the hotel guests and local residents. In that case, the speed limit is under 10 km which is monitored by the police. The small electric train takes you for just a euro from the Aquaria Spa to the Grotte di Catullo.

The Scaliger Castle with a medieval port fortification is hard to miss. It´s the entrance to the village if you´re not by boat. There are big parking lots out front of Rocca Scaligera. The castle is built around 1250 by the Scaligeri family (lords of Verona), almost in the water of the lake.

In 1889 a Venetian deep-sea diver dived two meters into the lake around the Catullus villa. He was the first person to reach an underwater hot spring. After several attempts he planted the tube into the rock and a sulphurous spray flew five meters high. Thus began the laying of 300 meters of pipes to carry the thermal waters to Sirmione. In 1900 the first spa opened. Nowadays it´s famous for the medical spas.

Piazza Carducci is the central meeting place of the village. It is surrounded by terraces and cafés and it´s the place to enjoy the view on the little harbour.

The Grotte di Catullo is a complex of Roman villas of 20.000 m2. It´s situated approx. one kilometre from the Scaliger Castle. Not only Catullus but also Julius Ceasar seemed to have slept here.

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