Sirmione Lake Garda

excerpt from the book “Lake Garda”
Restaurant in Sirmione – Photo © NatashaP

“Sirmio, jewel of islands and of peninsulas, Whatever each Neptune carries In the stagnant clear waters and in the vast sea, How gladly and how happy I see you, Scarcely myself believing myself that I have left behind Thynia and the Bithynian fields and that I see you in safety. O what is more blessed than cares freed, When the mind puts down its burden, And we tired from foreign labor come To our hearth and rest in a longed for bed? This is that which is the one thing for such great labors. Greetings, O beautiful Sirmio, and rejoice in your master rejoicing; And you, O Lydian waves of the lake, Laugh whatever there is of laughter at home.” (Catullus)

the verses of Catullus roll like waves: he loved and sang of Sirmione as “the gem of all the peninsulas”.

The details have faded away in the wake of time, but the Roman poet’s spirit still lives in Catullus’ Villa and Catullus’ Grotte, the original purpose of which is a secret of lake Garda.

Sirmione Castle Photo © Mario Giorgini

The eventful history of the Peninsula has had many highs and lows, but Sirmione never lost its magic.

Be they Romans or Cimbrians, Goths or Avars, Scaligers or Venetians, all where touched by its fabulous charm.

The island just out on Lake Garda like an arm and the water mirrors its luminous image.

Not only Catullus, but also Caesaris is said to have stayed here. In the 8th Century, the Longobards built a convent, Dante came looking for inspiration, Carducci and Boito spent meaningful hours here…..

The Romans built two castles, two harbors, a settlement and the gigantic villa that rises on rocks and powerfully towers on the lake. On the foundations of the old eastern harbor, the Scaligers later built their famous fortress: a charming, graceful yet strong and imposing catwalk, one of the most beautiful buildings in the word.

The numerous villas, churches such as Santa Maria Maggiore’s and San Pietro in Mavino’s, the wonderful frescoes, unique portals, belfries, battlements, arches and columns, the hamlets of Lugana and Colombare, which like inviting gardens lead to the center of the town, all are slats of the fan known as Sirmione.

Sirmione Castle – Photo © Assiolo

Sirmione, however, is something more…..

Sirmione, spa and resort, spirit and culture, restaurants and refined discotheques, thermal baths and outstanding hotels, gastronomy and pizza, excellent wine, markets and fashion shops, the International Academy for Literature, Luna park and Gardaland – a child’s paradise – the meeting point of tradition and future….

Here one finds and meets others. Sirmione is simple and complex, young and old, full of life and movement but also silent and contemplative, the Eldorado of water sports and a dreamy village in the twilight. Contrasts. Sirmione is like a fan with many slats, but it remains unique in its essence.

Sirmione – a forum for conferences and for exchanging ideas – a place for sports, active live, rest, a place of wine, silence, culture. A symphony of leisure, tradition and health.

Sirmione where contrasts meet…..

An ideal location. Which other place is free from through traffic and yet linked to the main motorways? Sirmione. Just look around you.

Where to stay in Sirmione

There are hotels, apartments, condo hotels and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.