Sirmione

Sirmione Hotels

Sirmione is located at the tip of a peninsula on the southern shore of Lake Garda. This tiny spa town has been a destination resort since early Roman times. And the natural thermal springs, Roman ruins, and 13th century castle found here ensures the town still remains popular with tourists and sightseers to this day.

Visitors to Sirmione will be awed by the amount of tourists experiences that are packed into this seemingly tiny space. In addition to the ruins and the castle there are plenty of comfortable hotels, casual and fine dining restaurants and plenty of opportunities to shop. In the town, you can take short strolls along the pedestrian paths that crisscross the center. However, because Sirmione is squeezed into such a small space and remains so popular with tourists it may be more enjoyable to visit during the off season as it does get busy.

Getting to Sirmione

You can get there from the other cities on Lake Garda's shores by ferry. You can also arrive by airplane in either Brescia or Verona and then take the bus route to Sirmione. If you prefer to travel by train, you'll need to arrive in either Peschiera or Desenzano del Garda, and then take the ferry or train from these towns.

The historical center of town is where most of the action takes place. While this area can be quite crowded, it's fairly easy to navigate. The Rocca Scaligera, a 13th century castle, reminds visitors of a time long since past. The architecture and surrounding moat bring to mind the castles pictured in fairytale books. Although there isn't much in the interior, the castle is open to the public and you can spend the afternoon taking in the wonderful vistas of Lake Garda from the top of the tower.

Sirmione History

Going even further back in history is the Villa Romana. This ruined Roman villa situated on the headland is framed by the lake and sits on grounds sprinkled with olive groves. Here you can see the ancient baths and disrobing quarters which are proof that the area has always been famous for its thermal springs. A small museum showcases some of the archaeological finds from the site. You are free to explore the grounds every day except for Mondays. The ruins go by the name Grotti di Catullo for the Roman poet Catallus, who stayed near the city but did not actually live at that particular site. Cattallus once wrote that Sirmione is the “pearl of all islands and peninsulas.”

Sirmione Spas

Although Sirmione was used as a spa destination in Roman times, it wasn't until August of 1889 that the modern world discovered the natural hot springs in the area. In that month, a diver from Venice surprisingly found a natural spring sprouting out in the lake bed. Today, the spas in Sirmione channel the natural springs into their facilities for a variety of spa treatments. Terme di Catullo, Terme di Sirmione and Vergil are the three most popular spas. They all offer a variety of treatments including mud baths, inhalations, massages and special rehabilitation services.

If you'd rather skip a day spent in a mud bath, you can head to Sirmione's pedestrian city center. The Piazza Carducci offers a place to sit and enjoy the atmosphere. The piazza is surrounded by shops and restaurants where you can enjoy a bite to eat. While you're shopping stop by the famous Monoprix, a unique store where everything is €10!

Local Wine

If you enjoy fine spirits, make sure to check out the local white wine. There are several wines produced locally and served in restaurants throughout the town. If you'd like to experience more Italian wine, make your way to the local wine producers who will share their creations made in restored “cascines.” Ask for recommendations at any shop that sells wine.

Whether you're interested in the history of Sirmione or would rather just enjoy a nice glass of local wine while overlooking the lake, Sirmione is truly an Italian destination not to be missed.