Sirmione has ancient origins and owes its popularity to the poet Catullus, who lived there and wrote of it in some of his verses. Like all the towns on Lake Garda, Sirmione could not escape the rule of the Longobards, who were expelled by the Veronese in 1197. In 1220 Emperor Frederick II allowed the people of Sirmione to fish freely in the waters of the lake. Following the rule of the Scaligeri, Sirmione surrendered to the Republic of Venice in 1405. In 1452 the ‘Cooperazione degli Antichi Originari di Sirmione’ or Cooperative of the Ancient Natives of Sirmione, was founded which, together with that of Torri del Benaco and Garda, managed the rich fish market of San Vigilio.
La Rocca, built around 1278 by Mastino I della Scala, Lord of Verona, probably on the remains of a Roman fortification. Thanks to its territorial border position, it became a focal point for the Scaliger system of defense and control of the Garda chessboard and its dock, still in perfect condition, represents a rare case of fortification destined for port use. The walls and the three massive main towers are characterized by the dovetail battlements, characteristic of the Scaliger constructions; behind these three towers the imposing mastio emerges, 47 meters high, under which there were the cells destined to the prisoners. About a century later two courtyards and an independent fortification were added, connected by barbican to the main one, to increase the fortress's defenses. In 1405 Venice annexed Sirmione to its Republic and began a work of strengthening the walls and expanding the now obsolete dock of the Scaligeri. The dock is also defended by towers which, unlike those inside the castle, do not have swallow-tailed battlements. On one side of the dock there is an external moat that flows directly onto the lake. The current appearance was defined during the restoration works carried out between 1917 and 1935. The visit of the imposing manor, completely surrounded by water, provides access to the courtyards through an internal portico where a Roman and medieval lapidary is set up and, passing the drawbridge that leads to the second enclosure, the possibility of climbing on the keep and the walkways of the walls from which you can admire the suggestive dock, ancient refuge of the Scaligera fleet, and a beautiful view.
The large villa, below which were found structures of the first century BC, was built at the beginning of the first century AD. The villa had to be abandoned as early as the third century when part of its architectural decoration was reused in the other Roman villa of Sirmione, that of Via Antiche Mura. Between the fourth century and the fifth century the impressive surviving structures of the villa were included in the fortifications that encircled the peninsula of Sirmione and burials were built inside the remains of the Roman building. Over the centuries, as has been said, several chroniclers and travelers visited the ruins, but the first concrete studies on them were carried out only in 1801 by General Lacombe-Saint-Michel, artillery commander of Napoleon Bonaparte's army. Subsequently, the Veronese Count Giovanni Girolamo Orti Manara carried out excavations and reliefs, still fundamental today, which he published in 1856. In 1939 the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage started an extensive program of excavations and restoration, eventually acquiring the entire area in 1948 to allow adequate protection of the complex, immersed in its natural environment. During the nineties of the twentieth century further studies have confirmed that the construction was carried out through a unitary project, which defined the orientation and distribution of the interior spaces according to a precise criterion of axiality and symmetry.
In Sirmione, near the Archaeological Area of the Grotte di Catullo, there is Jamaica Beach (or Jamaica Beach), one of the most popular beaches of the beautiful and charming town, a corner of paradise, a dream place with crystal clear water. To reach it you need to go through the historical center of Sirmione and from here, you can choose between two roads, one more impervious and the other, much more convenient; the most "uncomfortable" was not so long ago the only usable, to get there was in fact necessary to pass the old town and follow Punta Staffalo paying attention because, depending on the height of the lake, you risked having to walk with the water even up to the knees. Today, arriving is much easier, once you reach the end of the center, just follow the climb that leads to the Catullo Caves where, from a small gate near the bar and ticket office, you can access the beach following the path that descends towards the coast.
Discover all the points of interest in the city.
Monday at Colombare and Friday at Lugana
Festa di Santa Maria della Neve 5th August
Ospedali di Desenzano del Garda - Località Montecroce
FARMACIA COMUNALE – Via Verona, 47 FARMACIA DISPENSARIO – DR. A LUISA CORNACCHIONE Via Santa Maria Maggiore, 18 FARMACIA INTERNAZIONALE – DR.A LUISA CORNACCHIONE Via Colombare, 130
SPIAGGIA JAMAICA BEACH SPIAGGIA LIDO DELLE BIONDE SPIAGGIA PUNTA GRO’ SPIAGGIA PUNTA STAFFALO SPIAGGIA LIDO DI LUGANA
STAZIONE FS – Piazza Einaudi, 10 Desenzano PORTO – Piazza Castello PORTO COLOMBARE - Via Lecco