Day 15. An Alpine Adventure: 15th September 2018 …. Sirmione on Lake Garda

Italian lakes (usually found in the North of Italy) are famous the world over!

Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda to name just a few are some of the most popular. We were at Lake Garda and we caught a ferry to see the beautiful town of Sirmione.

From: A website:

Sirmione is one of the most popular “sights” on Lake Garda, with thousands of visitors flooding in each day to view the picturesque peninsula. It may not be the best known place to stay for a lake holiday in Italy, but images of the castle and Roman ruins feature in every information booklet about Lake Garda.

Sirmione is a comune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy (northern Italy). It is bounded by the comunes of Desenzano del Garda (Lombardy) and Peschiera del Garda in the province of Verona and the region of Veneto. It has a historical centre which is located on the Sirmio peninsula that divides the lower part of Lake Garda.

From: Sirmione – Visit Garda:

Known to everyone as “ the pearl of the islands and peninsulas” thanks to Catullo, Sirmione is famous for it’s thermal water with it’s healing properties. Situated on the south bank of Lake Garda, in correspondence with a long and narrow peninsula that divides the gulfs of Desenzano and Peschiera, Sirmione was made even more famous thanks to writers such as Catullo, Stendhal, Lawrence and Goethe that honoured its artistic and environmental beauty.

Remembered as “Mansio” (together with other public buildings subject to a decurion), after the fall of the Roman Empire, Sirmione became a part of the Longobard kingdom, and in the XII century, it had its own independent administration from Verona. During the Scaligera regime, in XIII century, a wall was built around it and also an impressive fortress, after that it passed to Venice in the XV century.


Apart from hosting a Spa of international level, it also has a rich historical and artistic heritage, that includes the ruins of an ancient Roman Villa of the first imperial era, known as the Catullo Grottoes , the Scaligera Fortress and the church of “S. Pietro” in Mavino, that dates back to at least VIII century. The city centre is characterised by the narrow alleys with the walls of stone,  offering its visitors romantic and suggestive views. Today Sirmione is one of the most important tourist centres of the Garda Lake, with sports and recreational facilities to  practise the water sports (windsurfing, sailing, etc.) and hotel establishments and services at an international level, able to satisfy the needs of even the most demanding clients.

History:

The first traces of human presence in the area of Sirmione dates from the 6th-5th millennia BC. Settlements on palafitte existed in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. Starting from the 1st century BC, the area of the Garda, including what is now Sirmione, became a favourite resort for rich families coming from Verona, then the main Roman city in north-eastern Italy. The poet Catullus praised the beauties of the city and spoke of a villa he had in the area.

In the late Roman era (4th-5th centuries AD) the city became a fortified strongpoint defending the southern shore of the lake. A settlement existed also after the Lombard conquest of northern Italy: in the late years of the Lombard kingdom, the city was capital of a judiciary district directly subordinated to the king. Ansa, wife of King Desiderius, founded a monastery and a church in the city.

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Map of Lake Garda


View of Sirmione historical center from the castle

On the wharf at Sirmione harbor

Catullus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catullus

Gaius Valerius Catullus (/kəˈtʌləs/; Latin: [kaˈtʊllʊs]; c. 84 – c. 54 BC) was a Latin poet of the late Roman Republic who wrote chiefly in the neoteric style of poetry, which is about personal life rather than classical heroes. His surviving works are still read widely and continue to influence poetry and other forms of art.

Catullus’s poems were widely appreciated by other poets, significantly influencing Ovid, Horace, and Virgil, among others. After his rediscovery in the Late Middle Ages, Catullus again found admirers. The explicit sexual imagery which he uses in some of his poems has shocked many readers. Indeed, Catullus’s work was never canonical in schools, although his body of work is still frequently read from secondary school to graduate programs across the world, with his 64th poem often considered his greatest.

Sirmione Castle

Sirmione Castle

The small church Sant’Anna della Rocca, next to the castle. It dates from the 12th century and was used mainly by the garrison and the few local villagers. The frescoes in the church date from the 14th – 17th century.

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The end of our time going on the ferry around Lake Garda to Simone ….. An Awesome time !!!