The 10 best sights of Sirmione – descriptions and photos

The 10 best sights in Sirmione.

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The sights of Sirmione attract travelers from all over the world and there are several reasons for that. First of all, Sirmione is a small, cute and very hospitable town located on the magnificent Lake Garda – the largest lake in Italy, which is also considered one of the most beautiful.

Secondly, Sirmione has everything that a person who comes to the resort can dream of, from a charming ancient castle to a stunning thermal spa. Here you can immerse yourself in the rich history of the city through visits to its many ancient sites, or simply enjoy a bohemian holiday on one of the most picturesque beaches by Lake Garda. Once you arrive, you’ll understand why it’s called the “Pearl of Lake Garda” and why it’s one of the most popular destinations in all of Lombardy.

Sirmione Castle

Sirmione Castle

Sirmione Castle.

The most popular sight in Sirmione is its magnificent Scaliger Castle. From the outside it seems as if this stunning structure hovers above Lake Garda, and from its fortress walls you can enjoy a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside.

The castle was built in XIII century by the Scaligers – a family that ruled Verona for nearly 125 years. Needless to say, the castle is of great historical importance. Although its interior is quite simple (don’t expect too much from a tour of the castle), you will still be very impressed by what you see, so head here first thing.

Address: Rocca Scaligera, Piazza Castello, Sirmione, Brescia, Italy.

Grotto of Catullus

Catullus's Grotto

The Grotto of Catullus.

At the edge of the Sirmione peninsula are the ruins of an ancient Roman villa which dates back to the first century A.D. This place offers not only a unique glimpse into the past of the region, but also a chance to enjoy the incredibly scenic views of Lake Garda. Sirmione used to be the resting place of the wealthy people of Verona. Looking at the impressive size of the villa, you can only guess how extensive were the “vacations” of the local aristocrats in the early Middle Ages.

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Address: Archaeological site of Grotte di Catullo, Piazza Orti Manara, Sirmione, Brescia, Italy.

Jamaica Beach

View of Jamaica Beach

View of Jamaica Beach. | Photo: Henrik Ismarker / Flickr.

If you want to relax in the sun, head straight to Jamaica Beach where the warm turquoise waters of Lake Garda and the soft sand await you. The beach is located very close to the grotto of Catullus, which we told you about earlier, so it would be logical to look here after exploring those ruins. By the way, the shore is full of smooth and flat rocks, so don’t slip when you enter the water! If you’d like, you can book a kayak trip.

Address: Jamaica Beach, Lago di Garda, Sirmione, Brescia, Italy.

Church of St. Peter

St. Peter's Church

Church of St. Peter.

It is the oldest church in Sirmione and worthy of attention, if only because here you will have the opportunity to see well-preserved frescoes from the twelfth to sixteenth centuries. In general, the church was built in the VIII century, but over the centuries, its exterior has often changed a lot following the vector of religious currents in Italy. One of the most striking additions was the Romanesque bell tower, built in 1070 and later turned into a symbol of remembrance for fallen Italian soldiers. It is one of those places in Sirmione that you do not want to miss.

Address: Chiesa di San Pietro in Mavino, Via San Pietro in Mavino, Sirmione, Brescia, Italy.

Historic center.

Gelateria Mirkoz Ice Cream Cafe

Gelateria Mirkoz ice cream parlor.

Since Sirmione was built long before cars appeared in Europe it consists of a labyrinth of narrow streets that give the city its unique character.

Walking through them, you can try to find a worthwhile handmade souvenir or stop in one of the local cafes to drink a cup of fragrant coffee. In fact, there are plenty of cafes that serve the tastiest food and authentic Italian pasta.

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If you like sweets, be sure to stop by Gelateria Mirkoz to get two or three scoops of homemade ice cream in crispy waffle cones. Believe me: this ice cream is as beautiful as it is delicious. The owners even offer a vegan version of the dessert based on soy or rice milk so that absolutely all categories of tourists leave their place in complete gastronomic delight.

Address: Gelateria Mirkoz, Via Vittorio Emanuele, Sirmione, Brescia, Italy.

Maria Callas Park

Maria Callas Park

Maria Callas Park.

Maria Callas was a famous opera singer who performed in the mid-twentieth century. She was desperately in love with Sirmione, and the feelings were mutual. This quiet park, dedicated to the great performer, is a great place for quiet walks. The park is close to the beautiful villas where Maria lived with her husband from 1950 to 1959.

Address: Parco Maria Callas, Viale Gennari, Sirmione, Brescia, Italy.

Ruins of the Monastery of San Salvatore

Ruins of San Salvatore Monastery

Ruins of the monastery of San Salvatore.

Another interesting sight worth seeing when you come to Sirmione are the ruins of the monastery of San Salvatore. It is believed that its walls, like the walls of many other religious buildings in the city, were covered with exquisite frescoes.

However, due to the many political upheavals that haunted the city over the centuries, the monastery was destroyed and its vaults dismantled. At present, all that remains of the once beautiful structure is part of the eastern wall.

Address: Abbazia Di San Salvatore, Via San Salvatore, Sirmione, Brescia, Italy.

Church of Santa Maria Madgiore

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore.

Santa Maria Maggiore is a lovely late 15th-century Catholic church that stands on the site of the former 8th-century Lombard Church of San Martino. The walls of the nave are decorated with frescoes from the beginning of the 15th century, and the paintings on the north wall of the church are thought to have appeared even earlier.

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Address: Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore, Via San Maria Maggiore, Sirmione, Brescia, Italy.

Ca dei Frati Winery

Ca dei Frati Winery

Ca dei Frati winery.

The Ca dei Frati winery is sure to attract the attention of all lovers of good Italian wine. Here you will be guided through the huge cellars and then you will be shown how the local wine is made. Of course at the end of the tour you will have the opportunity to taste (and buy) a wide range of excellent Ca dei Frati wines, including rare and collectible varieties.

Address: Azienda Agricola Ca ‘Dei Frati, Via Frati, Sirmione, Brescia, Italy.

Gardaland theme park

Gardaland theme park

Gardaland amusement park | Photo: Ivan Ivankovic / Flickr.

When most tourists ponder what to see in Sirmione, they hardly think of the local amusement park – after all, Sirmione is famous for much more “lofty” attractions.

However, if you come here with your family, sooner or later you will want to visit Gardaland itself and the Aquarium next door. The amusement park has 32 exciting attractions divided into 5 different themed areas.

At the Aquarium, you will have the opportunity to explore 13 unique rooms imitating various ocean biomes. Here you will be told not only about a variety of sea creatures, but also about how to preserve the ocean and its inhabitants. Near Gardaland there are three interesting themed hotels associated with the Blue Lagoon, a large outdoor pool with its own waterfall.

Address: Gardaland, Via Derna, Castelnuovo del Garda, Verona, Italy.

Sirmione (Italy)

Sirmione (Italy) – detailed description with photos, main sights of Sirmione and location on the map.

The city of Sirmione.

Sirmione is a city in the province of Brescia in Italy on the picturesque Lake Garda. Sirmione can rightly be called the pearl of Lombardy and one of the most popular tourist centers of Northern Italy. The historic city center is situated on a peninsula which juts into the lake. Sirmione, thanks to its beautiful nature, interesting landmarks, relaxing atmosphere and delicious cuisine.

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Sirmione Panorama

The panorama of Sirmione

How to get there?

Sirmione is an important transportation hub of Garda. If you follow it by car, it is the A4 freeway Turin-Venice – Sirmione exit. It is not a problem to get here by train or bus from most Italian cities. See the schedule and tickets here – http://www.trenitalia.com/

View of Garda

View of Garda

Sightseeing in Sirmione

Sirmione and the coast of Garda were already inhabited in the Bronze Age. The Romans turned the town into a place of recreation.

Scaligers Castle in Sirmione

Scaligers Castle in Sirmione

The iconic landmark of Sirmione is the Scaliger water castle. Built in the 13th century in the lake harbor, it is a real outpost with strong walls and towers connected by stairs and passages. The tallest tower is 47 meters. On it is an observation deck. Earlier a suspension bridge protected the entrance to the castle. Currently, the bridge is permanent. It connects the historic center and new areas.

Bridge over lake channel in Sirmione

Bridge over the lake channel in Sirmione

The castle used to serve as a fortified port for the Venetian fleet. It should be noted that the walls protect almost the entire harbor, and the castle itself is a unique construction in Europe.

Another famous attraction is the Cattula Grottoes.

Cattula Grottoes

Cattula Grottoes in Sirmione

The Cattula Grottoes are a complex of ancient ruins at the very end of the peninsula, built in the period 30 BC. – 68 A.D. These are some of the largest ancient complexes of Northern Italy discovered in the 15th century. They were called Grottoes because before the excavations they resembled sea caves. In fact, it is an ancient villa, which many people associate with the Roman poet Cattulus, but there is no reliable evidence that he lived here.

Also in Sirmione you can find several interesting religious buildings.

Church of San Pietro in Mavino

Church of San Pietro in Mavino

The Church of San Pietro in Mavino is an ancient church built in Sirmione back in Lombard times. Although it was rebuilt in the 14th century, the interior still has 12th-century frescoes and an 11th-century Romanesque bell tower.

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Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Church of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore is another historic church in Sirmione, built in the 15th century with preserved 15th-century frescoes.

Streets of Sirmione

Streets of Sirmione

After crossing the bridge at the Scaliger Castle, you can get to the crowded streets of Sirmione. Here you can find many authentic stores, chic restaurants and delicious pizzerias. Everything for a great vacation and shopping!

Video – City of Sirmione

Interesting excursions

Hidden corners of Venice

€200 per excursion

Hidden corners of Venice

Medieval, graceful, and fragile: walk through the most authentic quarters of the city and feel its soul

Rome - sightseeing tour of the main sites and the undiscovered ghetto

€120 per excursion

Rome – a sightseeing tour of the major sites and the undiscovered ghetto

Trace the city’s path from Antiquity to modern times and learn about the inhabitants of the past and present

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