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Wow what a wonderful few weeks we’ve had. To celebrate Mark’s 40th we took off on a two week road trip around Italy. Sirmione, Lake Garda was the first stop on our itinerary. We flew into Italy via Milan and then made the roughly 90 minute bus journey from the airport to Sirmione.
Sirmione is a beautifully picturesque Italian town on an area sitting on Lake Garda in Northern Italy. This small town of circa 8,000 residents is small in size but not in fun. Don’t let its size fool you, there’s plenty to do in and around Sirmione. It’s beautiful town centre is chock full of stunning shops and eateries plus lots of cafes and bars, we spent a whole day exploring the town’s traditionally Italian streets and narrow walkways and enjoying its very relaxed culture. With it’s waterside location it is perfect for boat trips, watersports and sunbathing.
Visiting Sirmione in Lake Garda
The historical epicentre of Sirmione is pedestrianised and easy to navigate; its narrow streets are often packed with tourists especially in the summer months. Finding your way around can be confusing at first, but it is a small place so you won’t be lost for long. Sirmione is delightfully picturesque with two standout attactions – the castle and the Roman ruins.\these are the two main attractions but as you’ll shortly discover there are other amazing sights that make it well worth a visit. \when the sky is clear you can look out over the lake and of course see the dolomites in the north..
Sirmione is a good base for other locations in the area – it’s a short trip to the stunning Desenzano del Garda.
Be warned Sirmione has banned visitors from walking around bare-chested or in just a bikini.
Sirmione is well connected to other resorts on Lake Garda. Ferries leave on a regular basis from Sirmione. The town is also connected by bus to Brescia and Verona.
Sirmione is connected with Milan and Venice via the autostrada.
Read on for our list of 5 of the best things to see and do in Sirmione, Lake Garda.
1. Castle Scaligero
This small town on the lake is home to a thirteenth-century castle, the Rocca Scaligera, it is surrounded by a moat reminiscent of some English castles. You’ll see this place crop up in numerous instagram posts as it really is fairytale picturesque. The castle is also open to the public, you can even climb the tower.
2. Take a day trip to Verona
Verona is a beautiful city made famous by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and the influence of the bard is present throughout the city. You can even visit Juliet’s balcony. Quick warning though, this particular site is always crowded with tourists. Outside the balcony is a statue of Juliet that is said to bring you luck in love if you cup her left breast (odd eh?).
But there’s more to the city than Romeo & Juliet. It is a maze of brightly coloured buildings, cute cafes, sunning architecture and quaint, adorable shops. It is well worth a visit and is an easy bus ride from Verona.
3. Lake Garda Mini Cruise
A mini cruise is the perfect way to explore the peninsula. Experience the area in a spell-binding way as you travel through Italy’s blue-green waters. The architectural views of Castello Scaligero, the ex-villa of Maria Callas, and the Grotte di Catullo are best captured by boat.
You’ll find plenty of local operators lining the lake with varying prices and cruise lengths.
4. Grotte di Catullo
Grottoes of Catullus was built at the end of the 1st century . It is situated at the northern end of the peninsula of Sirmione.
The site also incorporates the roman ruins named Villa Romana which are situated are out at the end of the headland. The ruins are beautiful and surrounded by the lake and olive groves. You can wander through the ruins and wander through the museum admiring local archaeological discoveries.
5. Jamaica Beach
This beach is a lovely little spot to rest up after a day of exploring. It is a free entrance beach (not all the ones in the area are) with a reasonably priced bar overlooking it. If you’re looking for sand you’re out of luck but it is a lovely beach nevertheless, perfect for a little paddle or a swim in the perfect water. Highly recommend.
6. Onepiò Winery
A beautiful winery situated just a thirty minute drive from Sirmione. The winery is situated in the beautiful Italian countryside and offers a selection of wine and cheese tastings. The staff are knowledgeable and welcoming. They answer questions and really know their wines.