Sirmione, a Roman Villa and a Castle

Just before closing, we climb up to the Castle Spire and look out over Sirmione. Tomorrow we will walk out to the pine trees and the tip of the peninsula to the Roman Villa and have a swim. From here we can see just where we are going.

Viewing Sirmione from the Castle

Mountains hidden in the marine haze and other villages across the lake, like Salo are hidden behind the trees. The castle ramparts are exactly the right place to visit for a cool breeze and to escape the crowds.


D.H. Lawrence wrote travelogues from Lake Garda, Twilight in Italy and I wonder if he came up to the ramparts of the castle and looked over Catullus’ Grotto. Ernest Hemingway, Henry James and Edith Wharton also wrote about the Italian Lakes.

If I imagined an Italian lake, this is how it appears.

We head out to the Roman Ruins early the next day. Although it is known that the Roman poet Catullus had a home in Sirmione, they haven’t proved this was the villa. We pass by cypress and olive groves and come to a museum and open air ruins.

Regardless of who built this villa, we feel a connection. The owner built the villa with views across the lake.  There are masses of arches and windows, so they didn’t lose the view.


Circa 1 BC and they are intent on capturing the view

Perched on the headland, the villa is nestled in cypress and olives. The skeleton of the building remains, much of the rest has been taken away to build elsewhere.

The beach is just below the Villa and there are pools to walk through and enjoy the coolness of the water, without diving into the deep water of the lake.

Ruins of a Roman Villa