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Things to do in Sirmione Italy Lake Garda

TOP 8 Things to do in Sirmione Italy Lake Garda: 1 Amazing Town!

Things to do in Sirmione Italy Lake Garda | Sirmione is on Lake Garda, Italy, and it is really a fantastic town. One of the best destinations on Lake Garda is undoubtedly Sirmione. Town appreciated since ancient Roman times, the main peculiarity of Sirmione is that it is located on a long strip of land that enters Lake Garda, and for this reason, the waters of Lake Garda bathe Sirmione on 3 sides.

Sirmione is one of the most beautiful towns on Lake Garda in every season. Sunny and flowery in summer, it acquires a particular charm in the cold season.

Sirmione also combines the beauty of the lake, history and activities dedicated to complete relaxation.

The center of Sirmione is considered one of the most romantic walks in Italy: the cobblestone alleys that recall those of medieval villages, the walls, and the castle create a fairytale atmosphere.

What are the things to do in Sirmione? Let’s see it together! But before we answer a few questions about Sirmione!

FAQs about Sirmione Italy

Here is some useful information about Sirmione Italy.

Is Sirmione worth visiting?

Is Sirmione worth visiting? Yes, it is. Sirmione is worth visiting both if you are an Italian or a foreign tourist, but I would say it’s especially worth visiting if you are a foreign tourist. Why? Because if you’re a foreign tourist, you are probably in Italy because you appreciate Italian architecture, history, food, and much more. In Sirmione, you can find many different of these listed elements because Sirmione is a charming town in an exceptional natural environment, it has fascinating historical monuments, you can relax at the Terme di Sirmone, and of course, there is good food.

How is the weather in Sirmione?

How is the weather in Sirmione? The weather in Sirmione is very similar to that in all the other parts of northern Italy. Anyway, Lake Garda mild up the temperatures in winter when it’s cold, and in summer, it’s pleasant to stay close to the lake when it’s hot. To understand better, I can say that in summer you can swim in the lake, but in winter you need a coat and none, at least no one that is Italian, swim in the lake because it’s too cold.

What is the best time to visit Sirmione?

What is the best time to visit Sirmione? We have to consider more than one element. We have first to say that the winter is the best time to visit Sirmione if you don’t want to find it too crowded and in winter, the castle is used to be enlighted by the winter lights: it’s charming to see. To visit Sirmione, it’s better to choose o period of the year when it’s not very crowded; otherwise, parking the car is difficult. A good compromise between good weather and the crowd can be toward the end of the winter and the beginning of spring when the temperatures are warmer and there are usually fewer people. I vividly recommend you to avoid Sirmione during the Italian national holidays, especially in spring. All the Italians that can’t travel far like to go with their family or friends to the lakes for day trips.

How is the weather in Sirmione in summer and what should I wear?

Sirmione weather in Summer is hot, and since the second half of June, temperatures can reach more than 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). The hot weather in Sirmione in Summer allows you to swim in Lake Garda, and you should dress light, with fresh clothing, especially during the day. Of course, wearing comfortable dresses during the day is better because you have to walk to visit the town. This is even more appropriate if you visit the castle, where you have to go up and take a lot of stairs. In the evening, however, you can choose a more elegant outfit. Summer is also the season when one of the most appreciated foods is ice cream because fresh and delicious.

Sirmione things to do

In Sirmione, you can:

  1. Visit the beautiful Castle
  2. Visit the center of the town where there are many nice shops
  3. Panoramic promenade along the lake
  4. Visit the Ancient Roman Villa Grotte di Catullo
  5. Jamaica beach
  6. Enjoy the food and especially one of the enormous ice creams!
  7. Le terme di Sirmione
  8. Viewpoints

Sirmione Castle

We are in Sirmione, Italy Lake Garda. The Sirmione castle is one of the most beautiful things you can visit here. Sirmione Castle dates back to the second half of 1300 and then to the second half of the 14th century. Sirmione Castle is not only fascinating for its history, on the contrary! Sirmione Castle is magnificent because you can climb its highest tower and see Lake Garda and Sirmione from above.

Things to do in Sirmione Italy Lake Garda: visit Lake Garda Sirmione Castle

The castle of Sirmione is certainly the symbol of this city and an obligatory passage to access the historic city center. To enter the main square on foot, we must cross a bridge that was once a drawbridge. Even today, you can see the holes where the beams were used to lift the bridge.

Features of the castle

The most attractive feature is that it is built directly on the lake. This makes the castle of Sirmione an excellent historical testimony and a beautiful tourist attraction. The castle is the protagonist of countless daily photos, both as a background and as a privileged observation point of the surrounding area.

You can admire the surrounding houses, the lake, and the characteristic dock from the top of its towers.

Watch the following short video which shows you some beautiful views of Sirmione from above the castle:

The towers are not all placed at the same height, which allows, reaching the highest points, to take photos, including the castle itself.

Going up a few steps 😉 you will reach the highest tower. The four sides of this tower face as many localities:

  1. Bardolino and Lazise
  2. Peschiera del Garda
  3. Desenzano and Padenghe sul Garda
  4. Manerba del Garda

All these localities are indicated on the Tower on the side concerned.

History of the Castle of Sirmione

Sirmione Castle dates back to the second half of the fourteenth century at the behest of the Della Scala family, who wanted to create a network of fortifications to defend their domains. The Della Scala family had conquered a vast territory.

The castle then passed to Milan as in 1387, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, occupied Verona and the connected Scaliger territory.

From 1405 Sirmione then passes to the Republic of Venice and remained in Venice for a long time, until 1797. After this date, the control of the territory passes to the French and then to the Austrians until 1861 with the annexation to the Kingdom of Italy.

The dock

It is very interesting to know that the characteristic dock where boats were docked in the 1800s had become a walkable courtyard. The continuous accumulation of debris had caused this.

In 1919, however, it was excavated and returned to welcome water inside, giving us these spectacular images.

Ancient Roman: Villa Grotte di Catullo

The Grotte di Catullo is the grandest Roman villa among those in northern Italy that have come down to us. If it is a Roman villa why is it called Grotte di Catullo instead? The name caves dates back to the first discoverers who in 1400 visited the remains of the villa abandoned for centuries.

The villa’s remains seen from above appeared like natural cavities where it was possible to enter. At that time, the ancient structures were associated with the Veronese poet Caio Valerio Catullo who lived between 84 and 54 BC. Gaius Valerius Catullus had in fact dedicated famous verses to Sirmione and his residence on the lake.

However, It must be said that the Augustan age building cannot have belonged to Catullus because it was built after his death. However, here in the area of ​​the villa there are some more ancient remains found in the southern sector and these are contemporary to the period of the poet’s life.

To confirm this theory there are also recent studies that attribute the construction of the villa to the Valeria gens, a powerful aristocratic family from Verona, to which Catullus belonged.

In the 2nd century AD. the villa perhaps belonged to Caio Erennio Ceciliano. Gaius Herennius Caecilianus was quaestor of Narbonensis Gaul and member of the Roman Senate as well as being also patron of Verona. Gaius Herennius Caecilianus had his own commemorative monument built right here in Sirmione. I have to say that the beauty of Sirmione has been appreciated since ancient times.

How to get to the Grottoes of Catullus?

To get to the Grotte di Catullo, you must walk along the central street of Sirmione, which goes from the castle to the Thermal Baths.

From this point or from in front of the Sirmione Baths the train leaves which arrives right in front of the Grotte di Catullo.

Here is the location of the train stop that takes you to the Grottoes of Catullus:

The train service is very convenient as it allows you to quickly get to the Grotte di Catullo. You can easily get to the Grotte di Catullo on foot but it takes at least another fifteen minutes from the train stop.

Here is the location of the entrance to the Grottoes of Catullus:

The cost of the one-way train ticket is 1.2 euros. The return cost is always 1.2 euros. (Prices verified in October 2023).

The train service does not follow the opening times of the Caves of Catullus, in fact, for example, the service ends before the closure of the Caves. (October 2023 opening hours: morning 10.30 am-2.30 pm, afternoon 1.30 pm-5.30 pm. When it rains, the service is suspended.)

Let’s take our experience in October 2023 as an example. We came to visit the Caves of Catullus at 5 in the afternoon and were able to take the train to get to the Caves of Catullus. For the return we will no longer take the train but will return on foot because the service ends at 5.30 pm in this period.

In any case, we will take the opportunity to exit the Caves of Catullus from the exit in front of Jamaica beach where there is also a bar. Here is the location link:

Visit to the Caves of Catullus

The visit to the Caves of Catullus begins in a museum that introduces you to the actual visit of the archaeological area, giving you interesting historical and scientific information on Lake Garda and other information useful for understanding the visit. In any case, even in the archaeological area you will find information panels with historical and descriptive information about the villa.

Roman finds are preserved in the museum and the section dedicated to the display of some fragments and portions of the frescoes that were present inside the villa is very beautiful.

What period does the Roman Villa of Sirmione date back to?

The villa on the lake dates back to the time of the first emperor Octavian Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD), when the new local ruling class of Brescia and Verona expressed its political affirmation also through residences worthy of a sovereign.

The building is built on the extreme tip of the Sirmione peninsula and for this reason it was surrounded by the lake on 3 sides.

Its uniqueness consists in the architectural complexity in harmony with the landscape, in addition to the vastness of the buildings and the quality of the paintings and stuccos in relief decorating the walls.

Is it worth visiting the Caves of Catullus?

It is very nice to visit this Roman villa or the Caves of Catullus, as the villa has truly impressive dimensions. Not for nothing, as we read at the museum, it is the largest Roman villa in northern Italy.

In addition to the beauty of the Roman ruins, the place in which it is located reigns supreme. In fact, this beautiful Roman villa is surrounded on 3 sides by Lake Garda and is located right near Jamaica beach.

While you visit these ancient Roman ruins rich in history you have at the same time the opportunity to admire the beauty of Lake Garda that surrounds you.

To best enjoy the landscape, benches are placed in the villa in some of the best panoramic points, so that you can relax and also observe the beautiful panorama of Lake Garda.

Once you have finished visiting the villa you can take the exit that takes you directly to the bar and Jamaica beach. This way you can also see this beach well and enjoy the beautiful view and maybe, why not ;), also put your feet in the water.

The sunset at Jamaica Beach is truly special, almost emotional. In fact, our experience was that of leaving the Roman Villa of the Grotte di Catullus at around 6.15pm, when the sun was setting. This way we saw the beautiful sunset over Lake Garda with our feet directly in the water. A worthy ending to a wonderful day in Sirmione.

The thermal baths of Sirmione: Le Terme di Sirmione

Sirmione is a beautiful historical location in which to stroll while enjoying Lake Garda is also famous for its spas: Le Terme di Sirmione, to be precise.

The Terme di Sirmione is a bit special as some pools have a lake view and overlook Lake Garda; they are a very romantic place. I have friends who one year chose the Terme di Sirmione for their very special anniversary.

The Terme di Sirmione is also generally open in winter, when you can immerse yourself in the warm waters of the pools while it’s cold outside. You need to consider that you can wear a T-Shirt and shorts in Sirmione in the summertime because it’s hot and you can swim in the Lage Garda. In winter, instead, you need long pants and a coat and none, at least no Italian one, swim in the lake because it is cold.

At nightfall, you can also see the lights of the towns along the opposite shore of the lake. Very beautiful and scenic.

Things to do in Sirmione Italy Lake Garda: Terme di Sirmione

Jamaica beach

Jamaica Beach is located on the tip of the Sirmione peninsula. It is a beach made up mainly of flat rocks. The lake level remains low near the shoreline and for a few meters. Furthermore, depending on the lake’s height in the period you go, some rocks could emerge from the water forming small islands to sit on.

Jamaica Beach is located very close to the ruins of the ancient Roman villa “Grotte di Catullo”. An exit from the archaeological site takes you directly to Jamaica Beach near the beach bar.

In fact, there is a bar at Jamaica Beach, and there are also sunbeds that can be rented. Sunbeds at Jamaica Beach in October 2023 cost 10 euros for 1 day and 5 euros for 4 hours.

In the following short video, you can see Jamaica Beach at sunset in October 2023. We had just finished the visit to the Caves of Catullus. Upon leaving the archaeological area, we took the opportunity to admire this beautiful panorama and dip our feet in the water. All very beautiful! Here is the video:


If we leave the castle of Sirmione behind us and set out to discover this town on Lake Garda, we will soon notice that on our left, there is no real lakefront to go along.

However, there are several panoramic points, excellent places to relax, and admire the view and the sunset. Here are some.

Panoramic point in Piazza Porto Valentino

One of the viewpoints is the Panoramic point in Piazza Porto Valentino.

Marina of Sirmione

The Transportation Boat Marina is one of the best spots to see the sunset in Sirmione.

The pier

Another excellent point from where to see the sunset but not only is the pier. You can even walk on the pier and see some unexpected glimpses of Sirmione.

Sirmione Ice Cream

In Italy, there are many places where you can have good ice cream. In Sirmione, the ice cream is not only delicious but also enormous!

TOP 8 Things to do in Sirmione Italy Lake Garda: 1 Amazing Town! 12

Sirmione when to visit?

Sirmione is a good idea in every period of the year but let’s see together Sirmione Italy in some period of the year.

Sirmione Italy in October

In recent years the temperatures on Lake Garda in October are really mild, almost summery and therefore it is very nice to visit Sirmione in this period.

The temperatures in October are ideal for visiting historical monuments as it is not too hot and you can easily see the castle, visit the archaeological site of the Grotte di Catullo without getting too tired. However, the temperatures are mild enough to also enjoy beautiful days on Lake Garda.

Sirmione Italy in Winter

Sirmione can surprise you in every season. Sirmione in winter is worth visiting. You should stay in Sirmione until the castle gets magically illuminated at night. Watch the video!

Lake Garda Sirmione in winter | Things to do in Sirmione Italy Lake Garda:

A day at Lake Garda Sirmione in winter

Here is the itinerary that I recommend for a winter day.

Things to do in Sirmione Italy Lake Garda in winter | itinerary to visit Sirmione on foot in winter

A romantic walk in Sirmione is beautiful and comfortable: you can take advantage of a large car park and immediately find yourself on the lake shore. You can enjoy the sun and the mild air in the early afternoon.

Walking along the lake shore, you can head towards the center of Lake Garda Sirmione. Entering the town is genuinely suggestive: a drawbridge leads to the arch between the very high walls of the castle in a truly unique atmosphere.

The Scaliger Castle of Sirmione is one of the best preserved in Italy: it is a majestic building and one of the few remaining lake forts. The lake surrounding Sirmone on all four sides makes Sirmione Castle unique; it really looks like the castle from the storybook illustrations!

Walking along the ancient walls, we can make the most of the winter light hours.

Enjoying the sun by accessing small beaches and walking on the piers is possible. Lake Garda Sirmione looks like a small floating island on Lake Garda; it is no coincidence that its name derives from the Greek syrma “tail”, “wake”. It seems to detach itself from the mainland and rise above the lake.

The town center is suggestive and elegant, with its cobbled alleys. It is very busy and full of shops, clubs, ice cream parlors, and restaurants, all of which tend to be refined.

Shops with gastronomic specialties, typical products, and delicacies for all tastes!

Things to do in Sirmione Italy Lake Garda in winter

But let’s not immediately give in to gluttony and enjoy the beauty of the landscape, the fauna and flora of the lake for a while longer, walking on the piers and enjoying the last hours of the day.

Lake Garda Sirmione: The sunset

At sunset, Sirmione becomes even more suggestive. The sun creates plays of light between the Castle’s emeries and the lake’s water; truly a show not to be missed, romantic and evocative. The castle that dominates the village with its high towers and frosting creates a fairytale atmosphere. And the clear winter air enhances this feature.

At nightfall, it is easy to find something to refresh yourself. Sirmione offers a wide choice of clubs and restaurants in which to dine.

Not to be missed is the show of refined and elegant illuminations which brighten up the village in the evening.

Lake Garda Sirmione in June

As we have seen in this post, Sirmione is a very beautiful place to visit in any season, but how is Sirmione in June? Sirmione in June is a very popular destination both for Italians living in the nearby areas and for foreign tourists.

Especially during the weekends it is difficult, although not impossible, to find parking near the center. So you may have to leave your car a little further away, in one of the car parks along Via XXV Aprile.

In summer, you can always visit historical sites such as the castle of Sirmione or the caves of Catullo during opening hours. You can also simply enjoy the village in peace by strolling, enjoying an ice cream, an aperitif, or dinner in a beautiful panoramic restaurant.

Suppose you don’t speak Italian and want to have dinner. In that case, I think you won’t find any difficulties because of the language as in the restaurant the waiter spoke in English even to us who speak Italian, since the waiters are used to serving people of different nationalities.

In the following short video, you can see Sirmione in June. On this occasion, we only spent part of the day in Sirmione as we were previously in Desenzano del Garda. Taking advantage of the lengthening days, we arrived in Sirmione late afternoon.

We walked, enjoyed the view, and dined in a restaurant overlooking the lake. At the end of the dinner, the sun had not yet fully set, and therefore, we could end our day at Lake Garda by sitting at the pier to admire the sun’s setting, which gradually hid behind the mountains at 8:50 pm. Great way to end our beautiful day.

Lake Garda Sirmione in June | What is Sirmione weather in June?

What is Sirmione weather in June?

Sirmione weather in June is hot, especially in the second half of the month, when the temperatures can reach more than 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). The hot weather in Sirmione in June allows you to swim in Lake Garda, and you should dress light, with fresh clothing, especially during the day. Summer is also the season when one of the most appreciated foods is ice cream because fresh and delicious.

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