Sirmione, The Charm of Water

 

Situated in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy, on its own peninsula that juts out into the lake Garda for about four kilometers, Sirmione is a privileged destination for many Italians, especially thanks to its precious thermal waters. The first settlements in Sirmione were in Neolithic; from the first century BC, as well as for other areas of the lake, the tip of the peninsula became a place for Verona’s wealthy families, including the Valeri, the family of the poet Catullus, who dedicated an ode to the beauty of Sirmione.

Between the IV and V century A.D., the town became a fortified place and, in the thirteenth century,  became part of the Scaligeri’s fortification system, probably by Mastino I della Scala. In the same period it was a refuge for Paterines heretics, soon burn to death in Verona. The function of control and defense, taken in late Roman, continued until the sixteenth century, when its role was replaced by Peschiera.

Sirmione is located in a strategic position, between the plain and the southern part of the lake. The tourist development and the consequent urban transformations of the territory started during  the Second World War. This phenomenon was due in large part to the presence of sulphurous waters, whose curative abilities began to be exploited by the end of the last century. But the most relevant turn was between 1883 and 1891, when Don Angelo Piatti did an underwater exploration, and discover the presence of "Boiola" thermal spring.

Tourists who travel in Sirmione, in addition to the famous Spa, can enjoy lots of different beauties, including the Scaliger Castle, the Grottoes of Catullus and the Church of San Pietro in Mavino. The old town centre preserves a medieval urban structure with irregular and narrow streets. The Scaliger Castle, one of the  best preserved castles of Italy, is bathed on all sides by the waters of Lake Garda. On one of these sides, after the construction of the castle, was built the dock.

The Grottoes of Catullus consist in a Roman house built between the end of the first century B.C. and the first century A.D. on the tip of the Sirmione peninsula. Among the religious buildings, we also recommend St. Anne's Church, located near the castle, and the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. A small pearl is the Palazzo Maria Callas, placed in the central square Carducci, dedicated to the famous opera singer who stayed regularly here in the 50s. The fame of the city, however, is inextricably linked with the health Spa which is among the most advanced of Italy; a wide variety of high-end and a long series of charming structures treatments complete the picture of this exclusive location suitable for stays of wellness, relaxation and luxury.