Sirmione (click to visit guide) has always been one of those lake towns I love most. You feel a holiday atmosphere everywhere you go; sometimes it seems to almost have a seaside feel to it.
Not only is it a great holiday town, but there is so much history to see; among the highlights are the remains of the greatest Roman villa in Northern Italy and an incredible castle too.
If that wasn't enough, you have beaches.
(see our article on Garda's beaches here) and magical walks through endless olive groves, with glimpses of sparkling waters and distant peaks.
Of course, there is the quaint town itself, which is a true joy to wander through. Fascinating shops are around every corner, gorgeous geranium-filled flower boxes add color to the cobbled lanes, and the bougainvillea-covered cottages are too beautiful for words.
Whether you know Sirmione well or are thinking of visiting soon, join our photo journey through the streets and pathways of the town and its surrounds.
Once you've arrived, which in most cases is by boat, you'll find yourself in a maze of narrow lanes lined with colorful cottages, and in no time at all, you'll find yourself at the incredible castle walls...
After wandering around the colorful lanes, you'll certainly be tempted by some of the shops. These photos below are of a few I love, I don't need to tell you where they are; the town is so small that they are impossible to miss.
The 14th-century Scaliger castle, right in the old town, is incredible. It was home to the Scaliger fleet, and the view from the towers is breathtaking. The Scaligers dominated a lot of the Veneto region from 1226 until 1392, when they were forced to flee.
A little way from the old town you'll find some of Garda's best beaches and, passing through ancient olive groves, you'll come to the remains of the Villa of Catullus. Catullus was one of Rome's greatest roves, you'll come to the remains of the Villa of Catullus. Catullus was one of Rome's greatest poets, and the villa was clearly enormous, with a location second to none.
The walk to the beaches and to the Grotto of Catullus (as the villa is known) is delightful; however, there is a little train (first photo below) that'll take you there if you don't feel like walking.