When you’re on the road in Europe, travelling from place to place, you make occasional stops. Sometimes those are just restaurants by the road, and sometimes you’ll stop in a smaller but popular tourist destination. If you’re passing through Italy, you will probably stop to take a bite at Autogrill, or visit Pisa, Siena, Ravenna or Verona. But what about other small places that are not as popular but are also interesting and beautiful; places that are not crowded with tourists or traffic, where you can take a walk and stop for lunch or dinner.
When I was driving back home from Lugano (a town in Switzerland very dear to me), passing through Italian region of Lombardy, I turned and made a stop in Sirmione. Northeast part of Italy and Switzerland are beautiful because of many lakes in the area. Sirmione is situated on Lake Garda. This area was a favorite resort to rich families from Verona and other nearby cities from 1st century BC. During the Roman era Sirmione became a fortified strongpoint defending the southern shore of the lake, partially due to its position (look at the map). Over the centuries it came into possession of different kingdoms are republics. At one point the noble family of the Scaliger (Scaligeri), who were lords of Verona, took over the leadership. They built this castle below which is today about a thousand years old.
Sirmione is a nice town to visit. There are a number of churches besides the Scaglieri castle and the ruins of Catullus residence. Maybe you read Gaius Valerius Catullus poetry and know who he was (he was an ancient Roman poet who lived in Sirmione). It was summer time when I visited. I took a walk, made some photos (as usual), stopped in some local shops to see what crafts they occupied with (mostly pottery and blacksmith) and went to a local gallery.
One of the things I liked the most is this house…looks even more unbelievable when you see it n front of you…
All in all, Sirmione was great. The amazing view of lake Garda, calm atmosphere of the town and a few interesting places were just right…
Did you make a stop in a smaller town that left an impression on you? Which is it?
Stella – European Travelling Advisor