Lake Garda

Lake Garda, or Benaco, is the largest Italian lake, with an area of about 370 km². It embraces 3 regions: Lombardy (province of Brescia) Veneto (Province of Verona) and Trentino-Alto Adige (province of Trento).

The landscape of Lake Garda, the largest of the lakes of the southern side of the Alps, is one of the most spectacular thanks to its peculiar glacial forms.

On the surface the waters of the lake has an average temperature of about 12°. The lake is subject to rapid rises in level, linked to sudden drop of atmospheric pressure. The maximum depth of the lake is 346 m. The minimum depth, away from shore, is 4 m. The average level of water is 65 meters above the sea level and undergoes seasonal variations relatively minor compared to other large Alpine lakes.

On the shores of Lake Garda there is one of the most beautiful little town of Italy: Sirmione.

It is located in the province of Brescia, whose old town is situated on a peninsula that divides the bottom of Lake Garda. Sirmione is a great place for tourism: the meaningful Roman and medieval ruins are an important destination for cultural tourism.

The town has ancient origins: thanks to its favourable geographical position, it has been chosen by different peoples over the centuries.

On the south coast of Lake Garda, at the end of the peninsula of Sirmione, in a splendid panoramic position are the remains of a Roman villa known for centuries as the “Grotte di Catullo” the most magnificent building of the whole of northern Italy. During the Renaissance the names “grotte” or “caverne” were used for internal collapsed,structures and covered with vegetation. This name indicates in fact an ancient astonishing Roman Villa.

The tradition identified this complex as the family villa of Catullus, the Latin poet died in 54 BC. According to the verses of Catullus it is certain that he had a residence in Sirmione, but that it was precisely in this area is only possible.

The Superintendent began the excavations in 1939-40 and restored it in 1948. They acquired the entire area, enabling the protection of all the roìuins immersed in its natural environment.

The villa, which has a rectangular shape (167 x 105 m.) covers a total area of over two hectares. Particularly interesting is the Antiquarium, located near the entrance of the archaeological trail. The museum houses the plan of the Roman Empire, the photographic documentation of the excavations, some mosaics, bronze objects and pottery and some floor mosaics.

Museum Opening Times:

1 March – 31 October, 8.30 – 19.00 (Tuesday – Saturday) 9.00 – 18.00 (Sunday);

1 November – 28 February, 8.30 – 17.00 (Tuesday – Saturday) 8.30 – 14.00 (Sunday)

Tickets: € 4.00, reduced € 2.00

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