Last August, out of the blue we decided to do a weekend trip to Italy. The cheapest flights were to Venice, so there we headed. I had been there before and I knew that four days there were going to be too many. So we decided to go divide the trip in two destinations: Venice and Desenzano del Garda. We were so lucky that we were there in the middle of the heatwave Lucifer. With average daytime temperatures in the high 30s, one of our best decicions was to take a daytrip to Sirmione del Garda.
Where is Sirmione del Garda and how to get there
Both Sirmione and Desenzano are small summer towns around Lake Garda. Very close to the infamous Lake Como, Lake Garda is actually the largest lake in Italy. Desenzano can be easily reached by train from both Venice and Milano. From there to Sirmione you can either take the bus or a ferry. Even though both options fall below 10€, I strongly recommend you to go there by boat, it is a 30 minute trip but the views are fantastic.
The first image of Sirmione
When aproaching Sirmione, the first thing in the city that greets you is the Castle. The Scaliger Castle is a fortress from the XIII century that used to be owned by the Lords of Verona. Fortified back then, when Venice took over they even fortified it even more. Today, the beautiful castle hovers over the town and it even has a fortified harbour. The entrance is 5€ but I cannot give you my opinion on what goes on inside… Because we decided not to enter.
About this beautiful town
The cobblestone streets and colourful balconies make of this tiny town the perfect timeless daytrip. If it were not because it is a very popular, and in August it was packed, one could wander for hours through those streets. There are cafes everywhere, and more importantly ice cream shops. Or should I say Gelato Shops? My Gosh, there was a brand that made gelatos of half a metre! And they were awesome! I cannot have normal ice-cream so I stick to sorbets, and they were delicious! So full of flavour and so creamy! A dream made true! Look at this and tell me if it was not a piece of art.
Behind the town of Sirmione: the weird beach
Sirmione del Garda is in a small peninsule in the lake so most of the town is surrounded by water. Once in town, you can leave the castle behind and cross to a small rocky beach. It is a beautiful spot to just sit and relax, although we decided to look for the well-known Jamaica Beach. In order to get there, you just need to keep on walking behind the castle with the water on your right until there is nothing else in front of you. This beach is a bunch of long and mostly flat rocks were the water warms up and dozens of people sunbath and soak. Since it is a lake, the water is already not that cold, but it just gets perfect over there. Remember to carry water shoes with you if you visit, they are quite slippery and getting off the water can be a challenge!
From Jamaica beach, you can see some beautiful ruins. These is the famous Grotte di Catullo, a set of Roman ruins that used to be a villa. Located on top of the little hill in the peninsule, the views from up there are quite nice, although simple: the mountains are often too far away to watch anything else than the lake. It is still a stunning landscape, don’t get me wrong! The entrance to the villa is also 5€ and you can visit the ruins of the old buildings and the gardens. In my opinion the visit is not worth it, since besides the views there is not much more to do, and you can have these for free.
From the ruins you can walk back down to town in a few minutes and just relax some more or simply take the boat back.
Have you been to Sirmione? You should! If you liked this post pin it for later!