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There is much to take in around Lake Garda and even one week is certainly not enough to see it all. One town well worth a visit is Sirmione. Located at the tip of a 4km-long peninsula that juts from the southern shore of Lake Garda, this one spot makes for an ideal day trip where you can take in the Virgilio and Catullo Spas and sulphur springs, as well as visit the incredible historic sites.
The sights include the church of San Pietro in Mavino which dates back to the Lombard rule, complete with a Romanesque bell tower from the 11th century and 13th century frescoes. Later renovated during the 14th century, the church evokes the early Renaissance architecture. The nearby Santa Maria Maggiore, built over a pagan temple, is another 14th century church that is home to numerous frescoes.
The most striking historical site in Sirmione is the Grotte di Catullo (closed on Mondays) which is reached either on foot or by taking the land-train (trenino elettrico) the 750 metres to the site entrance. Named in honor of the Roman poet Catullus, this villa - built in the first centuries BC/AD and covering an area 167m by 105m - features a well-preserved example of a private Roman edifice, unique for Northern Italy. When it was re-discovered in the 15th century it was at first thought to be a series of caves, hence the name Grotte.
The town of Sirmione is also home to a Scaliger Castle, which was built in the 13th century by Mastino della Scala to provide protection for the southern port town, and was used by the Scaliger fleet. This medieval fortification was a residential palace and stronghold, and today is home to the Verona Civic Museum.
The town is always very busy and the narrow cobbled streets can get quite crowded but it certainly a town not to be missed.