Catullo’s caves of Sirmione

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An ancient roman villa

The remains of Catullo’s Caves are located at the far end of Sirmione’s peninsula and can only be reached on foot. The archaeological site is the best preserved example of Roman villa found in the north of Italy and is the most important testament of the roman period in these surroundings.

It is estimated that the venue covered about 20.000 sqm and only a part of it has been brought to light. The first person to be interested in the site was Napoleon in 1800 and was followed by Girolamo Orti Manara who started the excavations and published detailed layouts in 1856.

The name "Catullo’s Caves" was given by Journalist Sanudo, who affirmed that the Villa belonged to Catullo himself. This was never actually proven, but we know for a fact that he owned an abode in the very same area. The villa probably belonged to another member of the Valeri family, who was a consul in 31 a.D.


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