Sirmione

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The flower of Lake Garda’s peninsulas

The history of Sirmione is almost as ancient as the one of Rome: since the first century b.C. it was destination to the rich Roman families, who were attracted by the beauty of Lake Garda and by the thermal waters of the area.

Poet Caio Valerio Catullo, after whom the famous Catullo’s Caves are titled used to stay in the village. He was so smitten by its beauty to write poetry on it:

 

Paene ìnsularum, Sìrmio, insulàrùmque
ocèlle, quascumque ìn liquentibùs stàgnis
marìque vasto fèrt uterque Nèptùnus,
quam tè libenter quàmque laetus ìnvìso,
vix mi ìpse credens Thýniam atque Bìthýnos
liquìsse campos èt videre tè ìn tùto!
O quìd solutis èst beatiùs cùris,
cum mèns onus repònit, ac perègrìno
labòre fessi vènimus larem àd nòstrum
desìderatoque àcquiescimùs lècto?
Hoc èst quod unumst prò laboribùs tàntis.
Salvè, venusta Sìrmio, atque erò gàude
gaudènte; vosque, lìmpidae lacùs ùndae,
ridète quidquid èst domi cachìnnòrum!

Catullo, Carme XXXI

Sirmione flower of peninsulas and islands,
(...) With how much joy I see you again
hardly believing it had finally left
the Tinia and Bithynia and see you safe!
(...) Hello my beautiful Sirmione,
welcome the return of the master
and you also rejoice, or Lidie waves of the lake,
and all that is in my house laughing!


Points of Interest