The Grotto of Catullus are a truly remarkable archaeological site, evidence of the presence of a large villa in Roman times, located at the northern end of the peninsula of Sirmione, in the southern part of Lake Garda.
The walk proposed here allows to visit not only the grotto, but also a part of the peninsula, the center of Sirmione, the lakeshore and other points of interest.
From the lakeside road (Via Verona) you turn towards the center of Sirmione, for a stretch more or less extended towards the north of the peninsula, parking in one of the various available lots.
You walk towards the north, following the road:
You proceed until you reach the historic center of Sirmione, where the Scaliger Castle stands as a bulwark:
After covering a stretch in the picturesque streets of downtown, you turn right, slightly uphill:
Thus you pass aside the Parish Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, and the home of the English writer Naomi Jacobs.
You then reach the lakeside, descending from a terrace:
You walk along it to the north:
Near a bar-restaurant, you turn left, going up among the olive trees:
This takes you to the road that leads to the Grotto, again in the direction of the north:
So you arrive at the entrance of the Grotto area, which is on a fee (€ 4 at the time of this report). On the right you can get to the Archaeological Area, rich in finds, while proceeding towards the east you walk along the driveway to the Grotto:
The complex, at that time a large villa, with terraces and porches with lake views, and bath facility, is really charming, thanks to its unique location and setting:
After leaving the Grotto area, you take the road in the direction of Sirmione. An optional detour to the right, on a specific indication, brings you to the Bell of the Fallen:
You go back on the return road:
Proceeding straight on, you pass aside the Park Maria Callas, then the Terme di Sirmione, to dive back in the old town:
You thus return to the Scaliger Castle, from which you can easily go back to the starting point.
■ gb, 2014-03-15