Grotte di Catullo and Archaeological Museum of Sirmione

Via Punta Staffalo, 1 4 (Sirmione)


Oggi: 9:00 AM-10:00 PM
9:28 AM-9:28 AM



At the end of the peninsula of Sirmione, in a unique panoramic position, there are the remains of the largest and most luxurious private residence of Northern Italy. From Renaissance structures have been called "Grotte di Catullo" indicating the collapsed, covered by vegetation, within which you could enter as in natural cavities. The reference to Catullus derives from verses of the Latin poet, died in 54 BC, who sings Sirmione, jewel among all the Islands and peninsulas of seas and lakes. The first excavations with scientific purposes sitoi date back to the mid-nineteenth century, but only after the public acquisition of the area between 1947 and 1949, were performed extensive research leading to publication (1956) a first guide, properly interpreted as sumptuous villa. More recent investigations have helped to clarify the chronology of the villa, built at the Augustan age (the last decades of the first century BC-early 1st century AD) and abandoned during the III century a.d. confirming that the building currently in light was made a unitary project that defined the orientation and spatial distribution, according to precise criteria of axiality and symmetry. A survey in the southern sector of the villa has finally found the existence of some relevant compartments to a building before the large villa, intentionally abandoned and demolished foundations level at the time of the new construction. The villa we can visit today covers an overall area of over two hectares; has a rectangular plant (167 x 105 m) with two avancorpi on short sides and spread over three floors of the lower realized through important excavations of the subsoil Rocky and with substructures. Upstairs, and a spa area, you had access from real mail entry South, toward the Mainland. The same level along the long sides developed, supported, arcades and uncovered terraces up to the belvedere overlooking the water. The Central sector of the residence was occupied by a large rectangular open space of ca. 4000 m2 which is believed to have been the real garden, surrounded on the sides by a portico and divided by paths and flower gardens with lush vegetation and well-kept whose appearance can be assumed due to wall paintings of similar complexes come down to us. After the abandonment of the building in the 3rd century a.d., in the second half of IV-beginning of V the ruined site received a necropolis; later it was placed in the city becoming part of fortified defensive structure that surrounded the peninsula. Along the routes of the archaeological area multilingual panels accompany the visitor.


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