The Grotte di Catullo, a leap into imperial Roman times on the blue waters of Lake Garda

Located in an absolutely splendid panoramic position of Lake Garda, the famous and ancient Grottoes of Catullus offer the opportunity to take a real step back in time into the sumptuous beauty of imperial Roman times..


Placed gently on the southern shores of the fascinating Lake Garda, right on the extreme part of the Sirmione peninsula, the remains of a Roman villa, known for centuries as the Grotte di Catullo , are therefore a more than excellent architectural and historical example of a A grandiose private building of absolute stately character that can be visited, the most important in the entire northern Italian area.

A visit in which you will be captivated by the amazing harmony of the great architectural technique of imperial Rome and by the spectacular panorama of the shores of Lake Garda that changes continuously as you continue your visit to this incredible archaeological site of rare beauty.

The one offered by the Grotte di Catullo is certainly a unique spectacle , able to take the breath away of anyone walking among the evocative ruins of what was once a sumptuous and splendid Roman villa and the countless sparkling olive trees that decorate it, the all with the backdrop of the magnificent views offered by the intense blue waters of Lake Garda.

Easily reachable with a pleasant walk that starts from the center of Sirmione , or via an electric train, during the summer months, the Grotte di Catullo are an incredible opportunity to make a magnificent journey through time between nature and history on Lake Garda. A tradition, which dates back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, identifies this imposing site as the villa belonging to the famous Latin poet Catullus.

However, as is also evidenced by the verses of Catullus themselves, it is certain that the poet had a residence in Sirmione. On the other hand, in addition to being a place of great naturalistic value since ancient times, Sirmione, now a Lombard town in the province of Brescia, is located along the important road that connects the city of Verona to Brescia.

The remains of what are considered as the villa of Catullus, had a relief and a first detailed representation, only in the early nineteenth century. Still today a fundamental work, however, is that concerning the publication of the Veronese Girolamo Orti Manara, who carried out extensive excavations. At the turn of the Thirties and Fifties of the last century, at first the Superintendency did excavations and restorations and subsequently provided for the acquisition of the entire area, allowing the Grotte di Catullo to be that magnificent splendor immersed in a magnificent natural environment.

The archaeological complex, since it has only been partially brought to light, runs along an area of ​​two hectares in which there are also about 1500 olive trees, some of which even centuries-old.

Interesting, then, the presence inside the park, where the Grottoes of Catullus are located, of an archaeological museum , in which, in addition to being preserved the remains of the Villa and other Roman structures in the area, there are three dedicated sections , respectively, to prehistory, the Roman age and the Middle Ages.

Opening hours and days

Summer (from the last Sunday in March to the last Saturday in October, coinciding with daylight saving time)

Archaeological area and museum:
– 8.30-19.30 holidays – 8.30-14.00
Tuesday – closed

Winter (from the last Sunday in October to the last Saturday in March, coinciding with solar time)

Archaeological area:
weekdays – 8.30-17.00
holidays – 8.30-14.00
Tuesday – closed

– 8.30-19.30 holidays – 8.30-14.00
Tuesday – closed

Prices and Reductions

  • Full: € 8
  • Reduced: € 4 (European citizens between 18 and 25 years old)
  • Free: children under 18, every first Sunday of the month and on the occasion of special events

How to get

To get to the Grotte di Catullo and the Villa it is necessary to follow a path of about one kilometer that starts from the center of Sirmione, in the province of Brescia. An electric train is also available in the summer month

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