Sirmione is located on a long peninsula located on the southern shore of the lake; the main area is shaped like a triangle, and has only one narrow street leading to it - and this street is guarded by a real menacing castle, the Castello Scaligero, built in the 13th century:
Looking from an inner court we see that this castle is high and intimidating indeed - not built for pleasure, but for fighting:
And looking to the western side of the castle towards the lake we see a nowadays quite rare example of a fortified harbor, incorporated into the castle:
Finally this view from the castle towards the Old Town of Sirmione is a reminder that the castle not only protected the town - it also served as a means of oppression; a very inglorious incident took place in the late 13th century, as Mastino I. della Scala ordered the ruthless persecution of a religious movement criticizing the holy church - resulting in a true massacre, because half of the inhabitants of Sirmione belonged to this movement. Knowing this the castle suddenly looks only half as romantic - and the castle reaching out to the town people seems to be really menacing:
We now wander along the shore of the peninsula until we reach its northern tip - and here, as 2000 years ago, some luxury hotels are located, with their own, very private terraces with a smashing view of the lake:
It's simply too hot to visit the Roman ruins in Sirmione today, so we walk back to the Old Town to get some shade - and a view of this nice house on a corner:
We now go to the largest Piazza in Sirmione, the Piazza Carducci, surrounded by bars and restaurants - right now even a concert is going on:
The Piazza is directly connected to a pier offering another method to reach and leave Sirmione - by ship, on the the eastern side of the peninsula. And with this 370 degree pano (yes!) taken on that pier we finally leave this picturesque and very old town:
P.S.: This was the ship I left Sirmione with this day - nice, isn't it?
Hope you enjoyed the tour!