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“Roman Ruins worth exploring”
Review of Grotte di Catullo

Grotte di Catullo
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US$11.74*
and up
Lake Garda Mini Cruise: Sirmione Peninsula
Ranked #4 of 19 things to do in Sirmione
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Reviewed 1 January 2013

If you are walking and exploring Sirmione take the time to visit the Grotte di Catullo. My kids and I walked to them and really enjoyed seeing the ancient Roman villa, and the views of Garda Lake. It was a bit of a walk from the hotel to the end of the peninsula, so bring a stroller if you have a little one. You won't be able to use it inside the ruins, but you can park it as you explore and climb around on the ruins.

Thank Ladyfromkansas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"roman villa"
in 125 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 76 reviews
"small museum"
in 34 reviews
"lake garda"
in 95 reviews
"olive trees"
in 26 reviews
"interesting ruins"
in 13 reviews
"roman ruin"
in 16 reviews
"electric train"
in 11 reviews
"amazing roman"
in 8 reviews
"mini train"
in 8 reviews
"archaeological site"
in 12 reviews
"small train"
in 15 reviews
"land train"
in 16 reviews
"large area"
in 13 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 23 reviews
"wander around"
in 8 reviews
"amazing views of the lake"
in 9 reviews
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719 - 723 of 3,409 reviews

Reviewed 30 November 2012

We were mesmerized by these villa ruins at Grotte di Catullo. We went off season, in cooler weather, late afternoon to catch the sun lower in the sky and there was hardly another person there, so it felt like discovering it all alone. It’s an easy 15 minute walk from the village center and costs just 4 eu to enter. Expect to spend at least 1, maybe 2 hours there depending on your interest in the museum, which I found interesting (but not riveting!) with some English language explanations (also ask at the ticket booth for their overview in English). While the actual ruins are not well signposted, it didn’t bother me, as it was just fun to walk around without knowing where you were! It’s probably very beautiful (and full of tourists) in the summer months, but was very atmospheric in the late Fall.

Thank AnnArborMHT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2012

Very impressive, quite expansive. Was this a summer house for some rich roman? The museum is nice, too, wish I had more time to visit.

Thank nelson k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2012

For someone from the UK whose idea of impressive Roman ruins has been set by Hadrian’s wall and the Verulamium in St Albans, I had my expectation set on a few piles of Roman age bricks. Wrong !
This really is a very impressive site and is a truly impressive Roman ruin spread over quite a large area.
This archaeological complex extends over five acres in total and is apparently the second-best surviving example of a Roman private home in all of Northern Italy. So all I can say is that the best surviving must be really impressive.
As others have mentioned, the views you get from the top combined with the building ruins give some great photo opportunities, and it is worth taking some time in the attached museum, which has a very good collection of recovered artefacts and examples of the mosaic floors and decorated walls. The amount of information given (including that fact that despite its name, it is not a grotto and was also never at any point owned by the ancient Roman poet Catullus) is also very good.
If visiting on a day trip to Sirmione it will take you about a 15 minutes stroll from the Old Town Entrance or the Ferry port to reach.
Alternatively if you are staying in Sirmione and want to combine a visit to the Grotte with a very pleasurable walk then it is recommended to take the lakeside path around the head land where again you will get some fantastic lake side photos. In the morning it is best to do it West to East, by taking Via Punto Staffalo to the end and taking the path to the left. It’s not really a true path , but you can walk around the headland all the way to the spiaggia, and then walk through the pleasant Olive grove gardens up to the Grotto. And then in the evening do it the other way round after a visit to the Grotte when you could catch a sunset. This walk also has the advantage of the fact that you will escape the tourist crowds and probably only bump into a few intrepid locals.
One word of caution the Grotte di Catullo site is not open on a Monday at any time of year, and the opening and closing hours change through the season.

4  Thank Steve_of_N21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 October 2012

Wonderful ruins to wander round - the sheer scale is amazing for a single dwelling. Views over the lake in all directions.

Thank CovSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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