/ / Grotto of Catullus: a photo, a description (Grotte di Catullo)

Grotto of Catullus: a photo, a description (Grotte di Catullo)

The grotto of Catullus is one of the ancient sites in the small resort town of Sirmione, located on the shores of lake Garda. The grotto lies on the very tip of the Sirmione Peninsula, jutting out into the deep lake. In truth, the name of the Grotto of Catullus is not entirely consistent - first of all, this is not a grotto, and second, the famous Roman poet Catullus never lived. In reality it is the ruins of an ancient Roman Villa, which became known as the grotto because of the collapsed and crumbling walls. Catullus lived long before had built this Villa. It is fair to say that in ancient times the family of Catullus owned a manor in this territory - perhaps that is why the Roman poet and Villa tied together.

A huge and impressive Roman Villa, which occupies the tip of picturesque Cape, is a three-story structure built around 150 ad, while Catullus died in 54 BCE, It has the shape of a rectangle with dimensions 167*105 meters and a total area of 2 hectares. This was once the luxurious estate, the size and grandeur of which suggest that it was inhabited by a wealthy family of patricians. The purpose of the facilities of the Villa easily recognisable today: here were the terms, something like a Spa, porch, stables, two huge halls and a Grand double room with sixty columns. Villa Romana is probably the best example of a private Roman Villa discovered in Northern Italy.

Today at the entrance to the Grotto of Catullus is a small Museum and the ruins, surrounded by the waters of the lake and olive groves, can be explored for a small fee. Tourists can wander among the ruins and admire the archaeological finds, for example, the charming carved ornament depicting rabbit, jewelry, old coins, fragments of mosaics, frescoes and stucco that once covered the walls of the Villa.

Just a few meters from the Grotto of Catullus is a private beach resort Lido delle bond, where you can eat in the many cafes and restaurants, swim or simply sunbathe on pristine sand or coastal cliffs.