Sirmione is a long thin peninsula on Lake Garda and very easy to get to from Peschiera del Garda via bus or ferry. I decided to get the bus there (€3.60) and the ferry back as it is one of the ‘special fast services’ and so costs more (€7.60). Just be aware that the bus doesn’t leave from the main bus stops outside the train station but from further down outside the Esso petrol station, and you do have to change onto a shuttle bus for the last 5 minutes.
I only had about 3 hours in Sirmione before the last ferry so decided to have a quick walk through the town and have a look at the castle and the pretty houses. I bought the most delicious mango gelato in preparation for the walk to the biggest Roman site outside of Rome, right on the tip of the peninsula- Grotte di Catullo. It took about 15 minutes to get there and costs €6 for adults, but was free for children.
The site was huge and still in fairly good condition so it was great fun to explore the remains amongst the olive trees. There’s a small musuem as you enter showing many of the artefacts found and explaining the history of the site. However, the info boards around the site are only in Italian, making it difficult to fully get what was going on but it was still very interesting and you just had to use a bit of imagination!
I the headed out of the Villa and down to Jamaica beach- you can enter it directly from the villa on the hour as they check tickets but you can just walk the long way down from outside. It was beautiful with great views of the lake and full of people playing in the water, or sunbathing near the bar. The only issues was how slippy the rocks were to get into the lake but it was such a good way to relax and cool down!
Getting the 19.34 Navigali ferry back was definitely one of the best ideas I’ve had as it was just as the sun was starring to set and put a beautiful glow over the lake and mountains. It took you past Grotte di Catullo which was even more impressive from the water and back into Peschiera harbour in about 20 minutes. With the wind in my hair and the sun setting I couldn’t help but grin to myself- it was the perfect way to end my last full day in Italy!