Currently, I am on a flight from Hong Kong to Shanghai, it’s super sunny and nice above the cloud now, and I really enjoy my trip right now with Cathy Pacific. Finally I’ve edited my photos from my last 2-month trip in Italy, and one of the most excited weekend was in Sirmione, or may if I say, Lago di Garda, you might immediately notice where I have been to. Lago di Garda is the biggest lake in Italy (as you know I’m a frequent visitor to Lago di Bolsena, here) and on the lake, you have a few micro tourism cities to stay for your lake-side summer vacation. When I was entering into the “gate” of Sirmione, I was so impressed by those narrow streets and super European-style boutiques, well then, my boyfriend shared that, when in the old times Italians haven’t travelled abroad that much for their summer vacations, Lago di Garda and nowhere Sirmione, was probably one of the most famous spots.
// 此时此刻，我正在前往上海的飞机上，白云之上阳光灿烂，不过更重要的是把几个月的旅游照片整理出来，简直是大工程了！这不就要说说在Sirmion的那个周末之旅，又或者我该说是Lago di Garda，也许你会对这个地方有所印象？Lago di Garda是意大利最大的湖泊（我最常去的是Lago di Bolsena），围绕着湖泊是星星点点的旅游小镇，曾几何时这里是意大利人最喜欢的夏季度假胜地之一。当我们缓缓驶入Sirmione，我立刻被狭小的两车道和布满欧式小铺的悠然街景所吸引，一点没有现代城市的喧嚣和浮躁。
We came to Sirmione for our good friends’ wedding in the end of June, when the hottest days hit Italy (I will share with you about the wedding day in another post later), and we decided to stay there for a whole weekend to explore by ourselves. Sirmione is in a very narrow shape and it literally goes around the lake. There is only one main road to go in and out, taking your from the city entrance all the way to the port where you can change to a fancy fast-speed boat to the other city on the lake or to the private island as we went to the wedding the other day. There are two major spots to visit in Sirmione which are all in the circle of the old town & port area, however, I really really enjoyed the 20-min walk from our hotel to the port, where we found a beautiful lake-side restaurant to save our thirsty throat, and a very random spot of the sexiest flowers in that summer! In the old town, it’s more commercial and tourism, but those beautiful Sicily-style home decoration and kitchen tools are just too beautiful not to buy, and again I’ve found another floral moment which is the prefect shooting spot.
Counting the real hours that we wondered around in Sirmoine, it’s probably around 12 hours in total (even we split it into 2 days), therefore I think a 12-hour go-to guide for you would be easy and useful.
Here you go!
// 我们来Sirmion是为了朋友的婚礼，而这个周末恰好遇上意大利今夏最热的那么几天（我会另外跟大家分享婚礼盛况）。Sirmione呈狭长型，游玩路线是简单到一条路进出的，从小镇的入口一路到底便是通向Lago di Garda的码头和最古老的原版Sirmione古镇，最让人兴奋的便是在码头坐一回意大利式的fashion快艇，在巨大的湖泊上刷一圈。Sirmione的两大景点都在古镇里，但我也相当享受从外围漫步入古镇的林荫道，不但“救了”我们吃吃赶到的第一顿“饥荒餐“，也用美美的花朵”喂“了我的相机。古镇褪去旧时的繁忙，现在则更旅游化，但古镇小店里的西西里特色厨房家居，让人真是忍不住不买！
Where to stay
I simply recommend to stay in the old town, where you can make your wake-up-to-see-the-flower-and-sea dream come true! (Haha, too long) All the buildings in the old town are super cute and made by stones and woods, which literally offer you the perfect illusion that you are living in the movie. When you open the old wooden window and step into the small balcony, the cobble roads downstairs send you the crispy morning soundtrack immediately while, one pigeon or two gonna wipe your morning with something “peaceful and surprise”! The other absolute advantage of living in old town is, even you dine out so late until after midnight, you can just ghost-wonder back to your hotel – everywhere is just nearby. However, you might prepare for a very commercial pricing and difficulty to find a room in the peak season (peak season = summer from early June).
For budget-friendly choices, there’re a bunch of hotels located outside the old town but still in an approximately 20-min walking distance diameter. Most of them are just by the side of the main road and if you get a room facing to the lake side, the peaceful lake view would be your extra satisfaction. Those hotels are normally spacious and more like a “hotel” and most of them have outdoor pool.
对于预算有限的你，也有不少性价比高的酒店选择。从进入Sirmione开始沿着唯一一条通往古镇和码头的街道满是各种度假酒店，从我住的这一家走路到古镇也只不过20分钟左右的路程，而且所有的酒店都是依着街道而建，大多也配有露天泳池、健身房、餐厅等设备。若是你的房间正对Lago di Garda，那更是景致无限。
Where to eat
To eat, is never a problem when you travel in Italy, basically I can adopt the same saying people have for Japan to Italy (People say, even a random small restaurant in Japan won’t be too bad for your taste)! There are plenty of gelato shops in the old town area, many restaurant choices ranges from cheapest bar style (for sandwich and sliced pizza) to traditional pizzeria, and then to the classic restaurant or even luxury fine dining options.
I really like the two restaurants we’ve been to. The first restaurant, Ciclone, we ended up with very randomly after our arrival, however it turned out to be amazing! They’ve got an all-over white setup with equally big indoor and outdoor dining area. The most frontier tables are placed right next to the lake riverbed, and you could basically make your “cin cin” with Lago di Garda. The cuisine has a focus on seafood and fish (basically all the restaurants in Sirmione are like this) and I found their ingredients were simply fresh and clean which are perfect to pair with seafood dishes as well as for a summer lunch enjoyment, of course, you won’t miss a glass of lemonade or prosecco like us! (The restaurant actually is also a small inn with bed & breakfast style)
The second restaurant, is absolutely stunning. We spent our late lunch there with all the friends from Italy and Hong Kong (they are the wedding couple and the guests) in the stylish La Speranzia. The restaurant’s entrance is “off-the-line” style where you can find the consistent Mediterranean touch on the purely white chambers. The location is the king! All the guests enjoy the open view and breeze from Lago di Garda directly on their lower terrace where again, is all decorated in white. The crystal blue sky and lake water and the white tables and chairs, breath-taking in one second! Escaping from Italian’s early summer sun, we moved inside, where has basically two floors. I had a feeling that I am in a cruise, looking out from the middle and the lowest deck’s window, which I have the view of “just above the water” and “half in the lake wave”! (I was also obsessed with their beautiful and elegant toilet decoration, but I guess you won’t have big interest to hear this part) 😀
The restaurant is run by the couple (not surprised by another Italian family), and it’s absolutely a fine-dining format. Seafood and fish dishes are the signature, of course, but I was also amazed from the tapas-like appetisers, and we’ve definitely served much more than what we ordered. The small tasting spoons were just flowing throughout the whole lunch time between our two tables non-stop. Amazed-amazed!
我很喜欢自己去的两家餐厅，各有不同。第一家 Ciclone 是无心插柳来着，不仅救了又渴又饿的我们更让我们第一次享受到Sirmione和Largo di Garda的美好。她们家有室内和室外占地相当的就餐区，全白 – 是餐厅的主调。室外的就餐区，紧紧挨着湖泊，伸个脚丫子就能碰到湖水的感觉。吃的方面当然也是以海鲜和活水鱼为主，搭配当季的新鲜蔬菜。白天来这里慢慢享受午餐时光，对着美美的湖泊一口白葡萄酒一口鱼肉是最好的了，我们也点了意大利气泡酒和传统柠檬水（Lemonade），也是不能错过的夏季饮品。
第二家要推荐的餐厅，只能用 stunning 来形容！话说朋友婚礼后的早午餐，一大群来自意大利和香港的宾客便跟着小夫妻两去了这家 La Speranzia。餐厅的正门是低调的几乎隐形了，由外墙摸着进去，整个建筑里外都是齐刷刷的地中海风情，到处都是纯白色的（意大利的艳阳下，真是刷瞎眼了）外加柔和的绿叶和大多玫红色的盆景花，背景衬的则是Largo di Garda的湛蓝和远处灰暗色的山脉。餐厅的位置绝佳，在她们家的露台上正对湖泊和群山，美到一秒钟夺取呼吸了！顶不过正午的烈日，我们转入室内，又再一次被惊艳。还是纯白色的布置，整个餐厅分上下两层，窗户的特别视觉效果让我联想当邮轮中下层甲板看出去的感觉，下层的餐厅在那天有那么点湖上风暴的情况下，更是一个个猛猛的浪头往窗上打（其实我对她们家美美的洗手间也是大爱，暂且不在这里说“厕所”那回事了吧）。
Via Dante, 16, 25019 Sirmione BS, Italy
Via Verona, 29, 25019 Lugana Di Sirmione BS, Italy
Where to go
The biggest two landmarks are Castle of Sirmione and Grotte di Catullo, which one is located just to the entrance of old city, and the other one is on the hill when you reach the end of the old city. We bought a combo ticket at castle with only around €10. Climbing up to the castle, we’ve got those amazing view and finally I’ve literally understood the shape of Sirmione (check my photos below). Grotte di Catullo, has the famous heritage of Roman village (almost all destroyed), with a museum next to the entrance. From there, we are lucky to witness a storm brushing the lake, while the sun doesn’t give-a-fuck 😀
Sirmione is also famous of its hot spring resources, where you can find a hot spring resort on the way to the hill (not cheap indeed) as well as the hot spring offers from the luxury hotel. Little gardens and parks are another nice touch of Sirmione old city if you have time to wander around without a purpose. A lot of people also “check” in the famous beach next to the Castle, where basically is a narrow path to the sea. By the way, that day, the lake is a bit angry.
To have a less-tourism adventure, I will suggest a casual morning walk or jog along the lake. They’ve built very nice jogging path where we simple just need to step out our hotel and cross the street. Along the path, there are few extended deck for a nice watch-out. Here we were, recording our memory with a stormy Sirmione.
// Sirmione最出名的两大经典就是古镇门口的“守门”城堡Castle of Sirmione和闯过整个古镇远在小山丘顶的Grotte di Catullo。我们在城堡那直接买了两个景点的联票，也才十欧上下，爬上城堡顶层可以望见整个Sirmione狭长形的地形，像大海中的孤岛一般，Sirmione大片绿色覆盖的城市部分左右两边都是被Lago di Garda夹住走，知道最尽头才融入大陆，把水域挤出去。Grotte di Catullo其实占据整个小山丘的山顶部分，而整个都已经围起来建成保护园区，里面有介绍Grotte di Catullo历史和展示品的博物馆（入口右转），也有一大片散落在山丘上的古罗马城市遗迹（虽然遗迹真是遗的不多了，但某些部分还是看得出当时的宏大）。那天也凑巧让我们在山顶见证一场临空湖面的暴风雨，一半天暴风狂躁、一半天艳阳高照，中间就好像精神分裂一样，没有过度区。
如果喜欢避开人群，大可以一早起身在古镇以外的沿岸小道走一走。沿着同往古镇和港口的唯一一条街道就在这条林荫小道旁边，而另一边则已经是湖泊了，一路上除了绿荫和花意满满，也有几个延伸出去的木桥，大可以走到前段跟有那么点闹别扭的Lago di Garda近距离接触。
Castle of Sirmione (Scaliger Castle)
Viale Guglielmo Marconi 2, 25019 Sirmione, Italy
Piazza Orti Manara, 4, 25019 Sirmione BS, Italy
Piazza Virgilio, 1, 25019 Colombare di Sirmione, Sirmione BS, Italy
Where to shoot & shop
Old city is definitely a place to enlarge your travel collection. Those beautiful kitchen stuff won my heart! My favourite is the Sicily style dishes and cups. All those shops are along the main cobble streets in the old city, you won’t miss them.
Once passed the second arch of the old city, you will be immediately caught by that pink wall on Via S. Salvatore! I don’t have a word to describe how beautiful it is. It’s just too floral and full of life that everyone’s camera (including phone camera) has a crash on it!
For Sirmione, a weekend is more than enough however, I really wish to visit it again for hot spring, for water sports on the lake, and probably go back to La Speranzina again for their terrace!
Hope you enjoy reading today and I will write about the wedding a bit and also a lot of fashion topics are popping up recently, see you soon here 🙂
// 用一个周末的时间来享受 Sirmione 的美是绰绰有余，当然，Largo di Garda 的游玩资源也是不少的，这也是我想要在拜访这个地方的原因之一，La Speranzina 则是原因之二，再次拜访，我一定要在她们家的露台上好好叹一个下午！