Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Sirmione and the neighborhood, May 2016

Ten days in the home of the Scaligeri and the heretics



You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

The Castello Scaligero di Sirmione

We're returning from our brief sojourn in Vicenza, up the peninsula of Sirmione from Santa Maria di Lugana at the base of it, through Colombare, and along Via XXV Aprile (Liberation Day, 1945).

Nearing Sirmione

From the municipal carpark

Crossing the Piazzale Porto

Via Vittorio Emanuele, the main (and only) thoroughfare

Through the alleys facing the southern side of Santa Maria Maggiore

Back to our room and packing up to move to a different one, for a change of view

To repeat ourselves from an earlier page: "The Scaliger Castle (or Castello Scaligero, or Rocca Scaligera) was begun in about 1277, evidently by Mastino I himself, Capitano del Popolo and effective ruler of Verona and the surrounding territories. An uncommon example of a fortified harbor, the castle is placed about 1km from the northern end of the peninsula and cuts it in two, so that entrance into the town can only be obtained through one of two drawbridges (the other of which leads directly into the castle). The fleet of lake patrol boats, for defense and customs-collecting purposes, could be brought in within the walls of the castle at a need, as we will see presently."

Still another drawbridge. This one opens into the walled town and was secondary (and perhaps later) than the main entrance facing down the peninsula.

The town-side gate with portcullis, with the Della Scala crest on the left and what looks like a Venetian winged lion of St Mark in the niche

Through this "side door" into the first courtyard and castle keep, or mastio

That is the original front door's drawbridge into the courtyard, viewed from a second courtyard and additional drawbridge that were added by the Scaligers in the early 14th century (considered to be "Phase 2" of the castle's evolution).

This is the outer front gatehouse and drawbridge, seen from the outside; the original drawbridge is back inside that somewhere.

This is an additional curtain wall with two towers, outside the original castle; it was added (in "Phase 3") by the new Venetian authorities in the early 15th century.

The castle keep seen from the Phase 3 Venetian courtyard

And -- "Phase 4": a Venetian fortified harbor built onto the castle, with two angular 'spearhead' towers guarding the entrance to what would have been a wet dock in the basin.

The Phase 4 harbor and its northeastern tower

The southeastern tower

The channel cutting across the peninsula, towards the tourist port on the far side

The moat on the left

A Google Maps screenshot showing the protected basin and the two complementary drawbridges facing south, as well as the gatehouse facing into the town on the left.

Peeking into town

The drawbridges arrangement again

Along the wall-walk

The "Phase 2" gatehouse over the drawbridges, and the protected harbor on the left

We're marching up to the top of the keep.

The moat and protected basin

The Roman villa site at the end of the Sirmione peninsula; in the mid-ground, the Santa Maria Maggiore and parts of the city walls

The centro storico

The Hotel (or Meublè) Grifone just below, and our new room (red dot)

The Piazza Castello on the left and the Via Vittorio Emanuele wending away just to the right of the tower

The other corner tower and the "Porticciolo Turistico di Sirmione" or public marina

The length of the peninsula landward of the centro storico

It's time to start down, if we can figure out the way

-- Peek-a-boo. It's this way.

In the original courtyard below, a group of staff members from the 1000 mile classic car rally that's just starting to show up in town

Kristin's a lot faster getting down long staircases than we are.

Kristin in the Piazza Castello

The castle moat

The Grifone lakeside

The Squirrel awakened from her power nap. We're moving house now.

The castle from our new room

One of the few potential disadvantages of our new balcony

And one of the many advantages


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 27 July 2016.


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