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.

Last walks around Sirmione, and the church of San Pietro in Mavino

We're up early enough, for a change, to avoid the traffic jam at the front gates, 16 May 2016.

A sunny day to visit all the Sirmione attractions we might have missed.

The 15th century church of Santa Maria Maggiore again

The small but beautiful polygonal apse

Early 15th century frescoes, with some from a still earlier period . . .

. . . and at least one dated 1508.

Rooms to let.

Via Santa Maria Maggiore

Crossing the Via Vittorio Emanuele high street

The Via Antiche Mure across the way

The Piazza Flaminia

We've come around to the piazza with the ferry terminal with a plan to take the ferry just over to the first stop, Lazise on the eastern side of the lake -- a fine day for sightseeing.

The piazza of the ferry landing

An unwelcome surprise. The ticket for the full round-trip of all the towns on the southern end of the lake costs € 19.60. The ticket for a quick run over to the first stop and back again, € 19.60.

So it's time for Plan B.

A brief stop back towards the hotel

The Ristorante San Lorenzo, our favorite in Sirmione

Just across the piazza, where the Via Vittorio Emanuele continues on the left and the parallel Via Giuseppe Pia diverges on the right

The same piazza, with the Ristorante San Lorenzo out of the frame to the left

Along the Via Giuseppe Pia, it's not all medieval charm.

The parallel roads reunite 200m farther on at the Terme Catullo spa, at the northern end of the medieval old town

A wise choice of transportation on the Vittorio Emanuele

Past the castello with late morning tourism fully engaged

The two drawbridges over the moat and directly into the castle from outside the town

Entrants arriving for the Mille Miglia or Thousand Mile classic car rally; they're driving onto the piazza, then continuing slowly round and round the orange cones until a guy with a watch tells them they can park and get out.

The castle from across the tourist port

Another old car doing its final laps before docking. The programme for the 2016 Mille Miglia began the next day, 17 May, in Brescia, and proceeded to Rimini; then from Rimini to Rome; then from Rome to Parma, and finally on the fourth day back to Brescia. Evidently these are just some of the competitors booking in here down the street from Brescia to be ready for the line-up the next day. There were 450 cars in the event this year, not all of them here in Sirmione of course, with 900 crew members from 38 countries, quite a few of whom we jostled shoulders with in the Castello Sirmione two days ago.

From the Via Dante along the moat toward our hotel room

-- Hey, Kristin!
--Hi, Dwight.

Northward beyond the Terme Catullo and the medieval agglomeration, on the road out to the Grotte di Catullo Roman villa, there is a line of modern upscale hotels and this, Maria Callas' villa in the 1950s.

Up a little hill amidst some pretty fancy homes and gardens, this is the apse of the Chiesa di San Pietro in Mavino, the name apparently a corruption of the Latin "in summas vineas" (up in the vineyards). This seems to be at the highest point on the peninsula.

The St Peter in Mavino church is of Lombard origin, built in 765, and renovated in the early 1300s (the date 1320 appears on the wall near the front door).

Simplicity itself. During its long life, the church has evidently also served as a military hospital and the grounds as a plague cemetery.

The belltower dates from 1070.

A beautiful single nave covered with 12th to 16th century frescoes everywhere.

Madonna Misericordia, protecting her people under her cloak

Three small apses, with a Byzantine-style Christ the Pantocrator in the middle one

The remains of the tiny apse of an earlier church on the site

St Michael with his lance and St Rocco with his buboes

In front of the church there is a war memorial, "for all those Italians who have fallen for the fatherland", apparently put up in 1981.

War memorials obviously require a howitzer for authenticity.

Views of the Church of St Peter from the neighborhood

A little farther on, we're at the end of the peninsula, staring at the Grotte di Catullo remains (from outside the gates) out on the point.

That should have been our boat to Lazise.

Down to the lakeside and . . .

. . . back to town along the concrete pathway.

The Hotel Grifone is in the centre.

From now on -- Beware of the cat! Don't say later that you weren't warned.

The end of our last afternoon in Sirmione. Tomorrow -- onward to Vignale!


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 31 July 2016.


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