Heritage sites

Villa romana Grotte di Catullo - Sirmione


The remains of a Roman Villa known for centuries as "Catullo Caves " constitute the most magnificent private building of noble character throughout northern Italy.
The name derives from the tradition dating back to XV-XVI century which has mistakenly identified this complex (called "caves" for the presence of underground environments similar to natural cavities) with the villa of the poet L. Valerio Catullo from Verona, who died in 54 BC. Truly, this is a great residential building, dating between the end of the first century BC and the beginning of the first century AD, belonged to a rich and powerful person today unknown.
The villa, situated in a splendid panoramic position, at the peninsula of Sirmione, within a vast olive grove, is built on three different levels to overcome the natural inclination of the rock.
It has a rectangular plant, with two buildings on the short sides: it covers an area of approximately 20,000 square meters.
The superior floor, corresponding to the house of the owner, is unfortunately the most damaged (the villa was for centuries a quarry of materials), while the parts of the interim plan and, to the north, the magnificent buildings of the lower deck, are the best-preserved. Recent surveys have shown the presence of a previous building below the currently visible remains. After the collapse and abandonment of the building (third century AD) the area was partly affected by a vast necropolis, with numerous tombs burial.

Opening hours:

From 1st March to 31st October

Tue - Sat:                  8.30 - 19.30
Sunday – festivity:     9.30 - 18.30
Closed Mondays

From 1st November to 28th February

Tue - Sat:                8.30 – 16.30 (archeological area), 8.30-19.30 (museum)
Sunday – festivity:   8.30 – 14.00
Closed Mondays

Ticket: 4,00 €
Reduced: 2,00 €
Free admission: Children under 18 years of age and adults over 65


Piazzale Orti Manara, 4
Tel: +39 030 916157
Fax: +39 030 9906002


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