Historical, because it has stood here for eight centuries. Wise, because its walls tell you of a thousand adventures. Fairytale, because a mysterious legend accompanies it. The Scaliger Castle of Sirmione is all this.
Built to protect the end of the peninsula, it has become the symbol of a magical land rich in culture, flavours and emotions.
It is an "egocentric" place, as it loves to attract all the visitors to itself, to admire it in all its beauty and grandeur. And it is also right. In fact, the Castle keeps Sirmione's secret and is one of the most complete and best preserved in Italy, so much so that it has every right to be among the top 10 most beautiful Castles in Italy (La Stampa, Repubblica, travel365, Walks of Italy).
All that's left to do is explore it and be charmed by its history and its legend.
The Castle of Sirmione is a magical place full of mystery, and is able to attract tourists from all over the world and conquer their hearts.
It's a gift left to us from the Scaliger period. Around the thirteenth century, Sirmione became part of the Della Scala di Verona's domain, who wanted the construction of the fortress which was important for its strategic position in defense of the Scaliger domains towards Mantua and Milan.
The first part of the castle was built on an ancient Roman fortification. Completed in 1278, it included the keep, the tallest tower dominating over the lake, the main courtyard, the three towers and the two entrances with a drawbridge.
The village's fence, the crenellated door facing Piazza Flaminia and the famous dock, a refuge for the Scaliger fleet, were only added a century later.
Sirmione passed under the rule of Venice in 1405 and began a slow decline due to the strategic importance taken by the neighbouring town Peschiera.
30 METRES FOR THE FORTRESS OF SIRMIONE
It's true, it's like being in a daydream or a fairy tale with knights and princesses. These are exactly the sensations you get when you see it for the first time, but that's not all.
Upon entering and reaching the main courtyard, the "man of the house" welcomes us: the keep surrounded by four high walls. The castle's interior lacks decorations except for stone spades or pines along the walkways, as it was a fortress of great importance, and never home to a court.
A large portal with an arch then brings you to a corridor from which on one side you can reach the dock, the ancient refuge of the Scaliger fleet, and on the other the keep, with its 146-step staircase leading up to a unique view of the lake and the Sirmione peninsula.
Continuing along you'll reach the corner tower which offers access to the typical walkways with Ghibelline swallowtail merlons that surround the entire structure.
After having seen the castle, full of fairytale images in your mind and pictures to share on your social pages, only one element is missing to really make it a fairytale place: a legend. In fact, just like every castle that is respected, this one also has a mysterious and cruel story linked to two lovers: Ebengardo and his beloved Arice.
It is said that the two lived serenely in the fortress, until their love was interrupted. On a rainy, windy night, the knight Elaberto knocked on their door asking for hospitality. Arice was a beautiful woman and the guest fell in love at first sight. He thought about her all night until he decided to go to her room. Frightened, she screamed and tried to escape. Elaberto, however, couldn't stand her running away and took a dagger and killed her. Hearing the screams of his beloved, Ebengardo ran to her aid, but came too late. Full of rage, he killed the knight after a violent struggle.
According to the legend, even today, the spirit of Ebengardo roams the Castle in search of his beautiful Arice.
You still haven't visited the castle yet? What are you waiting for? The Scaliger Castle and the magic land of Sirmione look forward to giving you a unique experience that will involve all your senses. "And they lived happily ever after."
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