Cities of art in the surrounding area

Sirmione is also an excellent base from which to visit the splendid Italian cities of art in the surrounding area, which offer historical centres, architectural and religious beauty, events and cultural opportunities.

Within an hour’s journey by car, or even by train, you can easily reach Verona – the capital city of opera, Mantua – the city of three lakes, Brescia – the Lioness of Italy and Bergamo – the City of one Thousand, all chosen as 2023 Italian Capitals of Culture.  The stretch of A4 motorway also makes it possible to travel as far as Milan and Venice to discover the beauty of the Lagoon.

 

Mantua

Built around three lakes, formed by the River Mincio, that provide a unique setting, Mantua was the royal palace of the Gonzaga family for almost 400 years, who bequeathed the splendid Palazzo Te, Palazzo Ducale and the picturesque Castle of San Giorgio.

Mantova
Mantua – Source: Pixabay; Author: rositorelli

Today you can find out about the history of the city at the Museo Civico di San Sebastiano and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where one of Italy’s main literary and cultural festivals, Festivaletteratura, also takes place.

Mantova
Mantua – Source: Pixabay; Author: alex1965

 

Verona

The city of Romeo and Juliet, a place of art and history and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Verona is the Italian capital of opera and is a unique place to experience the bel canto during the Arena Opera Festival.

Arena di Verona - vista aerea
Arena di Verona – aerial view

In the historic centre you can shop in Via Mazzini and stroll around Piazza Bra and Piazza Erbe and the more hidden Piazza dei Signori, as well as visit Juliet’s Balcony and the numerous city monuments interspersed with wonderful views of the River Adige.

Balcone di Giulietta a Verona
Juliet’s Balcony – Source: Pixabay; Author: TaniaSTS

 

Brescia

From prehistoric times to the Roman era, up to the Longobard and middle ages, Brescia is a a place waiting to be discovered, a centre of history and culture.  Starting from the archaeological site of the Capitolium, which represented the fulcrum of the Roman city, up to the monastic complex of Santa Giulia and Salvatore, an area that symbolises the Longobard heritage and which is now the main site of the Brescia museum itinerary.

History, art, spirituality and more: in the historical centre of Brescia you can stroll around discovering the Piazza della Loggia, the Tosio Martinengo Art Gallery and the wonderful Castle.

 

Bergamo

The Lower Town and the Upper Town, one is more contemporary and one has the oldest heritage and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bergamo is a place of art and history, where you can enjoy a walk along the 5 km of Venetian Walls and a ride on the iconic funicular, which is over a hundred years old.

Bergamo
Bergamo – view on the Upper Town

From Piazza Duomo to the Museums in Piazza della Cittadella, not forgetting a visit to the Accademia Carrara, discovering the city is a  multi-sensory experience, with the Casa di Donizetti, the musician’s birthplace, and the the hundred chimes of the Campanone bell in Piazza Vecchia.

Bergamo - Piazza Vecchia
Bergamo – Piazza Vecchia – Source: Wikipedia; Author: Steffen Schmitz (Carschten); License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.it

 

Venezia

Consisting of more than 60 small islands, the city of Venice is a real jewel immersed in the Lagoon.

Venezia al tramonto
Venice at sunset

You can take a stroll down the characteristic calle, the narrow streets, and along the canals that cross the city, visiting the many monuments and places of interest: the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge and the other bridges, the Clock Tower, the Bell Tower and St Mark’s Basilica in St Mark’s Square, the central square that is also where the traditional Carnival takes place in February.

As well as experiencing a gondola ride, you can also enjoy the delightful sights of the islands of Murano and Burano.

I canali di Venezia
Canals of Venice

From Sirmione, Venice can be reached by train, or by car and then by public transport, using the Venezia Unica City Pass.

 

Milano

Milan is the world capital of fashion and the ultimate place to shop: between Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Corso Buenos Aires, you can enjoy visiting the shops with the names of the big fashion houses that have made this area the ‘Fashion Quadrilateral’.

Duomo di Milano
Milan Cathedral

With its cosmopolitan atmosphere, Milan is also a lively cultural centre. In addition to historic monuments such as Milan Cathedral, the La Scala Theatre and the Sforza Castle, it is also the venue for international events and exhibitions, such as Milan Fashion Week or the exhibitions at the Palazzo Reale.

Milan can be reached from Sirmione by train or car; information about mobility is available from the city council.

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