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The Great Have Fallen: Italy’s Sirmione Archeological Park

- William

You can smell the salt in the wind, blowing up from the ocean in a light breeze as you make your way up dusty gravel path, broken up with cobblestones and patches of grass. Eventually, you reach a worn asphalt road. A small wall made of stone runs along the side you are walking on. Passing a bus stop, you move through a stone plaza. There is a small restaurant, along with a touristy little store selling a variety of Italian souvenirs. You have just arrived in front of the Sirmione Archeological Park.

The Sirmione archeological park is located in Italy on a small mountain overlooking gorgeous Lake Garda. In it lay the remains of an ancient Roman Villa, still pretty well preserved.

Large brick arches, now inhabited by a family of small lizards, have been partially uncovered from the rocky surface of the mountain. One of the lizards is shown below, but he seems to be missing his tail.

Huge piles of bricks, once pillars and arches topped with an elaborate painted stone ceiling, tower into the air.

One of the most amazing things in the park is that, in some places, the stone ceiling is still in place! Every tile is covered in elaborate designs. They look like floor tiles, but this is because the place was buried under the ground for centuries. Beneath them, there is an underground chamber that is not open to the public.

There is also an indoor section, where artifacts that have been discovered at the site, such as stone knives and pottery, are on display.

Also, be careful to obey the park rules. Some places, especially spots where the ceiling is still up, are very dangerous to climb. This is a great place to visit for an afternoon of fun and history, and one of the coolest places in Sirmione.

 

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