The Scaligero Castle is the symbol of Sirmione and welcomes visitors at the entrance of the historical town centre with its towers and the geometry of swallowtail battlements and walls. On entering the castle the first thing you notice is the courtyard, followed by the walkways and the harbour which sheltered boats. Conclude your visit by climbing the castle’s high tower and enjoy spectacular views of the lake.
The Scaligero Castle of Sirmione is a fortification built after the middle of the fourteenth century on the waters of the lake by the Veronese Della Scala family, from whom it takes its name “Rocca Scaligera”.
Cansignorio and Antonio II Della Scala, to whose period it is attributed, intended it to be used as a defensive post for the entire territory of Verona and its surroundings, over which the Della Scala family ruled between 1259 and 1387.
Later it lost its importance in favour of the fortress of Peschiera and was used as a depot and barracks until it was restored in 1919 and assumed its current appearance.
The legend of the ghost
The Scaligero Castle of Sirmione is enshrouded in an imaginative legend: according to an ancient local tradition, in the past it was home to the young aristocratic couple, Ebengardo and his beloved wife Arice.
On a stormy night, the knight Elaberto del Feltrino asked for asylum and was immediately captivated by Arice’s beauty. Determined to have her at all costs, Elaberto went in search of her and attacked her, but Arice fought with all her might and Elaberto killed her. At that moment Ebengardo arrived and, at the sight of his dead wife, drew his weapon and avenged her.
Since then it is said that the ghost of Ebengardo wanders through the rooms of the castle in search of Arice.
Visits to the castle
The Scaligero Castle in Sirmione is part of the Garda Museums complex, together with the Grottoes of Catullus and the Roman Villa in Desenzano del Garda.
The castle can be visited for a fee and tickets can be purchased at the ticket office at the entrance, which is open during the holidays and throughout the summer.
For days, times and admission fees, visit the official page of the Scaligero Castle: https://museilombardia.cultura.gov.it/en/museums/rocca-scaligera-di-sirmione/