Castello Scaligero – Sirmione, Italy

Scaligero Castle is a well preserved, beautiful castle in the charming old city of Sirmione. We made a day trip out of it and if you’re coming from Milan, I have tips on how to get there and how much time I’d recommend.

Castle Information:

Price: 6 euro
Recommended Time: 2-3 hours

It is possible to visit the castle in one hour, but I would only recommend that short of time if you are on a strict schedule. Otherwise, take your time exploring every area and snapping some beautiful photos!

If coming from Milan, you can take a regional train from Milano Centrale to Desenzano del Garda Station. Purchase ahead of time on ItaliaRail, or at the Trenitalia machines/service desks in Milano Centrale Station.

Our day started off on the wrong foot. I was traveling with my oldest brother for the first time and he was a little slow getting ready in the morning, causing us to miss our prebooked train. Thankfully, it was a regional train and the kind lady at the customer service desk let me know that we could still take the trip within 4 hours of the original ticket time. This meant we were able to take the next train out! Unfortunately it was a 2 1/2 hour wait (we barely missed the original train…), but we were still able to go, and that was the important part!

Our original departure time was 8:25 AM and I do recommend taking that train from Milan, if you’re able. I would have loved to have the extra 2 1/2 hours to spend in Sirmione! I purchased my train tickets on and my station selection was Milano Centrale to Desenzano del Garda (roundrip). The total price was $48.01, so about $24 a person. Once you get to Desenzano station, it’s a pretty straightforward walk down the hill to the docks. We sort of followed the crowd and though most of them were going to Desenzano castle, we could see the docks by the time they all made their turn.

At the docks, there is a booth to buy ferry tickets. I found this was the easiest way to get to Sirmione. The ferry was only 6 Euro for a return trip and it was a fairly quick ride that takes you right to the old town, where the castle awaits just a few minutes on foot. You get really cool views of the castle as you’re coming into port, as well.


Scaligero Castle was built in the 14th century and is in incredible shape! On the weekends, you can purchase a ticket that allows you to enter the moat walkway, but during the week, the moat is closed, unfortunately. But you still get really nice views of it from different parts of the castle. The ticket entrance fee was 6 Euro and we purchased these directly at the ticket office at the time of arrival. We were there at the end of March, which isn’t considered high season. If you’re visiting in high season, you may want to purchase ahead of time to secure your spot!

Before entering the castle, we took a stroll along the outside, down to the shore. It really is so picturesque, and gives off the vibe of what comes to mind when you think of the word castle.

The path starts in the inner courtyard and from there, you take the stairs up and can walk around the pathway at the top of the walls.

You get a lot of amazing views of different perspectives of the majestic structure.

There is also a tower that you’re able to climb up with even more amazing views!

There are a few additional areas you can explore, one courtyard has large panels along the wall with information about the castle’s history. In this area, you can climb another set of stairs that has a walkway along the inner wall of the moat. There are open archways along the walk to give you more views into the beautiful moat.

Every part of the castle was amazing to see. When you grow up in America, there’s really nothing to compare it to!

We spent about two hours in the castle and I really wish we had another two hours to walk around the old town of Sirmione. If only we didn’t miss that first train… Definitely give yourself the time to explore! There were plenty of shops and eateries throughout the town, so if you don’t pack a lunch, you’ll still be able to find a bite to eat. There were also, of course, gelato shops. I would say if you have a solid 5 hours to devote here, it would certainly be worth it.

You don’t need a specific time slot to take the ferry back if you’ve purchased a return ticket. You can take any ferry, just make sure you grab a timetable when you buy your ticket, so that you know when one will be coming by. You’ll just want to time it with your train back to Milan (or elsewhere).

This was a very easy day trip from Milan and honestly one of the highlights of my trip! I highly recommend a visit to Scaligero Castle, and time to explore the area in Sirmione.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Tanooki says:

    Beautiful place to explore!! Too bad you guys missed the original train you booked…and it made me wonder if Italian train comes on time. I’ve heard a lot of people from outside of Japan applause the punctuality of the train…oh but wait, if you say they’re typically late, I’d be overslept and end up missing the train too!🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Japanese trains are late if they’re on time 😂😂😂 they’re only on time if they’re at least a minute early, right? hahah So I did notice there was almost always a delay with the trains. Not usually huge delays, but 5-10 minute delays were very common, almost the norm haha we got there about 10 minutes after the train was supposed to leave and it had just barely left the platform 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tanooki says:

        OMG you are so right!!🤣 It’s been long time since I was in JP so it erased some of my memory about JP I guess😂 But I truly hope you didn’t try train during rush hour…especially Saikyo-line stopped at Shinjuku station is the hardest one. I doubt if the train ever be “on-time” at the station🤣

        and wow, you guys were truly so close!! OK 5-10min…yes as you know it already, if it happened in JP people truly get panicked!!🤣🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahaha my sister and i literally were on the saikyo line during rush hour and it was so packed that even though we didn’t have anything to hold onto, everyone else’s bodies pushed against ours kept us standing upright 🤣 and it was still completely quiet! Italy trains, people are very loud and talk on their cellphone in speaker mode 😅 they weren’t too dirty, but Japan is just so clean compared to other countries. Definitely very different in Italy!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Tanooki says:

        Oh yeah I remember how quiet Japanese people were in train🤣 They’re quiet in trains because our parents told them to keep quiet in public places! But I like American way and Italian way too! People love to talk so it’s not unusual to be friends just because we were on the same train😂💕

        Liked by 1 person

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