Sirmio is a promontory
Promontory may refer to:*Promontory, a prominent mass of land which overlooks lower lying land or a body of water*Promontory, Utah, the location where the United States first Transcontinental Railroad was completed...

 at the southern end of Lake Garda
Lake Garda
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. It is located in Northern Italy, about half-way between Brescia and Verona, and between Venice and Milan. Glaciers formed this alpine region at the end of the last ice age...

, projecting 3.3 kilometers (2.1 mi) into the lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

. It is celebrated in connection with the Roman poet Catullus
Gaius Valerius Catullus was a Latin poet of the Republican period. His surviving works are still read widely, and continue to influence poetry and other forms of art.-Biography:...

, as the large ruins of a Roman villa
Roman villa
A Roman villa is a villa that was built or lived in during the Roman republic and the Roman Empire. A villa was originally a Roman country house built for the upper class...

 on the promontory have been supposed to be his country house. Catullus, upon his return home from a long voyage, joyously describes Sirmio as Paene insularum, Sirmio, insularumque ocelle ("jewel of islands and of peninsulas") in his Carmen XXXI, Ad Sirmionem insulam.
A post station bearing the name Sirmio stood on the highroad between Brixia
Brixia is the Latin name of the modern city of Brescia in Northern Italy.Its location was first settled in the 7th century BC by a tribe of Gauls , which were the inhabitants of this part of Italy before the Roman conquest . The name of the tribe was Cœnomani, and the name of the city comes from...

 and Verona
Verona ; German Bern, Dietrichsbern or Welschbern) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, with approx. 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of North-Eastern Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona...

, near the southern shore of the lake. On the shore below is the village of Sirmione
Sirmione is a comune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy . It is bounded by the comunes of Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera del Garda in the province of Verona and the region of Veneto...

, with sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...


In 1880, the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, visited what he called "Sweet Catullus's all-but-island, olive-silvery Sirmio" in his poem "Frater Ave Atque Vale", the title referring to the last line of a famous elegy
Catullus 101
Catullus 101 is an elegiac poem written by the Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus. It is addressed to Catullus' dead brother or, strictly speaking, to the "mute ashes" which are the only remaining evidence of his brother's body....

of Catullus, on the death of his brother.
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