The church hill of Ruokolahti is situated in a beautiful site just near the Lake Saimaa. The wooden church was completed in 1854. The bell tower is perhaps the most well known building in Ruokolahti and it is also one of the oldest ones. This shingle-roofed bell tower was built by a local carpenter, Tuomas Suikkanen, who completed it in 1752.
Opposite to the bell tower is the Ruokolahti Parish Museum. It was founded in 1955 in a public granary built in 1861. There are about 2000 objects in the three-story building.
A guided tour in the church hill takes about an hour. A guide can be engaged through the Ruokolahti Tourist Office.
Reference: Ruokolahti Municipality
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.