Lake Garda – WorldAtlas
Lake Garda, also known as Benaco or Lago di Garda, is Italy’s largest lake by area and a popular holiday destination in the northern part of the country. The lake is located near the foot of the Alps at an altitude of 65 meters above sea level. It lies between the provinces of Trentino, Veneto and Brescia. The region around the lake experiences a mild climate that promotes the growth of several plants and vegetation, including olive trees, palm trees and magnolias. Lake Garda and its surroundings are home to a variety of sports, including mountain biking, swimming, windsurfing and sailing. The lake shares its name with the city of Garda in the province of Veneto.
Where is Lake Garda?
Lake Garda is located in northern Italy between three provinces, Veneto, Brescia and Trentino. The western and southwestern shores of the lake are in Brescia, the northeastern shore in Trentino and the Veneto is in the east and southeast. Lake Garda is located halfway between Verona and Brescia, and Milan and Venice. It is the most easterly lake in Lombardy among the four great lakes, namely (from west to east) Maggiore, Combo, Iseo and Garda. Villages and towns on the shores of Lake Garda include Riva del Garda, Arco, Sirmione, Tremosine and Bardolino. The lake is about an hour’s drive from Milan.
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and the third largest lake in the Alpine region by area after Geneva and Constance. The lake is 54 kilometers long, 3 to 18 kilometers, and covers an area of ââapproximately 370 square kilometers. The lake is located at an elevation of 65 meters above sea level and has a total shoreline length of 158.4 kilometers. Lake Garda has a depth of 346 meters at its deepest point and an average depth of 136 meters, making it shallower than Lake Maggiore, the second largest lake in Italy. It contains 50.4 cubic kilometers of water and retains inputs for approximately 26.8 years.
Geography of Lake Garda
Garda is an elongated fjord-like lake and is narrow in the northern part and widens into an irregular circular basin in the south. It looks like an animal’s foot. The lake is surrounded by several mountains, including Mount Baldo to the east, which separates it from the valley of the River Adige. It is the largest natural basin in Italy and receives inputs from 25 rivers. However, it only has one outlet known as the Mincio River. The Sarca River, Garda’s main influx, flows into the lake at the northern end. Other tributaries include the Magnone River, the Ponale River, and several streams from the surrounding mountains. Lake Garda has many islands, including five main islands. The largest island in the lake is Isola del Garda, officially used as a pirate hideout and Roman burial place. The other four main islands are Isola di Bogno, Isola san Biagio, Isola dell’Olivo and Isolo di Sogno.
Climate in the region
The Lake Garda region experiences a humid subtropical climate that characterizes the interior plains of northern Italy, with the lake influencing the climate of the surrounding towns. The region’s climate is also described as temperate Mediterranean. Lake Garda enjoys a mild climate and plenty of sunshine, which promotes the growth of Mediterranean plants such as umbrella pines, olive trees and Chinese palms. The average annual temperature of the lake region is 13.7 degrees Celsius, with June to July being the hottest period. December to February are the coldest months, with the temperature dropping below zero degrees Celsius. The lake experiences two strong winds due to its north-south orientation towards the Po Valley. The winds descend from the nearby mountains in the morning and pick up again in the early afternoon. The Peler winds, generated in the morning, blow from north to south until noon, while the Ora wind begins to blow in the afternoon from south to north.
Ecology of Lake Garda
Mediterranean vegetation thrives around Lake Garda due to the mild weather throughout the year, making it a popular resort destination. Other Mediterranean plants growing around the lake include olive trees, Mediterranean cypresses, agaves, fruit plants, and the Canarian date palm. Citrus fruits such as satsuma and lemons are also found in some places. Trees such as juniper, smoke, oaks and rare bushes like roses, thorns and gorse are common on the nearby hills. Mornic flora, found around the lake area, includes spring clover, pulsatilla, scabious meadow, bluebells, and Rapunzel.
Lake Garda carpione is one of the endemic fish species of Lake Garda. Although it has been introduced in several Italian lakes, all cases have been unsuccessful. The species is listed as Critically Endangered due to population decline, with pollution, overfishing and competition from introduced species being the main threats. The lake also contains trout, which can reach a length of 50 cm. Trout are found at a depth of 100 to 200 meters and feed primarily on zooplankton and crustaceans.
History of Lake Garda
Lake Garda has a glacial origin and began to form over 1.5 million years ago when a large ice cap slid down the mountains and into a depression and began to melt. The large mass of ice melted and formed Italy’s largest freshwater lake. The lake became part of the Roman Empire around 300 BC, with the Romans dominating it for eight centuries. The Romans called the Guard Lake Benacus. The Battle of Benacus is the first major battle recorded along the lake. The battle took place in 268 BC between the Romans and the Germanic tribes. The Lombard people of the Spaniards, Franks and Austrians conquered and took control of the Lake Romans region.
The most famous and largest battle ever fought around the lake and in northern Italy was the Battle of Solferino in 1859. The battle took place between the French army and the Austrian army and involved around 300 000 soldiers. Although the conflict lasted only nine hours, 25,000 soldiers were killed or missing and 22,000 wounded. Four treaties, collectively known as the Geneva Convention, were signed and the Red Cross was formed after the battle of 1859. Benito Mussolini founded the Republic of Salo near the shores of Lake Garda after stepping down from power . He was also executed near the lake. Lake Garda began to attract large numbers of tourists after World War II, with Gardone becoming the first tourist resort.