Lake Garda or Lago Benaco, is the largest lake in Italy. It is a popular holiday location and is located in northern Italy, about halfway between Brescia and Verona, and between Venezia and Milano. Glaciers formed this alpine region at the end of the last Ice Age. The lake and its shoreline are divided between the provinces of Verona (to the south-east), Brescia (south-west), and Trentino (north). The name Garda, which the lake has been seen referred to in documents dating to the eighth century, comes from the town of the same name. It is the evolution of the Germanic word warda, meaning “place of guard” or “place of observation.”
Its beautiful surroundings have inspired authors and artists alike. It has both old charming villages and modern towns with all manner of facilities. It provides a very versatile holiday destination, where you can find peace and quiet and wild nightlife, not to mention the somewhat challenging experience of visiting the famous theme park, Gardaland. There is a wealth of opportunity for excursions from here, either up to the Dolomites, or to the smaller lakes of Tenno, Ledro and Iseo. You can find famous places of interest in Verona, Brescia and Trento, but don’t forget the wonderful trip along River Mincio down to Mantova, where you can visit the beautiful flower garden, “Parco Sigurtà” en route. To the north and west, the mountains rise vertically from the lake, and there is an impressive drive from Gardone Riviera up to Riva del Garda on winding roads and through tunnels. Today the lake is considered one of the best places around for hang-gliding, paragliding, windsurfing and mountain biking. The pleasant climate, fantastic countryside, the many historical places of interest and the hospitable people make Lake Garda an internationally famous holiday destination.