The Lake Garda, with a surface of 370 sq. k., is the largest of the Italian lakes. Lying between the provinces of Trent, Verona and Brescia, it is bounded on the north by the Giudicarian Alps and the chain of Mount Baldo, and by a triple circle of moraine hills more than 100 kilometers wide to the south. This sedimentary composition composed of hills and terraces is known as a morainic amphitheatre, and acquired its present shape about 10,000 years ago, when the Benaco basin finally settled at the end of the glaciation period. The shores of Lake Garda, rich in vegetation, are of a regular and uniform shape on the eastern side, between the provinces of Verona and Trent; but the Brescian shores on the west are more irregular and uneven.
A submerged ridge runs from Sirmione to Punta San Virgilio, dividing the lake bottom into two basins: the shallower of the two lies south east, and the other north west, the latter attaining a depth of 346 metres. The Lake Garda water, fed by the influent stream Sarco and flowing out into the river Mincio, owes its transparency and characteristic sky-blue color to its glacial origins. Thanks to the absorption of heat by this large mass of water, the micro-climate of the surrounding territory is especially mild.
This permits the cultivation of olive trees, which produce a highly valued oil, as well as a flourishing Mediterranean flora, including grape vines, palms, oleander and citrus fruits. Temperatures vary between 5° and 15° in winter, rarely reaching freezing levels; from 15° to 24° in spring, from 24° to 32° in summer, and from 10° to 20° in autumn. The variety of the surrounding landscape (“perhaps the world’s most beautiful”, according to Stendhal), the wide choice of excursions and amusements, the richness of its artistic and cultural products, the presence of various types of thermal baths, the renowned local hospitality and excellent cuisine have for many decades made the Lake of Garda a favorite spot for holidays and entertainment.