The largest Italian lake
“Suso in Italia bella giace un Laco, a piè dell’Alpe che serra Lamagna sopra Tiralli, ch’ha nome Benàco”
Lake Garda, also known as Benàco, is the largest Italian Lake.
The lake and its shoreline are divided between the provinces of Verona, Brescia and Trento; it is surrounded by the Monte Baldo to the east and the Brescia Pre-alps to the west.
As for its geology, it is a pre-alpine lake with origins from glacier activity dating back to the Quaternary Period. After millenniums of glaciations, the climate became milder and glaciers receded thus creating large water basins; on the other hand the debris caused by the erosion gave birth to the moraine amphitheatre surrounding the southern part of Lake Garda.
The lake includes five small islands.
The largest one is Isola del Garda on the Brescia shore; here in 1220 Saint Francis of Assisi founded a hermitage that was suppressed in the Eighteenth Century and then replaced with a venetian neo gothic villa.
Still on the Lombard side there is the Isola di San Biagio, also known as “Isola dei Conigli” with a large park full of flowers and plants.
Finally, the two smaller islands are located beside the eastern shore near Malcesine: the northernmost Isola degli Olivi, the Isola del Sogno and Isola del Trimelone.
Lake Garda numbers