With an area of 370 km² and a depth of 346 m, Lake Garda or Benaco is the largest lake in Italy.
In Roman times the lake was known as Benacus. Today, starting the first century b.c, it is widely known as Lake Garda.
Lake Garda has a glacial origin, in fact it was born through the action of a Paleolithic glacier.
It has 25 tributaries, including the Sarca river as well as the Aril, the shortest river in the world, 175 meters long. The only distributary river is the Mincio river.
The toponym Garda used to name the lake can be found in some documents dating back the 8th century. Garda originates from the Germanic word warda, or “place of guard”. The classic toponym of the lake Benācus lacus (Benaco), is almost certainly of Celtic origin, therefore comes from pre-Roman dominion.
Lake Garda; the lake of poets, has been visited by the greatest writers and poets for over 2000 thousand years.
The first to be fascinated by Lake Garda was the Latin poet Catullo, whose family had a villa in Sirmione. After him, poets and writers throughout time praised the lake through their writings: Dante Alighieri, Goethe, Ugo Foscolo, Lord Byron and Henry Stendhal. Without forgetting Giosuè Carducci, Gabriele D’Annunzio, who spent his last 17 years of life in the Vittoriale, James Joyce, Ezra Pound and Franz Kafka.
Discover the whole Lake in 1 day by participating with the Garda Lake Tour! A guided coach tour that will take you on a complete round trip around Lake Garda to discover the geomorphology, history and culture of the Gardesan area. We will make 4 stops in 4 different towns and the tour includes 1 transfer by boat to admire the landscape from the water.
What to do