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Top 10 Fun Facts about Lake Garda

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Lake Garda is located in the northern part of Italy and is great place to kick back and relax in luxury.
Here are 10 facts that you probably didn’t know about Lake Garda:

10. Lake Garda is Italy’s Biggest Lake

Lake Garda. Italy.

Lake Garda. Italy. (Photo Credit: meineresterampe)

Yes, Lake Garda is Italy’s biggest lake with an area of approximately 370 square kilometers! It is furthermore 65 meters above sea level, has a circumference of around 160 kilometers and maximum depth at a whopping 350 meters. Due to its enormity, it is unsurprising that it is split between the three provinces of Verona, Brescia and Trento.

9. Was Formed During The Ice Age

glacier.

(Photo Credit: kasabubu)

Lake Garda was formed during the last Ice Age - the Quaternary Ice Age – about 1.5 million years ago. A piedmont glacier (a glacier that spills over to flat land), which flowed down Brenta Dolomites, cut the path for the lake, resulting in Lake Garda’s axe-like shape. Later, the glacier melted and left the freshwater lake we see today.  (Lake Garda is also very fertile due to the glacier revealing magnesium-rich soil.)

8. Lake Garda is the Site Of Many Famous Battles

The site of the famous Battle of Benacus. Lake Garda, Italy.

The site of the famous Battle of Benacus. Lake Garda, Italy. (Photo Credit: Wiki Images)

Lake Garda is known to be the site of at least three historic battles. The Battle of Benacus in AD 269 between the Roman army and Germanic tribes of Alamanni and Juthungi; the Battle of Rivoli in 1797, fought between Austrians and the Napoleonic army, eventually leading to the French occupation of Northern Italy; and the Battle of Solferino in 1859 in which Napoleonic forces and the Sardinian army fought against Austria.

7. Mountains And Islands

A View over the mountains of Lake Garda. Italy.

A View over the mountains of Lake Garda. Italy. (Photo Credit: meineresterampe)

Lake Garda is surrounded by the Garda Mountains of which Mont Cadria, at 2,254 meters, is the highest. The lake is also host five main islands (and several smaller uninhabited ones) including, Isola del Garda, Isola dell’Olivo, Isola di Sogno, Isola di Trimelone and Isola San Biagio.
The islands offer visitors luxurious stays, adventure sports and guided tours inside ruins and castles.
(There are claims that the first settlements in the area came to be around 4000 B.C. The Roman’s had a significant influence in the area.)

6. Birthplace Of The Violin

Garda is regarded as the birthplace of the violin. Garda, Italy.

Garda is regarded as the birthplace of the violin. Garda, Italy. (Photo Credit: Geralt)

Italian music pioneer, Gasparo De Salo, was born at Salo on Lake Garda in 1540. He was one of the earliest known violin makers, making Lake Garda the birthplace of the violin. Every year the lake is host to the Garda Music Summer Festival, which includes the Gaspero Da Salo International Violin Festival.   

5. Birthplace of Gabriele D’Annunzio

Gabriele D’Annunzio reading. Italy.

Gabriele D’Annunzio reading. Italy. (Photo Credit: Wiki Images)

One of 20th century Italy’s most prominent literary, military and political figures, Gabriele D’Annunzio, was born in the town of Pescara in Lake Garda. Best known for his poetry and writing, D’Annunzio was also a divisive fascist figure along with Mussolini during World War I, although he condemned Mussolini’s alignment with Nazi Germany.

4. Rare Endangered Fish Found Here

Fish found in lake garda, italy.

(Photo Credit: Domenico Collini)

The salmo carpio or carpione is a fish endemic to Lake Garda. However due to human habitation on the islands in the lake, pollution and global warming, the population of the fish has declined by a whopping 80% and it is now considered endangered. It has been tried to introduce the fish into other lakes, but without success.

3. Sulphur Springs

A most beautiful view over Lake Garda from the town of Garda, Italy.

A most beautiful view over Lake Garda from the town of Garda, Italy. (Photo Credit: Maria Michele)

Most travelers don’t know this, but Lake Garda has a lot of hidden hot sulphur springs at its tip. The water remains at a warm 95°F throughout the year and visitors can unwind in the midst of trees; guests can also relax in man-made hot tubs. The facility has a luxury hotel in an 18th century villa.

2. Mussolini’s Capital

Mussolini in 1917 as a soldier. Italy.

Mussolini in 1917 as a soldier. Italy. (Photo Credit: Wiki Images)=

In 1943, Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini and Hitler, attempted to rally Italy. This resulted in the establishment of the Italian Social Republic between Salò and Gargnano in Lake Garda. This was a quiet area, away from the chaos of the big cities and was not under threat of airborne attacks. The area further served as a base for military operations and communications for German troops who had occupied northern Italy during World War II.

1. Site Of St. Francis’ Monastery     

Villa Borghese-Cavazza on the Isola del Garda. Lake Garda, Italy.

Villa Borghese-Cavazza on the Isola del Garda. Lake Garda, Italy. (Photo Credit: Maria Michele)

The largest island in Lake Garda, Isola del Garda, was the site of a monastery, founded in 1220 by a Catholic saint, St Francis of Assisi. The saint had thought of this as an ideal place for his monks, since it was far away from civilization. However the monastery was destroyed and now a 19th century Venetian Gothic-style building stands in its place.

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