Lake Garda Attractions Lago di Garda
Regions: Lombardia, Veneto and Trentino-Alto AdigeSituationWith an expanse of 370 sq.km/143 sq.mi of deep blue water, Lake Garda (Lago di Garda), the Roman Lacus Benacus, is the largest of the north Italian lakes (52km/32mi long, 5-16.5km/3-10mi wide, up to 346m/1,142ft deep), lying in a deeply eroded valley between Venetia and Lombardy. Its main feeder in the north is the River Sarca, and its outlet at the south end is the Mincio, which flows into the Po.General informationThe northern part of the lake is narrow and fjord-like; towards the south end the shores slope down gradually to the extensive morainic cirque left by the old Garda glacier. The east side of the lake is separated from the Adige valley by the 80km/50mi long limestone ridge of Monte Baldo (2,200m/7,260ft). The west side, hemmed in towards its northern end by sheer rock faces, opens out between Gargnano and Salò to form the beautiful and fertile coastal strip known as the Riviera Bresciana. Until 1918 the northern tip of Lake Garda, with Riva and Torbole, belonged to Austria.ClimateThe climate in the area of Lake Garda is extraordinarily mild, and snow is rare. The lake is seldom entirely calm, and in a storm coming from the north can be quite rough. In fine weather a very cold wind known as the ora blows around midday in winter and spring. Sailing and surfing is popular on the lake.Flora and faunaThe vegetation is luxuriant on the more sheltered stretches of the lakeside, in places almost Mediterranean. Olives grow up to 300m/1,000ft, and palms, cedars, magnolias and agaves flourish in the gardens. The lake fish are excellent.
Lago di Ledro
From Riva there is a very rewarding trip up the Ponale Road to the Lago di Ledro, 10km/6mi west. The road winds its way up above the west side of Lake Garda, with several sharp bends and magnificent views, skirts the cliffs of the Rocchetta and passes through a number of tunnels. At Pieve di Ledro (660m/2,178ft), at the west end of the lake, are the remains of a Bronze Age settlement.
Lago di Molveno, Italy
A road runs north from Riva through magnificent scenery of the hamlet of Foci del Varone, near which is the Cascata del Varone, a waterfall in a gloomy gorge, and Ponte delle Arche (26km/16 mi; alt. 401m/1,323ft), an old road intersection where S.S. 237 runs east through the magnificent Sarca gorge to Trento and west through the wild Gola della Scaletta to Tione. 20km/12 mi farther north from Ponte delle Arche is the beautiful blue Lago di Molveno (alt. 821m/2,709ft; 4 km/2.5 mi long, up to 119m/393ft deep), below Monte Gazza (1,990m/6,567ft) to the east and the precipitous crags of the Brenta group to the west. At the north end of the lake is Molveno, a summer holiday resort, with a chair-lift to Pradel (1,342m/4,429ft) and the Palòn di Torre (1,530m/5,049ft), to the north.
About 4km/2.5mi north of Molveno is the holiday and winter sports resort of Andalo (1,042m/3,439ft), with views of the Brenta group. From here there is a cableway to Malga Terlago (1,772m/5,848ft) and Pian del Dosson, and from there a chair-lift to the Paganella (2,126m/7,016ft).
Northeast of Riva, on the right bank of the Sarca, is the old town of Arco, a resort set in luxuriant southern vegetation, which attracts many visitors in winter as well as summer by reason of its mild climate. In the Kurpark, south of the church, is a bronze monument to the painter Giovanni Segantini (1858-99), who was born in Arco. To the west are two beautiful promenades, one planted with magnolias and the other with palms; the Kurcasino is between the two promenades. On a cypress-clad rock (284m/937ft) are the ruins of a castle (view).