Lake Garda (Italian Lago di Garda or Benaco) is the largest lake in Italy (370 km²). It is located in Northern Italy, about half-way between Venice and Milan. It is in an alpine region and was formed by glaciers at the end of the last ice age. The Latin name of the lake, Benàco, is of Indo-European origin (perhaps with the meaning “strongly penetrated”) and sure it was already present at the moment of the roman conquest; many lakes of Northern Italy have a “second name”; the current name instead derives from the homonymous city, Garda, that lies 32 km from Verona and during the Middle Ages was the greater center of exchange and trading.
The lake Garda is situated at the slopes of the southern Alps Retiche, between the chain of the mount Baldo in the east and the Alps of the Garda in the West, from Riva to Salò. In the North the lake floats into the mountains, infact The northern part of the lake is long and grip, and is surrounded by mountains, the bigger of which belongs to the Gruppo del Baldo. In the South, instead, it widens in the plain, extending between hills and the gulfs of Peschiera and Desenzano. The shape is the typical one of morainic valley: probably, in fact, this portion of the lake has been created through the action of a Paleolithic glacier.
The river Sarca is the main affluent among 25 tributaries, while the only outlet of the lake is the river Mincio.
Lake Garda measures 51,6 km in length, while the maximum width is 17,2 km. Its perimeter measures 158,4 km and the maximum depth is 346 m.