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Visiting Lake Garda and area in the Northern Italy.

Lake Garda and Area, Northern Italy.

A view from the road while ascending to Lake Garda in Northern Italy. This picture was taken while traveling on the bus, so I am sorry for some blur in the front.

A view from the road while ascending to Lake Garda in Northern Italy. This picture was taken while traveling on the bus, so I am sorry for some blur in the front.

A few years ago, while on a bus tour of Northern Italy, I have visited a strikingly beautiful Lake Garda located in the Alpine region of Dolomite Mountains. This amazingly beautiful, largest Italian lake is also one of the most popular lakes in the country attracting many tourist each year. I wish we would have much more time to visit it, so I could take more and even better pictures. Here are some of my photographs taken on the first day of my trip on the way to Lake Garda, and then when we have traveled along its shore.

The lake has rather elongated shape stretching from the north between very picturesque high mountain ridges towards the lower Po Valley in the south. It is believed that it was created as a result of glacial activity during Paleolithic era, or perhaps also by stream erosion 5 to 6 million years ago.

A view from the shore of Lake Garda, Italy.

A view from the shore of Lake Garda, Italy.

Lake Garda (in Italian, Lago di Garda or Lago Benaco from the old Latin name – Benacus) spans across three provinces – the province of Verona from the south-east, Trentino from the north and Brescia from the south-west. It lays about the half way between the cities of Brescia and Verona, or further away, between Milan (Milano) to the west, and Venice (Venezia ) to the east.

It is believed that the name of the lake comes from the fortress, which once stood on the hill called “Rocca” (the rock).  The word “Garda” has evolved from the Germanic word warda, which means a  “place of guard” or “place of observation.”

A view from the shore of Lake Garda, Italy. Look at this magnificent mountains and so blue water of the lake.

A view from the shore of Lake Garda, Italy. Look at this magnificent mountains and so blue water of the lake.

The hills close to the lake were a very popular vacation destination for the nobility from Verona area. Many aristocrats have build here impressive mansions and some of the villas and surrounding gardens are still standing to this day. As I have already mentioned, even now, Lake Garda and its region is very popular holiday location.  It is not surprising, since Lake Garda is not only beautifully located, but also has a mild climate allowing growth of many warmth loving plants, including olive, palm and citrus trees.

Lake Garda as Extreme Sports and Nature Lovers Center.

A view from the shore of Lake Garda, Italy.

A boat traveling through Lake Garda, Italy.

The difference in altitude and temperatures crates winds characteristic to this region with quite predictable regularity.  That’s one of the reason it is a great place for people who like hang-gliding, paragliding or windsurfing. In the northern part of the lake, two towns – Riva and Torbole famous for winds, attract people who like to do windsurfing, sailing and kiteboarding.  Lake Garda areas is also popular for mountain biking.

A view on Lake Garda, Italy.

A view on Lake Garda, Italy.

For people loving nature, particularly interesting could be exploring Monte Baldo region. The mountain village of San Valentino located at the height of 1,315 m (4,314 feet) is the starting point for the route that goes up on Monte Baldo (2,218m – 7,277 feet) trough beautiful mountain scenery with magnificent views. This region is often called a botanical garden of Europe and can be explored along variety of roads, including on foot or mountain bike. Close to San Valentino is also located Bes-Cornapiana Nature Reserve, where many local, rare plant species can be seen. The village of San Valentino is also growing ski resort and base for going to other winter sport resort – Polsa.

Exploring Other Interesting Close-by Historic Cities, Parks and Gardens.

Parco Giardino Sigurtà in Italy is a beautiful, many awards winning garden located pretty short drive from Lake Garda. It is a great place for a half-day trip.

Parco Giardino Sigurtà in Italy is a beautiful, many awards winning garden located pretty short drive from Lake Garda. It is a great place for a half-day trip.

Besides visiting local towns, hiking and doing some extreme sports, many people use lake Garda area as a base for trips to the bigger close-by cities of Verona, Brescia, Trento and Mantua. On the way to Mantua certainly worth visiting is Park Sigurtà, which in recent years has won several awards, including the Most Beautiful Park in Italy in 2013.  I have also visited it during my trip and you can read my article and see many pictures from Park Sigurtà on my Vibrant Garden blog here.

A view on the edge of Lake Garda from the hotel I stayed in overnight in a little village of Spiazzi.

A view on the edge of Lake Garda from the hotel I stayed in overnight in a little village of Spiazzi.

I also quite like the picturesque little village of Spiazzi, located pretty close to Lake Garda, where we have stayed overnight.  From some places in this village there are quite beautiful views on the lake below. I wrote another article about Spiazzi on my Vibrant Garden blog, particularly featuring there some of the gardens I have admired while taking a walk.  I have also plan to write soon about located near-by famous sanctuary of the Madonna della Corona I have also seen. You can read my article about gardens in Spiazzi  here.

A little village of Spiazzi in Northern Italy. The edge of Lake Garda is visible in the distance.

A little village of Spiazzi in Northern Italy. The edge of Lake Garda is visible in the distance.

Please Share this Article and Comment on the Blog.

To summarize, Lake Garda is certainly one of the most beautiful places I haven ever seen and very much worth visiting.  Have you been there yourself? Which place close to the lake you particularly liked? Did you try any of the extreme sports or perhaps you went hiking into the high mountains? Can you recommend any particular place to visit there?  I am curious to hear your comments. I certainly hope I can return there myself soon to see much more.

Thank you very much for reading this article and visiting my blog. If you like it, please share it with other people who might be also interested in reading it and subscribe to this blog to automatically receive future updates. I also invite you to visit my other blog – Vibrant Garden, where I write not only about gardening, but also about garden design and I present there the most beautiful gardens I have visited.

Another picturesque view from the little village of Spiazzi in Norther Italy.

Another picturesque view from the little village of Spiazzi in Norther Italy.

A Copyright and the Gallery.

In the Gallery bellow you will be able to see all the pictures from this article and a few more at a little bigger size. This article and all photographs in this blog post are copyrighted by me, Renata Ratajczyk. If you would like to use any of them in your publications or on your website, please contact me. I will be adding most of the pictures from this article and many more images from Italy to my Light Vision website, where you can license images or buy them as prints. I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and seeing my photographs from this amazingly beautiful part of of Italy.  I will be posting more articles soon, so please remember to subscribe to my blog to be notified about future updates. Thank you.

 

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