Among the provinces of Trento, Verona and Brescia, set among the mountains like a calm internal sea, lies the biggest lake in Italy, Lake Garda. Of ice age origin, tight between high mountains, the Lake creates a warm microclimate around itself. Citrus fruits and olive trees grow on its shores, creating a sort of miraculous Mediterranean garden among the peaks of the Alps. An incredible display which, combined with the lake's clean waters, the calm beauty of the surrounding towns and the thermal quality of the coasts' sources, attracts every year a multitude of tourists, both Italian and foreign. Given its extension, there are so many enchanting and stirring corners on the shores of the Lake. There are many health resorts: Sirmione, Desenzano del Garda, Salò, Gardone Riviera, Maderno, Peschiera del Garda, Garda, Torri del Benaco, Malcesine, Riva and Torbole, each interpreting with elegance the spirit of this beautiful bit of Italy .
In Desenzano del Garda, you ought to visit the Rambotti archaeological museum, the mosaics in the Roman Villa di Decenzio, a group of buildings constructed in various stages between the 1st and 4th century AD, and the Duomo di S. Maria Maddalena , with an altar-piece by Tiepolo. In Sirmione, the most interesting places are the Rocca Scaligera with its fortified wet dock and the Catullo Caves, ruins of an ancient roman villa of the 1st century AD mistakenly considered the house of the poet Catullo, who actually did own a home in the peninsula. Finally, if you're on the lake, you cannot miss visiting the villas between Salò and Gargnano. Some of them have welcomed famous writers such as Lawrence and D'Annunzio, and personalities from Italian history (Zanardelli, Mussolini, Feltrinelli).
Despite the whole lake offering an interesting environment from a naturalistic point of view, we recommend an excursion in the largest protected area, the Parco Alto Garda Bresciano. The Park extends covers about 38.000 hectares, it is characterised by strong environmental and climatic contrasts, which make it unique. Although the inlands have remained linked to a mountain economy, especially in the woody area, on the coast we find mostly cultivations of vineyards and olive trees.
The lake's typical wind, the Ora, is the protagonist in the event that Riva del Garda holds in 2003 (from the 13th of April to the 31st of October): the exhibit "Vai col vento. L'Ora del Garda". Organised by the Museo Civico di Riva del Garda and by the Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali, the exhibit is an interactive event which makes the audience join in through an original staging that allows people to interact with the wind through a game, and therefore understand the physical laws that regulate its intensity.