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Garda is the eponymous little town that gave the lake its name. This delightful jewel of a town not only embodies the history of Lake Garda, it’s also a favorite resort destination for those in the know. Garda is set in the middle of a horseshoe-shaped bay, with a long waterfront promenade that winds between the town and the lake. The town's defining landmark is La Rocca di Garda, a large, flat-topped promontory that overlooks the town. In the sixth century, when the region was ruled by the Germanic Lombards, a fort was constructed on the flat summit, so that all below could easily be surveyed. This hilltop fort, or “garda,” derived from the German word “warda,” or a guarding place, eventually became the name of the town, as well as the lake.

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Living in Lake Garda

Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy, spanning three provinces: Trentino in the north, Brescia in the west, and Verona in the east. The story of the region begins in the Ice Ages, when glaciers moved through the land, creating a ring of alpine mountains before melting into cerulean lake waters. The result of these glacial paths is an environment that seems custom designed for the most enjoyable of lifestyles: Olives, grapes, and lemons flourish in the morainic soil; the temperate weather is livened up by mountain breezes; and natural beauty is everywhere. Many residents of Limone, a town on Lake Garda’s shores, turn out to have the “Limone gene,” guaranteeing long, healthy lives. While the rest of the world marvels at this genetic quirk, Lake Garda’s residents merely shrug—what else would you expect from a life spent in one of the most perfect places on Earth?