Garda Lake is the largest lake in Italy and the third deepest after Lake Como and Maggiore. Apart from its numerous natural wonders, mild climate and its historical importance, nowadays the Lake Garda is mostly known for tourism. As it is so close to the northern border of Italy, the lake is mostly visited by tourists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The lake was formed by a glacier towards the end of the last Ice Age. This is the reason why it is of a typical form of a lake made by a glacier - narrow and deep.
The influence of the Roman Empire grew constantly in the region of the Lake Garda, which was populated by the Cenomani tribe. The first allegiance between the Romans and the Cenomani occurred already in 225 BC, while the complete Romanization of the region happened between 2nd and 1st century BC. In 268, a large battle occurred on the banks of the Lake Benaco (the name of the Lake Garda in the Roman period) in which German coalition forces Alemanni were defeated by the Roman Imperator Claudius II (commonly known as Claudius Gothicus) in which Alemanni suffered great losses and the security of the northern border was ensured for a long time.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Lombards occupied the southern and eastern banks of the Lake Garda. In the 13th century the whole of its eastern bank fell under the rule of Scaligera Family of Verona (family alla Scala), which built numerous impressive defensive structures, such as: Sirmione Fortress, Malcesine Fortress, Riva del Garda Fortress (on the Lake Garda) and a vast defensive wall east of the lake. In the 14th century, the territory of the lake fell under the rule of Visconti Family (Dukes of Milan), while already in the 15th century the eastern banks were under the rule of the Venetian Republic. In 1426, even its western banks fell under the rule of Venice.
For a long time it was peaceful on the Lake Garda. This peace was interrupted by the fightings in the Spanish Succession Wars in 1701 and the Napoleonic Wars in 1796. In fights between France and Austria in the Napoleonic Wars, the area around the lake was often a scene of battles.
After the Third Independence War, the area that once belonged to Venetian Republic became part of the Kingdom of Italy, while only the northern part of Lake Garda remained under the Austrian rule. The northern part of the lake became the Italian territory only after the end of the First World War.
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