Territory and Landscape
The great expanse of water is divided morphologically into two parts. The narrow
northern part is flanked by steep mountains, which create the aspect of a wild
fjord, while the southern part fans out into a broad shallow basin on which the
long, slender peninsula of Sirmione sits.
The small islands on the lake are:
Towering over the eastern shore is the long Mount Baldo mountain range with the
peaks of Altissimo (2,078 m), Pozzette (2,218 m) and Telegrafo (2,200 m). The
steep limestone slopes of the mountain descend to the lake in a succession of
pastures, woods, rocks, valleys, hillocks, bluffs, cypress trees, olive groves,
vineyards and a few isolated homes and villages. The western coast between Riva del Garda and Gargnano is lined with sheer rocky cliffs: along its craggy ridges are the
peaks of Pari (1,991 m), Carone (1,621 m), Denervo (1,460 m), Castello, and
Pizzardo (1,582 m).
Many small valleys descend towards the lake:
The most important valleys are:
Once it leaves the narrow mountain-lined passage, the lake south of Gargnano
takes on a different appearance. The shore runs straight and direct, then it
descends, interrupted only by the Manerba Rock (218 m). From this point it
descends to Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera del Garda, then rises again at Lazise and Bardolino.
After Garda, the coast curves to San Vigilio Point. In addition to the Sarca
River, several small tributaries and streams flow into the lake garda. They are the
Varone, Albola and Ponale Rivers in the Trento Region; and the San Giovanni
(Limone sul Garda), Campione (San Michele), Brasa, Toscolano, Bornico and Barbarano Rivers
to the west. On the eastern shore is the Aril River, which flows into the lake
at Cassone and is the world's shortest river (150 m).
The only effluent is the Mincio River, which leaves the lake at Peschiera del Garda.
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