Lake Garda

None like it in the world

Lake Garda is part of that broad climatic zone that comprises the Po Plain and the first Alpine valleys, characterized by a temperate-continental climate.  The area round the lake itself, however, shows considerably milder conditions, mitigated by the mass of water: a climate we may define sub-Mediterranean.

Rainfall is evenly distributed, with a relative minimum of rains in winter, whereas the summer sees intense, intermittent thunderstorms, particularly in August.  In winter, temperatures are not as cold as the surrounding areas and rainfall is rather scarce, while fog seldom manages to manifest itself in the southernmost part of the lake.

 

Along the shore, the lake waters almost never freeze over, save for exceptional cases like one instance in 1709.

Lake Garda goes from north to south, looking towards the Po Plain, so that many of the typical Garda winds are the result of a difference in atmospheric conditions between the northern and southern portions of the lake, which generate air currents that come down towards the plain from the mountains in the mornings, and climb back towards the mountains in the afternoon. 

The bottleneck formed by the lake basin affects the winds, many of which are periodic or even daily.
Subsequent glaciations and thaws initially contributed to forming a vegetation very like that of continental Europe; then a flood occurring in the seventh century pushed the forest boundary northwards and lake verdure began to distinguish itself from the rest: the number of cultivated species grew (such as chestnuts, walnuts, olives, vines and cereals, typical of Lake Garda to this day), and so did the variety of wild species, turning the lake into a botanically unique area thanks to a climate that ranges from sub-Mediterranean along the coastline, to Alpine in the surrounding mountains.