In this way the fourteenth century poet, Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374), praised the beauty of his beloved Laura by comparing her to the still waters of the lake near Arese, his hometown. A lake is a body of water gathered in the basins formed as a result of geological activities, such as the subsidence of segments of the earth’s surface, glacial or other forms of erosion or volcanic activity. It is a sea in miniature, with well-defined shores, pebbles instead of sand, and fresh instead of salt water. Usually fed by rivers, springs or glaciers, it is not only a useful reservoir for irrigation or for the production of energy, but represents a world of leisure and emotion inviting discovery. The scenery of the Italian lakes changes constantly from one point to another, from one region to another: there are high mountains, sumptuous palaces, ancient castles, historical villas and medieval towns. The olive groves are ever present. You can choose a lake for its magnificent scenery, for swimming, or for any kind of water sport, among which fishing, canoeing, deep-water diving, and sailing, and of course also for less common interests like archaeology, local history and local cuisine. Choosing your lake means spending your holiday surrounded by culture and the tranquillity of nature. What place could be better than Italy where there are more lakes than in all the the other peninsulas of Southern Europe? In Italy, in particular just south of the Alps, one finds the principal basins of fresh water. The biggest is Lake Garda (also called Lake Benaco), which covers an area of about 370 square kilometres and takes up a sizeable portion of the adjoining regions of Lombardy and Trentino Alto-Adige which it shares. Then there are Lakes Maggiore, Como, Iseo, Idro, the volcanic lakes of Bolsena, Bracciano and Vico, and finally Lake Trasimeno on the Apennines. Finally there are the numerous lakes (for example, those of Lesina, Varano, Salpi) that dot the Italian coast. Whoever is looking for the tranquillity and the serenity of a holiday on the lake need only choose from the numerous tourist structures that can be found on the shores of all Italian lakes, big or small. We invite you to do so!