The town of Garda is one of the main resorts on the southern shores of the lake that bears its name. The town became one of the most important in the area due to its strategic position at the entrance to the lake - a position that is the most plausible reason for the lake being named Garda.
At the southern end of Garda town is the 'Rocca' - an outcrop of rock on the shore that stands approximately 820 feet (250 metres) in height. A 5th century fortress stood on the Rocca until it was destroyed by the Venetians as they took control of Lake Garda and made Garda town their administrative headquarters. Garda's impressive Gothic Palace, the Palazzo dei Capitano, once overlooked its harbour. The original harbour has since been filled in to create a beautiful square - now the main hub of activity in Garda, which is packed with tables and chairs from its pavement cafés and bars, creating the perfect spot for people-watching.