Glaciers formed this alpine region at the end of the last Ice Age. The lake and its shoreline are divided between the provinces of Verona (to the southeast), Brescia (southwest), and Trentino (north). Being easily accessible from the north via the Brenner Pass, the lake is a major tourist destination, including a number of exclusive hotels and resorts along its shore.
The ancient fortified town of Sirmione, located on the south of the lake, is one particularly popular destination, home to the Virgilio & Catullo Spa Complexes, as well as numerous restaurants, bars, hotels, fashion stores and a market. The picturesque Scaliger castle dates from the 13th century.
The Roman poet Catullus had a villa here, and visitors can see a ruined Roman spa named the Grotte di Catullo (Grotto of Catullus) although there is no evidence linking him to this particular building. The sulfur springs at the tip of the peninsula have a reputation for the healing of catarrhal conditions, particularly those involving the ear. Nearby, there is Gardaland, one of the most famous theme parks in Italy.