The name Monte Baldo, which first appeared in 1163 on a map of German origin, may in fact actually derive from the word “Wald,” which means “forest” in German. In ancient times, however, the mountain was known by its Roman name, Mons Polninus.
The massive Monte Baldo, which spreads from northeast to southwest and covers the wide area between the provinces of Verona and Trento, is an important source of revenue for the cities and towns nestled at its feet and on its slopes.
Climate of Monte Baldo
The unusual climate of Monte Baldo, influenced on one side by nearby Lake Garda, has created an environment in which a wide variety of flora and fauna can flourish, which in turn have earned the area the nickname of “Garden of Europe.” In fact, it’s very rare to find such a diverse range of species coexisting in a territory of such modest dimensions.
The particular distribution of the climatic zones of Monte Baldo, however, have created four diverse environments, each with its own distinct plant and animal life.
The Mediterranean zone on Monte Baldo
The lower sections, particularly near the banks of Lake Garda, are home to the Mediterranean zone where you’ll find both tall trees like chestnuts and Holm oaks and low-lying vegetation like rosemary and bay, as well as an extensive cultivation of olive trees that produce a highly sought and appreciated oil every year.
The other climatic zones of Monte Baldo
The Mountain zone consists mostly of vast forests of beech, larch, and hornbeam trees that reach heights of 1000 meters, as well as many pastures and meadows where in summer you can see herds of grazing animals. The third environment is the Borealis, which, besides the abundance of mountain pine, alpine juniper, and heather, is also home to many species endemic to these areas. The final area is the Alpine zone, most notable for having the highest peaks where you can find rocky vegetation.
The Monte Baldo and winter sports
At one time, especially between the 30s and 70s, Monte Baldo was one of the most sought-after destinations for skiing in northern Italy. The most important ski slopes – which still welcome a good number of skiers, weather and snow permitting – are found in Polsa in the province of Trento and in Passo Tratto Spino, which is located in the town of Malcesine and is easily accessible by the Malcesine-Monte Baldo cable car.