W.he approaches the northern tip of Lake Garda on the state road 240, has a postcard panorama at his feet. The lake in the valley basin is deep blue. The mountains rise on the west and east banks. In front of Torbole and Riva del Garda, the water is teeming with colorful sails. Even down on the shore you can hardly hear a sound from the lake, except for screaming children and chatting on the pebble beach.
Twenty years ago the Autonomous Province of Trento decided to ban motor boats on its part of Lake Garda. Recently, an attempt to allow boats with emission-free electric motors to travel failed. For the northern tip of Lake Garda, which has been christened “North Lake” for international marketing, the ban on engines on the water makes economic and ecological sense: Absolutely reliable wind conditions make the northern part of Lake Garda a paradise for surfers and sailors from which engines can be turned of all kinds without economic damage and with environmental benefit.
These days, campsites and hotels on the north shore of Lake Garda are well booked. In addition to surfers, there are cyclists of all kinds. Unlike on the water, electric drives are permitted on the cycle paths, much to the annoyance of pure muscle pedals.
Motorboat drivers can still let off steam on Lake Garda. The west bank of the 52 km long lake to about the middle of the water belongs to the Lombardy region, province of Brescia. The east bank is part of the Veneto region, province of Verona. Both the Lombardy province of Brescia and the province of Verona in Veneto allow and even encourage motorboat traffic on Lake Garda, because motorboat drivers can make a lot of money for the tourist industry.
Tourists cause two collisions
After two fatal accidents, a debate has now broken out over possible restrictions on motorboats on Lake Garda and other northern Italian lakes. In the late evening of June 19, between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., a motorboat controlled by two Munich residents was obviously speeding over a small wooden boat in front of Salò on the west bank of Lake Garda. A 37-year-old Italian and his 25-year-old girlfriend did not survive the collision.
Exactly a week later, there was another fatal collision on Lake Como. A 350 hp motorboat, on board a dozen young Belgian tourists, a 21-year-old woman at the wheel, rammed a much smaller motorboat with three Italian students in front of Tremezzina in the late afternoon. One of the students, 22 years old, died of serious injuries on the boat before the rescue workers arrived. His fellow students, who were also badly injured in the collision, could not help him.
The fact that tourists from abroad were responsible for the accidents in which three locals lost their lives triggered a lot of media coverage in Italy. There is talk of “conditions like in the wild west”. There are demands for stricter rules and stricter controls for motorboat traffic.