This Envisat satellite image, acquired by the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) instrument on 19 January 2010, captures fog cover over the Po Valley in northern Italy and snow cover over the Alps (seen stretching across the centre) in south-central Europe. Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake with an area of some 370 sq km, is visible at the foot of the Alps in the centre of the image. Two other substantial lakes visible west of Lake Garda are Lake Como (146 sq km), shaped liked an upside-down ‘Y’, and Lake Maggiore (212 sq km).
Lakes visible on the Italian Peninsula include Trasimeno (green) and Bolsena (blue). All lakes of central Italy are of volcanic origin and are resting in former volcano craters, which accounts for their almost perfectly round shape.