Public boat: all you need to know

Do you love the idea of cruising around the lake but you have a limited budget and time? if it’s so, then taking the public boat is the solution for you.

The public boats are available both in Lago Maggiore and Lago d’Orta which means that you would still be able to see the most interesting spots around the lake on a low budget. You can build your own itinerary depending on how much time you have and what you would like to visit according to the available schedule.

The public boats are pet friendly, however, we would suggest you bring the muzzle while you are on board.

Public boat in Lago Maggiore


We call the public boat traghetto or battello and you can get it from any port in the main cities around Lago Maggiore.

There are specific schedules to follow if you want to build your itinerary.

As Lago Maggiore is a “big one”, you might not be able to visit everything in one day.

By taking the public boat you can visit most of the main cities around the lake, including the three islands of Isole Borromee.

How It Works

The ticket can be bought online through the website or you can buy it directly at the port where you start your trip.

You will find a port – that Italians call  imbarcadero – almost in every city around the lake such as Arona, Stresa, Pallanza, or Verbania.

You have many options: get a single ticket, a tour package, the family package.


If you want to visit Isole Borromee, Stresa is the best point to reach it and you can build your trip from there.

click here for prices and schedules of public boats in Lago Maggiore.

Public boat in Lago d’Orta


Public boats are also available in Lago d’Orta, where you can visit the splendid Isola San Giulio and the nearby cities around the lake.

Isola San Giulio has a little road running around it called the Way of Silence which leads past ancient villas, walled gardens, and wells and little alleys going down to the calm waters of Lake

How It Works

Orta San Giulio is the main city in Lago d’Orta. Boats normally depart from Piazza Motta. Normally, the trips to Isola San Giulio start at 09.00 am and the boat is leaving every 5 minutes with the price of a return ticket which is 3,20 Euros.

There are many options and services offered by the public boat in Lago d’Orta and you can see the detailed schedule here


There is a mini cruise around Lago d’Orta which includes the cities nearby and Isola San Giulio, with only 4,50 Euros.  You will get to see the main attractions and landscapes of the lake.  The boat is leaving every 20 minutes from the main square, Piazza Motta.

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