Lake Como Public Ferry: Route Maps, Timetables, and Practical Tips

One of the iconic motorships of Navigazione Laghi fleet

One of the iconic motorships of Navigazione Laghi fleet

Let’s face it: there’s no better way to wander around the three branches of Lake Como than by taking a public boat to reach all the villages directly from the water

The local public navigation service (Navigazione Laghi) provides several routes that connect all of the most popular villages along Lake Como’s shores, at a convenient price.

There are basically three types of public boats: 

  • Motorships (Battelli)

  • Hydrofoils (Aliscafi)

  • Ferries (Traghetti)


Motorships cover the coast from Como to Colico and, in summer, also the stretch from Lecco to Bellagio.

They are ideal if you are not in a rush and you don’t have a tight schedule of places to visit in your day.

Have a look at the summer 2019 timetables here (in the pdf list go to Battelli e servizi rapidi).


Hydrofoils are the best choice if you don’t have such a lot of time for your trips. Just make sure to study the timetable properly: they don’t stop at every station. We suggest you to always ask help at the front office desk of the decks, or to email us for help.

You can find the timetables here (in the pdf list go to Battelli e servizi rapidi).


If you travel by car, just go for a ferry.

Attention: ferries connect exclusively the villages of the central area of the lake, i.e. Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio and Cadenabbia.

Prices for a ferry ticket excluding cars is € 3.40 per person; here you can find all the fares details if you bring cars or bikes. 

Jump to the official website of Navigazione Laghi to be posted on the timetable (go to the label Traghetto veicoli).

The stories behind the names

Our passion for the stories behind the names of places, people or objects is not a news for those who know the way we work.

So let’s dive into a super quick excursus about the meanings of the most intriguing names of some boats part of the public fleet, so that you can learn a bit more about the history and the landscape of our place:

  • Adda: Adda is the only one emissary river of Lake Como;

  • Plinio: roman writer Plinio Il Vecchio, as you probably know, was born right in Como;

  • Ghisallo: this is a famous pass in the Triangolo Lariano (the “triangle” made of Bellagio, Como and Lecco);

  • Bisbino: this is the 1325 mt. mountain we have on the boundary between Como and Switzerland;

  • Manzoni: Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873) is considered one of the greatest italian novelists of all times, due to its famous masterpiece “I Promessi Sposi”.

  • Fra Cristoforo, Innominato, Renzo, Lucia: these are all the main characters of “I Promessi Sposi”.

lake como navigation

Some practical tips

  • We suggest you to download the app of Navigazione Laghi from Google Play or App store, for all details on schedules and fares.

  • Remember that in May the timetable changes significantly for the summer season.

  • In the Route Planner on the website, always check the box “include fast service”.

  • Better if you go at the desk of the deck at least 20 minutes before the departure time. Remember that in summer and during the holidays the traffic can be remarkable, and you can find long queues at the counters!

  • Tickets must be bought before getting on board. Consider that on board you have an extra charge of € 1 (not for disabled travelers); tickets purchased on the boat must be paid in cash, while the ticket offices also accept debit and credit cards. 

  • During boarding, always pay attention to communications from ground and on-board personnel. At the station it’s possible to have more ships departing: it’s necessary to follow the instructions of the staff in order not to miss the ship or the connection (many travelers confuse Bellagio with Menaggio, due to the similar pronunciation!).

Are you planning a trip to Lake Como for your house hunting and you need helpful tips to get around?