Lake Maggiore Boat Service

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The motor vessels of the Navigazione Lago Maggiore call at the main shore towns such as Arona, Stresa, Verbania and Cannobio.


The “Navigazione del Lago Maggiore”, the Lake Maggiore Boat Service, is a government-run company with a large fleet that can guarantee communications and transport throughout the lake.

Visitors to Lake Maggiore will find that the boat (what used to be the steamer) is by far the best way to enjoy the second largest lake in Italy. While there are now more modern and more powerful craft such as motorboats and hydrofoils, the old motor vessels have not lost their appeal for the very many tourists who choose to view the marvellous scenery of the lake in a less unhurried, more relaxing way.

The story of the Navigazione began on 25 February 1826, when the first wooden steamboat on Lake Maggiore, the Verbano, was launched in Magadino in what is now the Ticino Canton. The success of this revolutionary enterprise prompted a boom in the steamer service on the lake.

Among the treasures of the Navigazione, pride of place must go to the legendary Piemonte, a period steamer which has kept its original appearance along with the original material used to build it. Launched as long ago as 1904, it has kept the elegance of its two Art Nouveau style saloons, still used today for prestige meetings or exclusive cruises, which on special occasions see this historic steamboat ply the waters of the lake once more.

Today the motor vessels are kept in the dockyard in Arona, which has developed from its 19th century origins to become the present centre of Navigazione Lago Maggiore.

Among the services the Navigazione provides for visitors, the most attractive must be the evening cruises organised during the summer, which include a romantic dinner, live music and dancing.

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Navigazione Lago Maggiore