Lake Orta Boat Service

Orta San Giulio
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How to get

By car: from the A26 exit at Borgomanero and follow the signs for Gozzano-Orta San Giulio, or exit at Gravellona Toce and continue to Omegna. Public service boats stop at Omegna, Pettenasco, Orta, San Giulio Island and Pella.
By train: Orta-Miasino railway station


The boat service on Lake Orta has always been of fundamental importance for trade, tourism and communications between the villages on the shore and San Giulio Island. In fact, the shore road from Gozzano to Orta has only been viable since the beginning of the 19th century.

A steamer service started on 1 November 1878, with three fine public service boats – the Cusio, the Mergozzolo and the Umberto I – which plied the waters of the lake for nine years. After this some private ventures were tried but failed, and the public service was resumed in 1910, following the highly successful Italian national rowing championships held on the lake.

With great interest on the part of the press and the local population, the steamship “Riviera” was transferred to Lake Orta from the Riviera, and the service started up again, not without difficulty, to be gradually extended and improved in the following years.

In 1935, however, there was another setback for the dream of developing the lake and introducing a commercially viable service, when the steamer “Principe di Piemonte” was destroyed by fire, and the public service was once again broken off. It was not until 1984 that the problem-beset service was resumed once more, first with the Azalea, and shortly afterwards with the Ortensia and the Camelia.

Today tourists wanting to cross the lake or visit the marvellous Island of San Giulio can use an efficient public boat service, or hire a boat for themselves.

More details

Navigazione Lago d'Orta
Tel: +39 345 5170005