Getting On the Ferry by CAR:
Drive your car and park in the queue.
Put the handbrake on.
Go and buy your ticket saying which car is yours and how many passengers. (They charge by size, they don’t care whether you drive a Porsche, a Fiat or a Toyota.)
Go back to your car and wait for the ferry.
When the ferry arrives the passengers and cars get off first then you are waved to proceed.
Show your ticket to the staff as you drive on.
They wave in the direction of the lane you are to drive on.
Park. Handbrake on.
I left the car running with the air conditioning on and the music. (If it were in New Zealand there would have been signs saying to turn off the engine. I saw none and most people were doing the same.)
If you are lucky and there is a narrow car beside yours, you can open your car door and get out and walk around the boat. I was unlucky and I was stuck in the car. It was about a 15 minute ride so it was a novel experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If it were a 3-4 hour journey then I would have squeezed into the passenger side and got out for sure.
Getting Off the Ferry
The ramp is not steep and easy to drive off the ferry. You just have to know where you want to drive as soon as you get onto the street. There is a big car park there so you can park and recheck your map or GPS. Going up the winding road above the town was fun. But I do NOT recommend the road from Bellagio to Lecco (SS583) as it is extremely narrow in parts and there are plenty of trucks and cyclists. Scenic perhaps but as the driver doesn’t get a rest from watching the road it is far from ideal holiday driving. I suggest that you take the ferry back to Menaggio or Cadenabbia after lunching and wandering the streets of Bellagio.