Perledo is a village in a comune (municipality) of the same name that goes from the shores of Lake Como up to the Grigna mountains in the Province of Lecco, in the Lombardy region of Italy. It is between Bellano, Varenna and Esino Lario. The historical centre of Perledo is at 395 m just above Varenna and is like a terrace on Lake Como. Perledo has a rich combination of lakeshore and mountain landscapes, and many great views of the lake.
The territory of Perledo is quite confusing because its borders go up and down and the naming doesn't help: when you arrive at the railway station called Varenna-Esino you are actually in Perledo and the Perledo tourist office is in the station building; when you get off the ferry in Varenna boat stop, you can cross a tiny river with a footbridge in front of you and you are in Perledo; coming from Bellano to Varenna you see a nice lake beach in Riva di Gittana and – once again – that is Perledo; also in the Esino Lario-Parlasco street (Strada della Valsassina) you cross Agueglio di Perledo.
The railway station called Varenna-Esino is actually in Perledo and the Perledo information office is in the station building. The station is on the line Milan, Lecco, Morbegno, Sondrio, Tirano. Express trains leave from Milano Centrale station, stop at few stations, and reach Varenna in 1 hour and 3 minutes. Regional trains leave from Milan Porta Garibaldi, stop at all stations, and reach Varenna in 1 hour and 30 minutes or 2 hours. The trains are a convenient way to travel the eastern shore of Lake Como, but the service stops quite early at night (the last train leaves Milan at 21:20).
To reach the centre of Perledo up to 395 m (around 170 m altimetric excursion), either walk or use the public bus if and when available.
There is a public bus line connecting Bellano, Varenna, Perledo and Esino Lario. In Varenna the bus stops at the Varenna-Esino railway station. The service is meant for school students (from Esino to the Varenna-Esino railway station and to Bellano where there is the secondary school) and commuters (from Esino to the Varenna-Esino railway station) and the schedule is accordingly designed. The bus timeline reports 40 minutes from Varenna-Esino station to Esino Lario. In Esino Lario there are two main bus stops in Piazza Gulfi and Piazza Italia; during the summer the bus makes a stop also in Ortanella and during winter the bus makes some other stops in the village to collect students.
The nearest boat stop for Perledo is Varenna, which is directly served by the lake's ferry network which provides connections to several towns and villages on the lake shore including Menaggio, Bellagio, Tremezzo and Como. From Varenna it is possible to transport on a ferry also your car. From Varenna you can continue to the centre of Perledo by car or you can take a bus from the Varenna-Esino railway station which is around 500 meters from the boat stop.
The nearest airport is Orio al Serio International Airport (sometimes referred to as Milan Bergamo) in Bergamo, which is served by a several of low-cost airlines. Driving distance is around 70km (1hr 10mins); by public transport the easiest way is to take a bus from the airport to Bergamo railway station where you can catch a train to Lecco and then change with a train to Varenna.
Alternatively, Milan Linate Airport and Milan Malpensa Airport are relatively close, although the latter is further away, being on the west side of Milan. Drive time from either of these is around 1hr 40 mins but public transport is more comfortable than from Orio al Serio; from Milano Malpensa you can get to Milan central station with a bus or train and from there you can take the train to Varenna-Esino station; from Milano Malpensa there is a public bus (the ATM shuttle takes you directly to Milan central station) and from there you have the train to Varenna-Esino station.
Perledo has five subdivisions (frazioni): Gisazio, Gittana, Lago di Como, Regoledo, Vezio. Each of them is about 1 km from the centre but the altimetric excursion makes it a bit more challenging to reach each of them.
If you are looking for a taxi, you can probably find one at the Varenna-Esino railway station.
- Vittorio Ongania Auto Pubblica Taxi, Piazza della Stazione a Perledo, ☎ +39 0341 830106.
- Ruggero Maglia Servizio Taxi, Via Statale 45 a Varenna, ☎ +39 0341 830580.
- Enrico Faggi Servizio Taxi, Via Per Esino 81 a Perledo, ☎ +39 0341 830269.
In Perledo the first thing you see and you want to see is Lake Como. The view from the centre is beautiful and in this mountain village, all windows, balconies, squares and staircases look like they were designed to pay tribute to the belvedere with its sunset. The position is particularly nice because from Perledo you can see below Varenna, in front of you Bellagio in the middle of the lake, Menaggio on the other side with the valley going up to Porlezza towards Switzerland, and furthermore you can see the two south branches of the lake and the north branch at the same time; it is the largest point of the lake and the landscape is animated by the mountain ranges, less sharp than the Northern Grigna (which is behind you while looking at the lake). Once you are finished looking at the lake you can browse around for the architecture and other viewpoints on the landscape.
- Church of Saint Martin (San Martino). The main church of Perledo, with a baroque architecture, a romanic bell tower and a square in front of the church which is a terrace on Lake Como.
- Varenna - Vezio - Perledo - Bologna.
- Perledo - Bosco delle Streghe - Gisazio - Regoledo - Cestaglia - Gittana.
- Perledo - Esino Lario: The old track.
Perledo produces local extra virgin olive oil made from the olives groves cultivated on the terraced mountain.