Sassello is a small comune and town located in the region of Liguria in Italy in the province of Savona. The town is located close to the cities of Savona and Genoa and is on the north side of the Apennines of Liguria. The town had been a popular site due to its strategic location and had long been fought over by Genoa and Marquisate of Montferrat.
The town is known to have been inhabited in pre-historic times by one of the Ligurian tribes. Sassello was first mentioned in a document in 967 AD and had been passed on to many noble families like the Genoese Doria, Ponzone, the Del Carretto and Bonifacio Del Vasto over the centuries. The town of Sassello belonged to the Marquis of Ponzone who then passed it on to the Del Carretto family. During the rule of these families several important monuments were built in the town.
Getting to Sassello
Sassello is located quite close to the cities of Savona and Genoa. Visitors can easily reach Genoa by air or by trains since the city is well connected with most parts of Italy and to the other locations in Europe. From Genoa or from Savona visitors can take the state bus that departs every few hours from the main bus stations for Sassello. Tickets are quite inexpensive and buses are comfortable. Another option is to drive down to Sassello from any of these cities.
Moving Around the Town
Sassello is quite a small town that is characterized by several narrow alleys, beautiful porticos and old stone and limestone houses. Walking around the town is the best way to explore it. There are only a few sight seeing attractions in Sassello which consist of a few churches. These can all be visited within a day by walking around the town. Visitors who have their own cars can also drive around to visit some of the neighboring villages and explore the landscape of Sassello.
Attractions in Sassello
The Bastia Soprano was originally built in the 12th century; however, the main fortified complex was built only in the 15th century at the time of the rule of the Doria family in Sassello. The fort was later on passed on to Genoa in 1612 who had acquired quite a lot of benefits from the iron industries located in the region and because of the proximity of the nearby coast. The fort had been severely destroyed several times over the centuries and had to be rebuilt and refurbished a few times. The town had been destroyed in the fire that had been caused by Savoy troops and had been rebuilt in 1672. The present day stone houses and buildings are all dating back to the 17th century. There are picturesque streets and houses which are bound together by beautiful porticos and narrow streets.
Church Della Concezione
One of the most important places to visit in Sassello is the ancient church of Concezione. The church had been originally built in 1582 close to an old convent. The church had been later redone and expanded over the centuries. Inside the church are several beautiful art works and frescoes.
Church of San Giovanni
The church of San Giovanni is the oldest religious building in Sassello. The church dates back to the medieval times when it was first built. However, over the centuries the church had been severely damaged a few times. The last renovation work was done in the 18th centuries and quite a lot of changes were done to the original design of the church. The façade that is seen today along with all the decorations inside the church now date back to the 18th century when most of the original features of the church had been changed.
The Perrando Museum of Sassello is quite small and has a very small collection of various assorted objects, artifacts and art works that had been collected from the region over the centuries. Not very interesting, but those who are interesting in learning about the history of the town can visit the museum.
Stay and Accommodation
There are only a few hotels in Sassello, mainly because there aren't many visitors that come to the town. Most tourists visit Sassello as a day excursion from Genoa or from the other towns in the province that are located close by. Since there are only a few sight seeing attractions in the town, most people spend a day in Sassello and return back in the evening. There are only a few hotels, some bed & breakfasts and some old country homes offering rooms to tourists. Some of the most well known hotels in Sassello are Pian Del Sole, hotel Monte Cucco, hotel Delfino, hotel Paradiso and hotel San Giovanni Sciatori. Except for these there are a few farm houses and old villas which can be taken on rent by visitors.
Eating in Sassello
There are a few good places in Sassello where visitors can eat out. The town has a few good pizzerias, trattorias and restaurants that serve good quality food. Visitors would mostly find the locals eating at these small restaurants and the atmosphere is usually very casual and friendly. Food is generally Italian dishes and rustic country style dishes that are preferred by the locals. Some of the most well known restaurants in town are trattoria Vittoria, ristorante Paradiso, ristorante Piccolo Borgo, Locanda il Fungo, La Donda Snc Di Delbuono Caterina and Maisons De Vacaces.
Shopping in Sassello
There are a few good shops in Sassello where visitors can purchase local products. The older section of the town is lined with small shops selling local food products, fresh fruits, vegetables, clothes and handicrafts. However, the best things to purchase in Sassello are locally made cheese, good quality extra virgin olive oil, salami and honey. Most wine shops in Sassello also have good quality local wines that are made from the grapes grown in the region. The region is especially known for its olive oil.