… and you can see why as you approach the village from the direction of Fivizzano. A large slab of white chalk, featured above, adorns the hillside above the village. The village boasts an excellent hotel and restaurant now run by the Fiorini family. I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch there in company of the owner, Roberto, and mutual friend Eraldo, and all organised and served by Roberto’s daughter, Serena in the dining room shown below.

Accommodation at the hotel is simple, clean and very reasonably priced. It would make an excellent base for exploring both the immediate area, Fivizzano and Cerreto Laghi, and for venturing further afield, to Lerici and the Cinque Terre, or north towards Parma. The hotel has its own minibus which the owner is happy to use for excursions for residents, including skiing in the winter. Roberto assures me that the roads are never closed by snow as Sassalbo lies on the main road to Parma and has to be kept open for emergency services.

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