Sassalbo – 820 mslm
The village certainly has prehistoric origins, linked to the population of the Apuan Ligurians, but its development took place especially in the Middle Ages being an important transit place along the road that connected the coast and the eastern Lunigiana to the Po Valley.
During the Florentine domination, the village also became a place of exile for people cast out of the city of Florence.
The town is dominated by the church of S. Michele, which was destroyed first by a landslide in the 19th century and then by the earthquake of 1920.
There is a medieval castle, of which, however, very little remains, also because for the unstable nature of the land.
In the surroundings, the paths lead to magnificent chestnut groves, once one of the main local resources, so much so that in the past, the houses of the village had no chimneys, as each family had their own “metato” to dry the chestnuts, built-in the house itself and functioning as a source of heating. However, traditionally the “metato” was a separate small two-room building, serving all the village or in any case several families.
It consisted of two floors; on the ground floor it had a large hearth in the centre. The chestnuts were spread on a grid on the second floor. The smoke from the first floor filtered to the second and was not channelled by a chimney, but seeped through the roof, covered by “piagne” (flat stones) and tiles.