Perrando Museum
Comune di Sassello: piazza Concezione, 8 - 17046 Sassello (SV)
Telefono: 019 72 41 03
Fax: 019 72 46 64
Palazzo Perrando Palazzo Perrando

Sassello, a town with less than two thousand inhabitants, and one of the most important cultural poles in the Savon hinterland, is positioned on antique land, on the border between Liguria and Piedmont.  
This land covers more than one hundred square kilometres and is filled with ancient forts, magnificent churches, and the noble architecture of the villas in the historical centre and delightful rural constructions, a pleasant surprise for those who love nature and follow it on those trails that wind between woods and meadows, which are plentiful in this area. Thanks to all this, in 1999 Sassello was the very first place to be awarded the Bandiera Arancione (Orange Flag), a tourist-environment quality award for hinterland areas with special natural, landscape and cultural richness.

One of the most interesting buildings, Palazzo Perrando, can be found along the roads of this historical centre; built during the 17th century, it was the historical residence of the family of the same name. The building has been the home of the Museo Perrando (Perrando Museum) since 1965, and its seven rooms hold four distinct sections: the first is dedicated to territorial production, the second to prehistoric culture, the third to the Middle Ages and the fourth displays the assets of the family, one of the oldest in Sassello, with a library, and art gallery that has works by Magnasco, Piola and Cambiaso, a collection of pottery and some period furniture.

With the Development of the natural and cultural resources of Liguria project (Level 4 of the ROP ERDF 2007-2013), the aim is to create a new museum pole that will integrate the existing Perrando Museum by renovating the ex Convento dei Frati Francescani (Monastery of the Franciscan Friars) positioned behind the 16th century Basilica della Concezione (Basilica of the Conception).
The complex is made up of the convent and the partial internal court yard. Closed on three sides with an “L” shaped layout, it has two floors and is covered by a double-pitched roof.

Building upgrading means completing the development route of the territory and local traditions started a while back by the Town Council, and also guaranteeing a large increase in the number of visitors to the Sassello museum pole to strengthen the development of tourism in the territory.

A little bit of history

It was the local community that strongly desired construction of the first religious building, the Basilica della Immacolata Concezione (Basilica of the Immaculate Conception) initially dedicated to the Visitazione (Visitation), so in 1582 they called Antonio Martino Bertolle from Locarno in Switzerland to design the project and follow construction. News from 1512 of a chapel dedicated to Santa Maria exists, therefore it was probably already present before the Basilica was built.

Construction of the adjacent monastery began in 1613; the Franciscan Friars remained there until 1860, but were forced to leave from 1810 to 1829 because of Napoleonic laws against religious orders.
The buildings were used for different purposes over the subsequent years, until they became partially abandoned and the resulting decay developed.

The intervention

Long periods of neglect and damaging environmental agents rendered the building, which is in an advanced state of decline, partially unusable.
With the Development of the natural and cultural resources of Liguria project (Level 4 of the ROP ERDF 2007-2013), the complex was placed under specific restriction and as such under the protection of the Office of Archaeological Heritage.

Preservation and conservation will be carried out, with the existing spaces remaining unchanged and traditional techniques and materials (stone, brick, wood) being used. The interventions will be carried out on a portion of the roof, the rooms on the ground floor, an area of approximately 400 square metres (indoor and outdoor window and door frames deteriorated, electrical and heating systems) and the rooms on the first floor, an area of about 250 square metres (the same work carried out on the ground floor plus restoration of the flooring) and, where necessary, the plasterwork and paintwork will be touched up.


This is an antique territory where the numerous stone engravings and stone tools that were found are proof of the presence of man from prehistory. Sassello is one of the few places in Liguria where it is possible to admire tetti a scàndole (scàndole roofs) (wooden, from the Latin laths, splinters), following an ancient and traditional construction technique. Today’s image of the historical centre is the result of the renovation that was carried out following the fire started by Savoy troops in 1672. Visitors can only admire the characteristic façades painted "alla sassellese".

One of the most spectacular panoramic points is the church dedicated to San Giovanni Battista, the oldest parish in Sassello. Outside today’s town centre, this church also marks the spot of the first living area. It currently has a 19th century type shape, but its origins date back to the Early Christian period. Legend says that it was built on the ruins of a pagan temple dedicated to Venus.

Sassello is inside the Parco Naturale del Beigua (Beigua Natural Park), the vastest regional protected area in Liguria. The Park extends over an area of 8700 hectares and includes the portion of territory that develops behind Genoa and Savona. It is a spectacular balcony made of mountains that face the sea where nature, culture and antique traditions are elements of extraordinary virtue and interest. The whole protected area can be visited on foot, mountain bike or horseback, using the antique mule tracks that cross the Ligurian Apennines and the network of trails that unite the ten communities of the Park. You can also go trekking on the roads of the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri (a high-level trail).


Each year, during the Feast of Corpus Christi, Sassello holds the Infiorata (flower art festival). It is a splendid occasion for visiting the town with its characteristic historical centre. The attraction of the procession is that it passes during the early hours of the morning along the town roads which are completely covered with flower compositions, made using petals and flowers gathered from gardens and fields. The whole route is marked off by long chestnut branches fixed to the houses by cables.

When you return home, the bitter-sweet taste of amaretti from Sassello will bring this corner of Liguria back into your thoughts. They are excellent, prepared following an antique recipe with very few ingredients that are worked by hand and then baked in an oven. Their characteristics have remained unaltered since 1860, thanks to the special elements (dough ingredients and preparation method) that have been handed down from one generation to the next.

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