Today, we are paying a visit to Marc Azzolini, founder and caretaker of a magical place perched high above Lake Annecy: "Là-Haut", where we had a great time making the film about our Barbecue Set. Marc is always happy to share his perspective and offer up some insightful anecdotes, whether we are talking about the mountains, Opinel, or life as a whole.

Studio Kalice

Can you introduce yourself in a few words ?

My name is Marc Azzolini, and I was born in 1960 in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in Savoie, the birthplace of Opinel, where my grandparents moved from Italy. 

Can you tell us a bit about your background ?

Born into a family of entrepreneurs with a passion for sports and cars, I learnt to drive at the age of 12 before becoming... a racing driver! There's no such thing as chance.

I also caught the entrepreneurial bug from my family.  In 1989, I set up AZO, an event agency specialising in cars.

What are you doing today ?

I'm still president of AZO, and I love to follow my curiosity, wherever it takes me.

What inspired you to create the "Là-Haut" refuge ?

20 years ago, I was fascinated by the changes taking place in the mountains, and my famous curiosity led me down a new path. "Là-Haut" represented a revolutionary concept of accommodation and hospitality. At the time, mountain facilities were very much focused on winter, but I understood that all four seasons are equally amazing.

Studio Kalice

Why did you choose this location ?

Because it's unique! With its magnificent 360° views, it was the perfect place to write this story...

Studio Kalice

What does living in the mountains mean to you ?

A great deal of freedom. I am immersed in an ever-changing natural environment, but surrounded by the people I grew up with, who are still much the same!

What does Opinel mean to you? What values do you associate with the company?

Because of my roots, Opinel has a certain sentimental value, but it also brings to mind the authenticity and intelligence of a visionary man.

How did you find the filming of our Barbecue Set at the refuge ?

It was a meeting of different genres and generations. A serious project where no-one took themselves too seriously. All in all, a great job!

Do you have any memories of Opinel ?

I remember sitting at the table with my funny grandfather. A strong, simple, reliable man, just like his no. 08...

Which is your favourite Opinel knife ?


The one Opinel is going to invent tomorrow...