Sestri Levante is known as “the city of the two seas”, because it stands close to a rocky promontory, called “I’isola”, which extends towards the sea.
The Borgo is joined to the mainland by an isthmus, a thin strip of land that divides the Baia delle Favole, where the tourist port has been created, from the smaller but even more suggestive Baia del Silenzio.
Every year the Fairytale Festival takes place here, dedicated to the writer Hans Christian Andersen, who stayed in Sestri Levante in 1833, and fell madly in love with these places. So much so that he was inspired to write some of his most famous fairy tales.
The name Baia delle Favole, on the other hand, was baptized in this way by the television host Enzo Tortora, another illustrious name who fell in love with this wonderful territory.
In addition to the beautiful panorama that the nature of this magnificent area gives us, in Sestri Levante you will also admire the touch of the inhabitants of this land who, over the centuries, have built the characteristic elegant buildings with pastel-colored facades that are reflected in the sea.
Wide beaches of fine sand, a lively cultural life and wonderful paths that run along the sea await you.
If you are thinking of spending your holidays in the Levante Ligure, Sestri is the right choice.
Here you will not miss the relaxing life on the beach, many restaurants offering good cuisine, hotels, B&Bs and apartments of a good standard, as well as a strategic position that will allow you to discover the entire Riviera.
What to see in Sestri Levante
Sestri Levante is a perfect combination between a sunbathing holiday and a holiday to discover wonderful palaces, historic villages and interesting cultural attractions.
Here you will go to the discovery of the ancient historical center, built on the promontory overlooking the Bay of Silence and the Bay of Fables. The historic shops hidden between the alleys and the small villages of the surroundings.
You can begin your discovery of Sestri Levante from Largo Colombo where the beautiful Palazzo Fascie stands.
This elegant palace, in medieval style complete with an elaborate crenellated tower, was however built in the 900.
Today it is a building that is used by the city of Sestri Levante as a municipal library, a museum of the city and the territory, as well as being used as a multipurpose space for events and exhibitions.
Galleria Rizzi is a very interesting and precious museum that preserves paintings, sculptures, ceramics, furniture collected by the homonymous Sestrese family during the twentieth century.
The paintings include works by Vincenzo Campi, Andrea Ansaldo, Giovanni Andrea De Ferrari and Alessandro Magnasco.
Church of San Nicola dell'Isola
Walking through the streets in the alleys of sestri levante you can admire numerous churches and historic buildings.
The oldest of the many churches in the city is the church of San Nicolò of the island, which has been renovated several times over the centuries.
The other religious buildings of interest in the city are the Basilica of Santa Maria di Nazaret dating back to 1600, the convent of the Annunziata, located on the extreme tip of the peninsula and the church of the Immaculate Conception, characterized by the particular facade with white stripes and black.
Durazzo Pallavicini Palace
A particularly important historical building is Palazzo Durazzo Pallavicini which today houses the seat of the Municipality of Sestri Levante.
This imposing palace is located in the central Piazza Matteotti, right in the heart of the medieval city, and dates back to the seventeenth century.
Historical shops and shops
Walking through Sestri Levante you will have the opportunity to go shopping in the traditional workshops and artisan shops that the families of the city have opened and managed for more than half a century. These stores have very often been maintained exactly as they were fifty years ago.
You cannot leave without first having bought the gastronomic specialties in the grocery stores: in the bakeries, in the pastry shops and in the food shops that have kept the traditional production and above all the flavors of the past.
Villages and hamlets of Sestri Levante
During your visit to Sestri Levante, the surrounding villages are also worth a visit.
Riva Trigoso is very pretty and definitely worth a visit: it is located southeast of the center and overlooks a gulf bordered by Punta Buffe and Punta Manara.
It is famously divided by “Riva” which is the most modern and recent part, overlooking the coast, and “Trigoso” which is the historical center more perched on the hills but still a few meters from the sea.
During your visit you can admire the two villages which, as in the Ligurian tradition, have kept their original appearance with the typical colored houses.
Then there are other inland villages all around that are worth visiting to spend half a day discovering this wonderful area.
Here are some of them: Santa Margherita di Fossa Lupara, San Giacomo di Loto, Montedomenico, San Bartolomeo, Villa Ginestra and Villa Azaro.
Beaches of Sestri Levante
Sestri Levante is undoubtedly one of the seaside resorts in Liguria with the largest and most numerous beaches.
Unlike many other places in the region, in fact, here you will find spacious beaches where you can spend days at the beach in comfort without necessarily having to share your space with many other bathers.
The sea, as in all of Liguria, never betrays expectations, and even in Sestri Levante it is clean and transparent.
Here you will find private beaches equipped with excellent services, but also free beaches where you can stop with your own beach towel and enjoy the sun in total freedom.
The most beautiful beaches of the city extend along the Bay of Silence and along the Bay of Fables.
If you stay here on vacation for several days and if you already know every corner of the city, from Sestri Levante you can easily reach many other beaches among the most beautiful in Liguria and splendid seaside resorts such as Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure, Rapallo and Chiavari.
Bay of Silence
The bay of silence is the beach located east of the isthmus that connects the village of Sestri Levante and the modern area of the city.
This daytime beach is beautiful and popular, ideal for spending a day of sunbathing.
At night it becomes truly fascinating thanks to the lights of the houses that are reflected on the crystalline waters of the Ligurian Sea.
Numerous outdoor shows are organized here during the summer.
Fairy Tales Bay
To the west of the isthmus of Sestri Levante is the Baia delle Favole, which takes its name from the writer for children’s tales Andersen.
Although close to the marina, its waters are clean and crystalline and make the beach perfect for children as well.
A part of the beach is free while the remaining expanse is full of bathing establishments with various types of services even if the main attractions are for young people with entertainment and events even in the evening. There really is something for everyone!
The bottom of this beach is also very varied: you will find stretches of sandy beach and stretches of gravel as well as rocky areas.
Where sleeping in Sestri Levante
In Sestri Levante there is a wide choice of hotels, many B & Bs, guest houses, holiday homes and apartments for tourists.
This makes the hotels and apartments in Sestri Levante very popular, especially as regards the sea view rooms.
Here too, as in many places in Liguria, it is definitely advisable to book early to have the best possible choice.
How to get to Sestri Levante
Reaching Sestri Levante by car couldn’t be simpler: just take the A12 motorway and exit at Sestri Levante; the motorway exit is one kilometer from the entrance to the town.
The train is also a convenient means of transport because the city is located along the Pisa-La Spezia-Genoa route, served by numerous trains; also good connections to Milan. Regional buses connect Sestri Levante with the main towns of Liguria.
The closest airport is Genoa, about sixty kilometers away. From Sestri Levante boats leave for all the main tourist attractions of the Riviera di Levante, including Cinque Terre, Portovenere, Portofino, San Fruttuoso, Rapallo and Santa Margherita Ligure.
It is therefore possible to visit Sestri Levante in a day arriving by sea or on the contrary to base in Sestri Levante and move by boat to visit the other places.
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