Sestri Levante is known as “the city of the two seas,” because it sits abutting a rocky promontory, called “I’isola,” that stretches out into 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 marina has been carved out, from the smaller but even more striking Baia del Silenzio.
Every year the Fairy Tale Festival dedicated to the writer Hans Christian Andersen, who stayed in Sestri Levante in 1833 and fell hopelessly in love with these places, is held here. 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 named after TV host Enzo Tortora, another illustrious name who fell in love with this wonderful area.
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 palaces with pastel-colored facades that are reflected in the sea.
Awaiting you are wide beaches of the finest sand, a vibrant cultural life, and the wonderful paths that run along the sea.
If you are considering spending your vacation in the Levante Ligure region, Sestri is the right choice.
Here there will be no shortage of relaxing beach life, many restaurants offering good food, good hotels, B&Bs and apartments, as well as a strategic location that will allow you to go exploring the entire Riviera.
What to see in Sestri Levante
Sestri Levante is a perfect combination of a sunbathing vacation and a vacation to discover wonderful palaces, historic villages, and interesting cultural attractions.
Here you will explore the ancient old town, built on the promontory overlooking the Bay of Silence and the Bay of Fables. The historic stores hidden among the carruggi and small villages in the surrounding area.
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 valuable museum that preserves paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and furniture collected by the family of the same name from Sexten during the 20th century.
The paintings include works by Vincenzo Campi, Andrea Ansaldo, Giovanni Andrea De Ferrari, and Alessandro Magnasco.
Church of San Nicola dell'Isola
Strolling the streets through the alleys of sestri levante you can admire numerous churches and historic buildings.
The oldest of the town’s many churches is the Church of St. Nicholas of the Island, which has been renovated several times over the centuries.
The city’s other religious buildings of interest are the Basilica of St. Mary of Nazareth dating back to the 1600s, the Convent of the Annunziata, which is located on the extreme tip of the peninsula, and the Church of the Immaculate Conception, characterized by its distinctive black-and-white striped facade.
Durazzo Pallavicini Palace
One historic building of particular note is Palazzo Durazzo Pallavicini, which today houses the headquarters of the Sestri Levante City Council.
This imposing palace is located in central Matteotti Square, right in the heart of the medieval city, and dates back to the 17th century.
Historical shops and shops
As you stroll through Sestri Levante, you will have the opportunity to store in the traditional artisan stores and stores that the town’s families have opened and operated for more than half a century. These stores very often have been maintained exactly as they were fifty years ago.
You cannot leave without first buying the gourmet specialties in the small grocery stores: in the bakeries, pastry stores and grocery stores that have maintained the traditional production and especially 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 lies southeast of downtown and overlooks a gulf bordered by punta buffe and punta manara.
Notoriously, it is divided by “Riva,” which is the more modern and recent part facing the coast, and “Trigoso,” which is the old town more perched on the hills but still a few meters from the sea.
During your visit you can admire the two villages that, as in the Ligurian tradition, have maintained their original appearance with typical colorful houses.
Then there are all around other inland villages that are worth visiting to spend a half-day exploring 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 widest and most numerous beaches.
Unlike many other locations 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 lots of other bathers.
The sea, as throughout Liguria, never betrays expectations, and even in Sestri Levante it is clean and transparent.
Here you can find private and equipped beaches with excellent facilities, but also free beaches where you can stop with your beach towel and enjoy the sun in total freedom.
The city’s most beautiful beaches stretch 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 of Liguria’s most beautiful beaches 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 part of the city.
This daytime beach is beautiful and popular ideal for spending a day tanning.
At night it becomes truly fascinating thanks to the lights of the houses reflected in the crystal clear waters of the Ligurian Sea.
Numerous outdoor performances are organized here during the summer.
Fairy Tales Bay
West of the isthmus of Sestri Levante is the Bay of Fables, named after the children’s fairy tale writer Andersen.
Although close to the marina its waters are clean and crystal clear and make the beach perfect for children.
Part of the beach is free while the remaining expanse is full of bathing establishments with services of various kinds although, the main attractions, are for young people with entertainment and events also evening. There really is something for everyone!
The bottom at 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, room rentals, vacation homes and apartments for tourists.
This makes Sestri Levante’s hotels and apartments especially popular for 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 is very easy: take the A12 highway and exit at Sestri Levante; the highway exit is one kilometer from the entrance to the town center.
Santa Margherita has its own railway station on the Genoa-La Spezia line. It is an important route with quite frequent trains.
Sestri Levante can be reached by bus from major locations in Liguria.
The nearest airport to Sestri is Genoa Airport(http://www.aeroportodigenova.it/), about 60 km away and easily reached by train, bus, and cab.
ACCOMMODATION IN SESTRI LEVANTE
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