Photo of Sestri Levante

Visit Sestri Levante

The resort of Sestri Levante, about halfway along the Riviera di Levante coast in eastern Liguria (north-west Italy) is one of those places that the Italians have managed to keep to themselves and is not well known by overseas visitors.

This lack of fame is presumably because of the famous cinque terre villages and Portovenere being on the same coast as Sestri Levante, and attracting every visitor and coach party that comes to this part of other destinations get rather overlooked

Exploring Sestri Levante

The oldest - and prettiest - part of the town is on the 'neck' of a peninsula with a small hill at the end and bays to either side called Silent Bay (Baia del Silenzio) and the Bay of Fairy Tales (Baia delle Favole) on the other side. These bays are also used for mooring boats, with the principal harbour in the Bay of Fairy Tales.

beach and seafront

The Bay of Fairy Tales is named after Hans Christian Andersen who lived here for a short time in the early 19th century.

Sestri Levante has become a very popular resort with Italian families and is an attractive resort to visit. It also has two beaches:

- The beach on Silent Bay is in a very attractive position with houses coming right down to the beach and fishing poats dragged on to the beach, and it is often rated among the nicest beaches in Liguria. It is also free (unlike many beaches in Liguria) but this does mean it can get very busy in the summer. The beach on Silent Bay is very popular with the locals.


- The second beach, on the Bay of Fairy Tales, is longer and has a promenade as well as sections of beach where you can hire sunchairs and parasols. You will also find more facilities here such as beach side cafes and bars.

colourful townhouses in centre of Sestri Levante

Immediately behind the beach there are the tall colourful houses that are found in most Liguria villages. The old town contains lots of nice restaurants as well as boutiques and ice cream shops, with Via Aprile XXV the main shopping street.

After shopping and lunch if you have the energy you should walk up the hill for a lovely view across the bay.

Attractions nearby

A few kilometres north-west of Sestri Levante along the Italian Rivera you should also visit the resort of Chiavari which has a beach and interesting historic town centre. A little further in the same direction and you reach the very picturesque fishing village at Portofino.

If instead you travel south-east along the coast you reach the town of Levanto, a very popular base for exploring the villages of the Cinque Terre.

Sestri Levante is at the heart of the region known as East Tigullio, along the coast from Chiavari to Moneglia and also inland among the steep forested valleys and ancient villages to the north: an ideal combination if you like to include beaches, exploring and outdoor activities in a visit!

You can find more local travel ideas in the Genoa guide and the Liguria guide.

See also: 

Map of Sestri Levante and places to visit


Sestri Levante places to visit



Chiavari is a well known beach resort that also has an interesting old town of narrow medieval lanes called carrugi

Chiavari guide


Rapallo is an attractive Liguria seaside resort also known for the cable car ride up the adjacent mountain

Rapallo guide


Portofino is an exceptionally beautiful coastal village

Portofino guide
Santa Margherita Ligure

Santa Margherita Ligure

The charming resort of Santa Margherita Ligure is one of the most attractive along the Liguria coast

Santa Margherita Ligure guide


Levanto, on the coast near the Cinque Terre, is one of the most popular beach resorts in eastern Liguria

Levanto guide
Varese Ligure

Varese Ligure

In the forested hills of northern Liguria, Varese Ligure is a very unusual medieval town designed around a circular layout

Varese Ligure guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Liguria