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 Italy...so 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Map of Sestri Levante and places to visit
Sestri Levante places to visit
See more places nearby in the Liguria guide