Sestri Levante is a beautiful little town found approximately halfway between Genoa and La Spezia.
In fact, in the past few years it has become almost impossible to walk in town on the weekends.
The narrow streets are packed with people that come for a weekend stroll and stop leisurely check out the trendy shop windows or to get an ice cream or piece of focaccia.
This once quiet fishing village is slowly turning into a tourist hotspot. The original part of Sestri Levante is actually on a peninsula, with the beautiful Baia del Silenzio (also known as “Portobello”) on one side and Baia delle Favole on the other. “Baia delle Favole” or “Bay of Fairy Tales” was named in honor of Hans Christian Andersen, who lived in Sestri for a short time.
Bay of Silence is a wonderful quiet romantic bay. It has a small boardwalk, but most of the houses come as far as the beach. It’s a public beach where you will find many locals. In front of the boardwalk you’ll find the typical boats called “gozzi”, resting on the beach after a fishing trip. I liked this part of Sestri Levante the best.
Baia delle Favole (Bay of fairy-tales) is a lively, animated bay boarded by a promenade with beautiful houses, and a beach where you can rent a beach chair or have a drink in one of the many beach bars. In the back you can see the narrow strip of land that divides this bay from Bay of Silence. The land between the two bays has a lot of vegetation.
Where to stay in Sestri Levante
Hotels, B&Bs, apartments and villas in Sestri Levante: search and make a reservation here.
Sestri Levante: The legend of Tigullio
Once upon a time there was an enchanting place on the Ligurian Sea, a spot where the water was cleaner and the sun was shining longer. Here the Sirens, dazzled by the wonderful scenery offered by the island, settled down on the cliffs that, like little thrones, were rising from the water.
One day, from the coast of Sestri Levante, Tigullio, the youngest and most handsome of the tritons, saw Segesta, the most fascinating and beautiful of the sirens. She had eyes more blue then the water and hairs more lucent than the sky, though he fell in love with her.
One night while the shining moon was covering the rocks with silver and many stars were pulsing like his heart, Tigullio tried to abduct Segesta.
But Neptune, the sea God, didn’t agree that such a paradise could be stolen of the most delicate of his gems and punished Tigullio petrifying his arm overstretched to catch the siren.
Then was formed the hystm of Sestri Levante, that joins the island to the continent and nowadays it’s still possible to admire that promontory, those cliffs and that sea and realize that Sirens are sleeping there.
Grand Hotel dei Castelli
On the top of the peninsula of Sestri Levante, as a crown upon the wonderful scenery of a great park, rises the Grand Hotel dei Castelli.
Although the current castle was built only in 1920, it was built using artifacts and remains of older constructions.
Passing the massive gate, which is part of the old town walls, you will have the impression to step back in the past.
Your senses will be transported in a dimension where the fascination of history and art blend perfectly with the creations of mother nature.
From the height of the promontory of Sestri Levante you can easily reach the center of the town, the promenade and the port by a private lift.