The Ligurian Eastern Riviera, in addition to the cosmopolitan Genoa and the unmissable Cinque Terre, offers numerous destinations of unique charm that will surely surprise you.
One of these is Sestri Levante, called by the writer Hans Christian Andersen “city of the two seas” because it is embraced by the picturesque “Baia del Silenzio” and “Baia delle Favole“.
In addition Sestri Levante is the perfect base for discovering the entire ligurian Eastern Riviera with Cinque Terre e Portofino.
Baia delle Favole
“Baia delle Favole” (Fairy Tales Bay) is bordered by a splendid promenade where you can admire the tourist port where the characteristic fishing boats and other fishing boats typical of the Ligurian tradition are moored.
Baia del Silenzio
“Baia del Silenzio” (Bay of Silence) is one of the most beautiful places in Liguria, framed by colorful houses, lapped by crystal clear waters and characterized by a natural tranquility in which to close your eyes and let yourself be carried away by imagination.
The names and peculiarities of the two bays already make you understand how Sestri Levante and its surroundings are ideal locations where you can forget the stress and chaos of the city to immerse yourself in an area of great beauty and peace.
Here, in fact, you can breathe the relaxed atmosphere of a seaside village of Liguria, caressed by the fragrant sea breeze, and let yourself be enchanted by the characteristic paved alleys of the historic center overlooked by the typical houses painted in bright pastel colors.
Sestri is a village of art and culture and a leisurely walk in the center will allow you to admire numerous churches dating back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, historic buildings, noble villas and picturesque slate portals dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
Not only that: the heart of the village is full of typical bars and restaurants where you can stop and taste the best of Ligurian cuisine that is characterized by simple and authentic flavors, linked to the area that develops between the sea and the hills.
What to eat?
In Sestri and surroundings you must taste the delicious Ligurian focaccia, the chickpea farinata (very low savory pie, prepared with chickpea flour, water, salt and extra virgin olive oil), the famous pesto which you can taste here with testaroli (a pasta very simple and home-made with flour, water and basil) and the fresh fish of the day that can be bought directly from the fishing boats.
Typical fish dishes are salted anchovies, ciuppin (delicious mixed fish soup) and bagnun di acciughe (anchovy soup).
As for desserts, Sestri stands out for its delicious homemade ice cream and honey produced in different varieties.
Finally, do not give up making a good supply of DOP extra virgin olive oil from the olive groves of the Ligurian Levant area.
Trails and Hiking
A typical fishing village, the beauty of two bays overlooking sandy beaches and crystal clear sea, a delicious and authentic gastronomy but also a true paradise for nature lovers and trails that, penetrating the Mediterranean scrubland, lead to the discovery of breathtaking views on the jagged coast of the Eastern Riviera.
From Sestri the beautiful path leads to the suggestive promontory of Punta Manara, between Sestri Levante and the hamlet of Riva Trigoso. Also noteworthy are the routes to Punta Baffe, a promontory located at the eastern end of the bay of Riva Trigoso, and to Sant’Anna, located at the western end of Sestri.
Almost all the itineraries are sea view, easy to follow and well signposted for a unique experience, on foot or by bicycle, in contact with the wildest beauty of the Eastern Riviera.
Some beautiful places near Sestri Levante
A few kilometers away, in fact, we find Chiavari, an ideal city for quality and excellent tourism thanks to its historical shops that cannot be found elsewhere, the Cinque Terre (here a possible itinerary) , a suggestive destination that has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its unique villages and Portofino, the most famous and chic place in the whole area.
The town of Sestri has a convenient train station where some direct trains from Milan also stop and allows you to reach both the Cinque Terre and the Portofino area in about 30 minutes.
The advantage of staying in Sestri Levante is to avoid overcrowding and the scarce offer of good accommodations in the Cinque Terre: Sestri, on the other hand, offers some of the best boutique hotels by the sea in the whole Riviera. Our trip “Best of the Italian Riviera” can be based here in Sestri, for example!
A holiday in Sestri Levante will thus allow you to get in touch with all the beauty of this stretch of Liguria and to be able to wander between different towns and numerous authentic and typical experiences.