Sestri Levante is one of the last towns east of the Gulf of Tigullio in Liguria, part of the metropolitan area of Genoa. For its geographic conformation it is defined the city of two seas, in fact, has a fascinating promontory, called an island, which extends over the water through an isthmus, in this way the historic center overlooks two bays: the Bay of Silence and the Bay of Fables. Spending a day or a weekend here is a really nice gift to do. Here is Sestri Levante: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening.
- 10 things to see in Sestri Levante in a weekend
- What to see in Sestri Levante in one day: recommended itinerary
- Where to eat in Sestri Levante: the best restaurants
- What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Sestri Levante
- Plan your stay in Sestri Levante: info and useful tips
- User questions and comments
10 things to see in Sestri Levante in a weekend
1 - Bay of Silence
This suggestive, small fishing bay overlooks the eastern part of the promontory, giving its many visitors a surprising spectacle at any time of day. The boats crowd the marina and the water is transparent, furthermore the promontory, which surrounds the bay, gives the idea of a closed, intimate corner. Overlooking the bay there are colorful Ligurian buildings and also a historic building, theex Convent of the Annunziata. Strolling along the rocky beach, at a certain point you will notice a statue overlooking a rock, which will surely remind you of Andersen's Little Mermaid, symbol of Copenhagen. This is the Statue of the Fisherman by Leonardo Lustig, which gives the bay even more charm. Indeed, many artists, painters, poets and composers have been inspired by this magical place: among them, Andersen himself, to whom a festival is also dedicated in the city, and then the composer Richard Wagner.
- from the railway station it is about a kilometer on foot, a quarter of an hour on foot taking via Eraldo Fico Virgola and continuing on via XXV Aprile. Buses 64 and 40 (direction Sestri) and 50 (direction Varese Ligure) which from the station can leave you in Piazza della Repubblica in a minute's ride, but from there it is still necessary to walk for 650 meters through via Dante Alighieri and via XXV April. Get directions
- always accessible
2 - Former Convent of the Annunziata
L' ex Convent of the Annunziata it is located in an exceptional position, at the end of the Bay of Silence right on the tip of the promontory, which gives it three sides of the sea: two on the Bay of Silence and one overlooking the open sea. The Convent, built in 1496 by the Dominican Fathers, was deconsecrated in the Napoleonic era and underwent numerous alterations over the course of time. However some elements are maintained: the apse, the frescoes and the cross vault in the church, the cloister, in addition to numerous stucco. In 1867 the complex was purchased by a private company of beneficiaries who used it as a marine colony until 1982. The structure now belongs to the Municipality of Sestri Levante and a careful renovation has transformed it into a center that hosts events, concerts, exhibitions, but also weddings; inside there is a auditorium, a library, public offices e three splendid terraces overlooking the sea where it is possible to sip an aperitif.
- from the train station it is sufficient to follow the signs for the Baia del Silenzio, then on foot or by bus. Once you arrive in the marina, the former Convent it is located at the bottom, on the tip of the promontory, at the end of via Portobello. Get directions
- times vary according to the events and the rooms or terraces (these always accessible), better check on the website of the Municipality or of the Fondazione Mediterraneo which manages the complex.
3 - Palazzo Negrotto Cambiaso
Il Negrotto Cambiaso Palace it is part of the complex managed by the Fondazione Mediterraneo, of which it is located, and is right behind the former Convent of the Annunziata. The building stands on the flat edge that separates the sand of the Bay of Silence from the hill of the promontory, and, with its sobriety and elegance, fits very well into the landscape. The building is very old, although it is not possible to date the origin or the client, but inside it is possible to view the delicate decorations and stuccos. As for the former Convent, its spaces are used for events in the city, in particular, inside it has arisen a Technological Pole which wants to be an innovation laboratory for the territory and host different experiences, business initiatives, Mexican start up, therefore in its rooms you can see futuristic desks covered with computers against the background of elegant ones canvases or frescoes that cover the walls of the palace.
- is located behind the former Convent, you can arrive from the Bay of Silence, or, from the station, you can walk on via XXV Aprile and arrive at the palace directly on the other side, on via Portobello. It is just over a kilometer away, and by bus (40, 64, 50) it is always necessary to get off at the Piazza della Repubblica stop and from there continue on foot for about 800 meters. Get directions
- times vary according to the events present in the structure, it is better to check on the website of the Municipality or of the Mediterranean Foundation that manages the complex.
4 - Palazzo Fascie and the Archaeological Museum
Palazzo Fascie is the beating heart of the city's culture, a place that collects the history, memory and culture of Sestri Levante. It was built at the beginning of the twentieth century (1903-1904), and designed by the Chiavari engineer Nella. The palace is inspired by the architecture of Coppedé and above all by the McKenzie castle in Genoa. The tower, completely foreign to the context, is an element of impact, a cultural symbol of the city, characterizing the whole historic center. The splendor of the latter joins the richness of the facade in contrast with the essential interiors. Inside there is a Historical Archive, the headquarters of the Library system, but in particular the Archaeological Museum (Musel) which offers various finds organized chronologically, from the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic to the Middle Ages.
- Palazzo Fascie is located in Corso Colombo 48 and is 500 meters from the station, you can easily reach it on foot in a few minutes by proceeding on via Eraldo Fico Virgola and then on via Nazionale. Get directions
- the Archaeological Museum is open every day from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00.
- € 5,00 full ticket, € 3,00 reduced for children aged 5 to 12 or over 65.
5 - Trail of Punta Manara
This beautiful nature trail, marked by two red squares of the Italian Hiking Federation, can not miss during a weekend a Sestri Levante, especially for trekking lovers! To get to the point of interest, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view, it takes about an hour and the most challenging sections are the initial and final one, in the meantime it is also possible to travel along flat sections and relax a bit. All around, a green landscape: ancient olive trees, holm oaks, maritime pines, oaks, strawberry trees, and of course the sea. Some benches, placed in particularly panoramic points, will allow you to make pleasant stops and let you rest.
- The starting point of the Punta Manara path is located in Vico del Bottone, in the middle of via 25 Aprile, in the historic center of Sestri Levante. From the station it is easily reachable on foot, the entrance to the path is about 800 meters, take via Eraldo Fico Virgola, turn towards Corso Colombo and finally take via 25 Aprile, all in ten minutes. It is not advisable to take the bus, because it would leave you in Piazza della Repubblica and from there it is necessary to walk another 600 meters to take the path. Get directions
- always accessible
6 - Medieval Church of San Nicolò of the island
La Church of San Nicolò it is the oldest building in Sestri, built on the promontory called Island, in 1151, probably in the area where a place of worship already existed. Built in Romanesque style, the plan is of the basilical type, with a subdivision into three naves marked by stone columns with capitals on which pointed arches rest. The façade, built in the th century, is characterized by a pseudo-porch portal surmounted by a three-light window. Now it is possible to see the appearance of the Church as it was originally, thanks to some major restorations aimed at eliminating the baroque features and filling in the missing parts. The Church has returned today to its ancient division into three naves with colonnades and pointed arches. The bell tower, inserted on the left of the apse, is equipped with a belfry with mullioned windows. It is located in between broke, it is very suggestive to visit
- the Church of San Nicolò is about 1,3 kilometers from the Sestri station, on foot it takes about 20 minutes, it is always necessary to take via Eraldo Fico Virgola, continue on via XXV Aprile, finally take via Penisola Levante, you will find the Church on your left , on the promontory. By public transport, it is always necessary to get off at Piazza della Repubblica with buses 40, 50 or 64, which take a couple of minutes, and then proceed on foot for about a quarter of an hour. Get directions
- always accessible (on Sundays the FAI organizes guided tours from 10:00 to 18:00).
7 - Remains of the Oratory of Santa Caterina
On the paved road that leads to the church of San Nicolò and to the top of the island, there are the striking remains of the Oratory of Santa Caterina, dating back to the th century. The religious building was destroyed by bombing in 1944. Some paintings have been saved, the Martyrdom of Santa Caterina, wooden sculpture attributed to Anton Maria Maragliano, processional maces and rich eighteenth-century tabarrini preserved today in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli. It is very characteristic to note, along the way, the religious statues and inscriptions still standing and under the open sky, so it is worth a stop and a visit.
- the remains are found on the path that leads to the Church of San Nicolò, a hundred meters before on the left, so from the station on foot it is about twenty minutes, taking via XXV Aprile, and by public transport it is necessary to get off in Piazza della Repubblica. Get directions
- always accessible.
8 - Rizzi Gallery
This is the Most important museum in the area between Genoa and La Spezia, wanted by the lawyer Rizzi, who by dying left the Italian State heir of his huge artistic and real estate assets, provided that the collection of works of art and furniture remained within his palace in via Cappuccini in Sestri Levante. The huge collection boasts pieces from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, including a Madonna and Child attributed to Pasture, the Cuciniera by Vincenzo Campi, the Genoese works of the seventeenth century, the Crucifixion by Domenico Parodi and, among the objects, a Lombard chest of drawers from the eighteenth century and some inlaid wooden cabinets from the seventeenth century.
- the Galleria Rizzi is about one kilometer from the station, so it is possible to walk around it in about 12 minutes. Take via Eraldo Fico Virgola, Corso Colombo, and finally, on via XXV Aprile, turn left into via Cappuccini. By public transport, it is necessary to take buses 40, 64, 50 and get off in Piazza della Repubblica, from where you can then continue on foot for about 600 meters. Get directions
- open from May to October on Sundays from 10:00 to 13:00; from May to September on Wednesdays from 16:00 to 19:00, and from 20 June to 10 September also on Friday and Saturday evenings, from 21:30 to 23:30.
- € 5,00
9 - Bay of Fables
La Bay of Fables it is located on the opposite side of the promontory with respect to the Bay of Silence, open to the West and towards Chiavari. Unlike the more famous and characteristic Baia del Silenzio, the Baia delle Favole is less intimate, less picturesque and intimate, but offers much more space, a beautiful walk recently renovated, which makes the port of Sestri Levante easily accessible, and, finally, equipped beaches with sand and black pebbles. There are numerous beaches and clubs where you can stop and enjoy the view of the open sea.
- from the station, the extreme point of the Baia delle Favole is about 1,6 kilometers away, a 20 minute walk. Take via Olive di Stanghe, via Milano for a short distance and then turn left onto via Vittorio Veneto, there is also a cycle path, and cross the bridge over the canal. From Viale Rimembranze begins the walk that continues to the bottom of the Bay. Vehicles are not recommended, they would always stop in Piazza della Repubblica and, from there, there are still about 15 minutes of walking. Get directions
- always accessible.
10 - Church of Santa Maria Immacolata
The beautiful Church of Santa Maria Immacolata overlooks the Bay of Silence from above with its recognizable black and white striped facade. The church was built starting in 1683 in medieval style, with a single nave. In 1688, once the work was finished, the Capuchin friars moved here. In fact, the friars had already arrived in Sestri in 1609, moving to the present complex of the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli, but they were then forced to move further east because the new urbanization did not allow them the desired isolation. Very interesting, inside, some works including a painting by Domenico Fiasella and a wooden statue of the Immaculate Conception from the th century. This place is worth a visit and a stop on panoramic terrace.
- the Church of Santa Maria Immacolata is about a kilometer from the station, so it is possible to walk it in about 12 minutes, the last stretch is uphill. Take via Eraldo Fico Virgola, Corso Colombo, and finally, on via XXV Aprile, turn left into via Cappuccini (it is just ahead of the Rizzi Gallery). By public transport, it is always necessary to take buses 40, 64, 50 and get off in Piazza della Repubblica, from where you can then continue on foot for about 600 meters. Get directions
- always accessible except during mass hours, on weekdays at 08:30 and on holidays at 08:30 and 10:30.
What to see in Sestri Levante in one day: recommended itinerary
MORNING - Once we arrive at the station for our one-day itinerary in Sestri Levante, we continue on via Eraldo Fico Virgola to enter the historic center, that is, on the promontory. But first we treat ourselves to a nice breakfast at the Dolcemente pastry shop, which we will find along the whole street and then taking via Dante Alighieri on the left, to start the morning well. We take advantage of the opening at 10:00 of the Rizzi Gallery (attention, open only on Sunday from May to October) and we visit it for about an hour, enough time to see the large collection. Then we can continue the uphill journey and stop on the panoramic terrace of the Church of the Immaculate, and, given that by now the hours of the masses will be concluded, we can also visit it inside. Then we resume the journey in the direction Bay of Silence, where we can relax a bit on the beach, enjoy the poetry of the place and walk all the way down to theEx Convent of the Annunziata, where we can visit the palace, the terraces, and have lunch. In fact, we can have lunch at the restaurant inside the Ex Convento, the Tapullo Shop & Taste, where you can taste typical Ligurian dishes or even simpler cutting boards, directly on the terrace (try the basil spritz!)
AFTERNOON - In the afternoon, after the panoramic lunch we can continue visiting the Negrotto Cambiaso Palace, which is located just behind the Ex Convent, and then enter the internal streets of the promontory in the direction of via Penisola Levante. On this picturesque street we can visit the remains of the Oratory of Santa Caterina and, a little further on, the Church of San Nicolò. Concluded these visits, we can go back in the direction of via XXV aprile, the heart of Sestri, where there are many clubs and shops; this is in fact the so-called Ligurian carruggio, where the city "struscio" is made, in the historic center. Then, before it closes, we visit the Musel Archaeological Museum, as well as Palazzo Fascie that houses it, because its chronological path really deserves a little of our time. Finally we can finish the afternoon by proceeding towards the Bay of Fables, on the western side of the headland, and spend time on the brand new promenade.
SERA - We can linger on the pier and enjoy the sunset, starting our evening with an aperitif in one of the beaches or at the Caffè del Porto, at the bottom of the bay, right in front of the Harbor Master's Office and then go back all the way to reach the restaurant for dinner: Pelagica close to, at the beginning of the Bay, where you can enjoy excellent fish with a view of the sea a few meters away.
One day itinerary at a glance
- Breakfast at Dolcemente
- Rizzi Gallery - times: Sunday from May to October from 10:00 to 13:00 - ticket price: full € 5,00
- Church of the Immaculate Conception and panoramic terrace - opening hours: always accessible except mass hours, every day at 08:30 and on Sundays also at 10:30 - ticket price: free
- Bay of Silence and Ex Convent of the Annunziata - opening hours: always accessible (check the events of the former convent on the website) - ticket price: free
- Lunch at Tapullo Shop & Taste
- Negrotto Cambiaso Palace - opening hours: always accessible (check the events of the former convent on the website) - ticket price: free
- Remains of the Oratory of Santa Caterina and Church of San Nicolò - opening hours: always accessible - ticket price: free
- Palazzo Fascie and Musel Archaeological Museum - opening hours: open every day from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00 - ticket price: full € 5,00 reduced € 3,00
- Bay of Fables - opening hours: always accessible - ticket price: free
- Price close to Pelagica
Where to eat in Sestri Levante: the best restaurants
- Tapullo Shop & Taste restaurant : aperitifs, cutting boards, Ligurian dishes
Average price per person: € 25,00
Address and contacts: via Portobello, 1 (Get directions) / tel: (+39) 3299551556
- Pelagica restaurant close by : fish dishes
Average price per person: € 40,00
Address and contacts: via Pilade Queirolo, 7 (Get directions) / tel: (+39) 3333642938
- Octopus Mario restaurant: historic restaurant, fish dishes
Average price per person: € 40,00
Address and contacts: via XXV Aprile, 163 (Get directions) / tel: (+39) 0185480203
What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Sestri Levante
Sestri Levante it is a very lively place especially during the summer season, however even in spring and autumn you can see how the two bays and the carruggio area of via XXV Aprile always offer a certain nightlife during the weekend. In particular, during the Festival dedicated to Hans Christian Andersen, the city is full of activities throughout the night, but there are still many pubs, discopubs and places where you can spend a few hours in good company even at other times of the year.
The best pubs, clubs and discos
- Swimming pool of the castles: disco, DJ set, theme parties, glamorous club for those who love to dance until late at night / Address: piazza Marinai d'Italia, 3 (Get directions) / Facebook page
- Basquiat lounge bar: outdoor tables, excellent selection of cocktails / Address: via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 48 (Get directions) / Facebook page
- Vinoteca Paila: excellent selection of wines, outdoor tables, overlooking the Bay of Silence / Address: piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 22 (Get directions) / Facebook page
Plan your stay in Sestri Levante: info and useful tips
- Sestri Levante is about 190 kilometers from Milan and 460 from Rome. From Milan it can be reached by car via the A21, in about two and a half hours by car; from Rome, via the A1 to Florence and then the A12, it takes almost five hours. By train, in some ways more comfortable, from Milan there are direct Intercity trains for € 26,00 each way (to check the timetables, they take 2 and a half hours), or with a change in Genoa, Frecciabianca and then a Regional at about € 30,00 each way, in 3 hours of travel. From Rome, you can choose a solution with only one change in La Spezia, therefore Frecciabianca and then Regionale, takes 4 and a half hours for about € 60,00 each way.
- Getting around: due to its geographic conformation, Sestri can be explored very well on foot, it is small and characteristic, or by bus if you have to leave the historic center. The ATP bus ticket costs € 1,80 and is valid for 75 minutes within 4 different zones.
- Where to park: it is difficult to find parking especially in summer, but if you arrive early in the morning you can try to park in Largo Rosa Oberti (Get directions) or, continuing, Largo Giovanni Masi (Get directions), you don't pay here because the lines they are white and there is not even a parking disc. Otherwise there is the station car park (Get directions), very convenient for the historic center: in winter it is free, on holidays and in summer you pay € 1,00 per hour.
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 70,00 per room -
- What to see in the surroundings: Rapallo (about 25 km away, 26 minutes by car), Camogli (33 km away, 30 minutes by car), Portofino (33 km away, 40 minutes by car), Portovenere (about 70 km away, 1 hour and 20 minutes by car) and the Cinque Terre area (about 50 km away, 1 hour by car).