Sestri Levante is a little seaside town on the Italian Eastern Riviera a stretch of coast which starts on the Magra estuary, near La Spezia and continues as far as Genoa, the provincial capital of Sestri Levante.
The town is the last locality to face east on the gulf of Tigullio, which is home also to Lavagna, Chiavari, Rapallo, Zoagli, Santa Margherita and Portofino.
To the west of Sestri Levante lies Lavagna, and to the east Casarza and Moneglia. Riva Trigoso is close by to the south east, appreciated for its characteristic views, its tasty fish soup Bagnum and its vast shore.
The beaches and the little port of Sestri, internationally known for its craftsmen and its trading history, is also known as the “city of two seas”, the old town being situated between two small bays, known to the locals as the bays of “Fairy tales” and of “Silence”.
This sunny place originated from the alluvial plain of the river Gromolo and lies behind a rocky promontory, “l’Isola”, the area that divides the Bay of Fairy Tales from the Bay of Silence. The former houses the tourist port, and the latter, smaller, is famous for its beautiful sunsets.
Between these two bays is the ancient centre of Sestri; the new town occupies the plain of the Gromolo. It stretches between the sea and the woods and hills, over the lower valleys of Graveglia and Petronio.
The faithful visitor of the 1800s, Hans Christian Anderson, named one of the two bays, Sestri Levante has bestowed his name on the literary prize, created for children’s literature. From this arose the prestigious name “the City of Children”.
Leaving the centre of Sestri Levante there are numerous footpaths for excursions. Starting from Via XXV April and walking east, in a couple of hours one arrives at Punta Manara, the end of the Gulf of Tigullio.
Monte Castello and Punto Baffe are both worth a walk, and give way to the road that leads to Moneglia. In the ancient centre of Sestri it is best to walk, being mostly a pedestrian precinct, well kept, with many shops hidden in the narrow Genoese style streets.