Sestri Levante is a beautiful little town at the Ligurian Riviera approximately halfway between Genoa and La Spezia. While Portofino and the Cinque Terre are probably the most well known tourist destinations on the Italian Riviera, Sestri Levante is becoming more and more popular.

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, the bay of silence, on one side and Baia delle Favole, bay of the fables, on the other.

These two bays were named in honor of the Danish author HC Andersen, who lived in Sestri for a short time.

Where to stay

You will find a large choice of excellent hotels near the sea. Hotels in Sestri Levante.

What to see

• From the train station walk down to the beautiful old town with narrow streets and elegant shops. Don’t miss the best gelateria in town, Ice Creams Angels, on the left side of the main street Via XXV Aprile with huge ice-creams. There are also lots of nice restaurants with great seafood.

Baia del Silenzio (Bay of Silence), is the idyllic, sandy beach east of the pedestrian street in the old town with the houses arriving at the seashore. It's a public beach where you will find many locals. This hidden gem is probably the most beautiful and romantic beach in Liguria.

• Follow the path leading from the old town to Punta Manara, from here it is possible to enjoy the magnificent panorama and admire the coast from Levanto to Portofino.

• Every year in May Sestri Levante celebrates the HC Andersen Festival. The town is crowded by jugglers, street artists, motley stands, and thanks to a contest the creators of the best fairy tales for children are rewarded.