HOLIDAY IN SESTRI LEVANTE
Not only beach and rides in the nice centre town, not only shopping and coffee or ice cream, but a lot of ideas can make your stay in Sestri the best holiday: you can play several sports, take part to touristic tours, cultural events and more.
A DAY IN GENOA
The Porto Antico
Located in the center of Genoa, Porto Antico is an extraordinary location, a spectacular backdrop enhancing every experience. Each of its 230,000 square meters can become the characteristic venue for consumer events, product launches, sampling, exhibitions, promotional activities, communication and street marketing.
A unique urban setting perfect for art house shooting of television commercials, fiction, movies, photo features. A picturesque landscape where the ships together with the original light of the Lantern turn concerts and live shows into an unforgttable multisensorial experience.
Few locations are so versatile, fascinating, lively. From the architectural features designed by Renzo Piano to the breathtaking angles of Isola delle Chiatte (Barge island); from the monumental Porta Siberia to the spectacular open-air theater of Arena del Mare. And all the more, from the palms of Piazzale Mandraccio to Calata Falcone Borsellino.
The Città dei Bambini
The “Città dei bambini” is an educational play area for children from 2 to 3 years old, where is possible to play and to discover science and technology having fun.
In over 2000 m2 with 50 interactive multimedia exhibits, young visitors touch, observe and experiment different topics testing themselves to share a teaching experience in family.
The largest aquarium in Italy, the second in Europe and ninth in the world: designed by Renzo Piano is located at Ponte Spinola, in the area of Porto Antico.
The Ducal Palace in Genoa is one of the main historical buildings and museums of the Ligurian capital, formerly the seat of the dogma of the ancient Republic. Restored in 1992, it hosts the most important art exhibitions, as well as almost daily events, meetings and cultural events.
To spend a day in the green palying golf or a game of tennis in a fabulous scenery: you can do it at Golf & Tennis Club di Rapallo.
However, there are many sport activities that you can practice in Sestri levante and our hotels staff will be happy to give you all the information and suggestions: diving, trekking, bikes rental, snorkeling, boats rental...
AROUND SESTRI LEVANTE
Once in Portofino walking might be your best option. The town is not large and most restaurants and beaches are a short walk from the harbor. Alternatively, mopeds seem to be a popular choice for getting about, especially for those people visiting several of the small regional towns like Paraggi, Santa Margherita Ligure, Rapallo or San Fruttuoso on their own schedule. Once again, should you be fortunate enough to have a boat at your disposal, that would be another convenient way to move around the area. There are rentals available in the harbor.
Truly, the most impressive thing about Portofino is the lifestyle, so running off and "seeing the sights" probably won't be your number one priority when you plan your trip. There are some notable attractions that might be able to lure you from the beaches, but the view from the harbor or any of the surrounding beaches is unforgettable and one could spend the entire day marveling at it. Visiting Portofino is a sensual experience, and this being the case you should bring some of those sensual items back with you. There are a couple of small shops in the harbor area offering regional foods and wines for reasonable prices, and so providing a perfect way to extend your time there even after you've left. If you're more into high fashion, there are several posh boutiques from some of the world's most famous designers, not surprisingly with some Italian luminaries on prominent display. If shopping is on your agenda you'll happily be able to peruse the latest designs from Armani, Gucci, Pucci, Ferragamo and Zegna. If you aren't looking for runway attire, there are also several boutiques with unique items, including one with lovely Murano glass jewelry.
Castello Brown is a 16th century castle/fort, once used for the area's defense, but now primarily a museum with a fantastic view of the harbor and the Mediterranean Sea. Also, you can visit San Fruttuoso Bay and his Christ of the Abyss. You can reach San Fruttuso only by sea or one hour hiking trail. You can choose a public boat at reasonable price. If the money is not a problem, try to rent a small taxi boat. It's a very unforgettable experience. Statue of "Christ of the Abyss", put underwater on 1954, is in the small bay at a depth of 17 meters. This statue was placed to protect fishermen and scuba divers. Sculpted by Guido Galletti, it represents a benedictory Christ who is looking up towards the sky with open arms as a sign of peace.
The quaint beach town Paraggi is a short walk on the pathway from Portofino and it seems to cater to a younger and more family-oriented crowd. The ferry service from Portofino harbor provides frequent service to Santa Margherita Ligure, which also boasts a beautiful public beach. In that slightly larger town you'll also find more shopping and with a little walk off of the main road you will find several shops specializing in local foods and libations, and lining the streets will be antique dealers with all kinds of aged treasures.
LE CINQUE TERRE
Visiting the Cinque Terre means visiting five countries hanging between sea and land, clinging to overcast cliffs and surrounded by verdant hills, means knowing the history of those who for centuries struggle with a difficult territory but also enjoy the fruit of this millenary effort in the peculiarity wines and products.
Visiting these countries means learning the culture of dry stone walls and vineyards, fishermen and their nets, steep valleys and their paths ... Who arrives at the Cinque Terre can choose between a dip in the sea or climbing the hills , Between a stroll in the carruggi or a boat trip, a pilgrimage to a shrine or a fish-based lunch. A unique landscape in the world, where man and nature have always lived in extraordinary harmony.
Riomaggiore is the easternmost of the Cinque Terre and is located in the narrow valley of the "Rio Maior", along whose course the village was born. The birth of the village, according to tradition, dates back to the 8th Century, when it was founded by group of Greek refugees who escaped the religious persecution of the Byzantine Emperor, Leone III 'L'Isaurico'. The earliest historical information concerns its transfer from the hands of the Fieschi family to the Republic of Genova in 1276. The village has an urban layout made up of a series of footpaths which follow the outline of the land. These steep footpaths allow direct access to the upper floors of some of the houses, the oldest of which are tower-like and built vertically in parallel clusters. Overlooking the village is the parish church of Saint John the Baptist, 'San Giovanni Battista', built in 1340 by the Bishop of Luni. In 1870, the facade began to crumble and was rebuilt in the Gothic style. Nearby is the house where Telemaco Signorini stayed on a number of occasions after 1870. Characteristic features of the village were portrayed in many of his paintings. Down below is the 16th Century "Oratory of the Disciplined" while high up on the opposite side of the village are the remarkable ruins of the 15-16th Century castle where the old cemetery was situated.
There is a very beautiful footpath called the Lovers' Pathway, "La Via dell'Amore", which starts in Manarola. This high winding footpath, The Lovers' Pathway, along the coast is a thirty-minute walk from Riomaggiore. This is a very ancient village, but it is difficult to give an accurate account of its history due to the lack of clear historical information. In a dominant position, overlooking the centre of the village, is the church built in a Gothic style in 1338. Sheltered in a deep gorge between two promontory rocks there is the little port.
Corniglia is located on the ridge of a rocky promontory at the foot of a terraced vineyard. More concentrated on agriculture than on fishing, this farming community is very similar architecturally to inland agricultural villages. The parish church of San Pietro, built in 1334 on the ruins of an old 11th century chapel, is one of the most beautiful, Gothic-Ligurian style monuments to be found in the Cinque Terre. It has been subsequently renovated but still retains a baroque overlay. Under the churchyard there is a black stone building with Gothic arches which is traditionally thought to be the ancient seat of the Fieschi family.
A path with breathtaking views winding along Mediterranean groves and partly deserted fields and vineyards, reaches its peak on the route leading to Vernazza. This village, founded around the 1st Century, in time acquired deep-rooted maritime traditions. Some examples of excellent architecture, such as loggias, arcades and portals are evidence of a standard of living that was economically and socially superior to that of the other villages of the Cinque Terre.
Monterosso al Mare is the westernmost of the Cinque Terre and is reached by walking along the most difficult part of the "Sentiero Azzurro" footpath. The village is protected by hills covered with vineyards and olive groves and is surrounded by vegetation. Its beautiful beaches, steep rugged cliffs and crystal-clear waters, make this one of the most charming resorts on the Ligurian Riviera of the east. The medieval tower "Aurora", located on the hills of the Cappuccini, separates the ancient part of the village from the more modern part. In the church of San Francesco paintings of great importance such as the Crucifixion, believed by many to have been painted by Van Dyck, are preserved.