“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.”
― Rachel Carson
During the summer, Italy offers a vast gamma of alluring, splendid and characteristic seaside resorts. The best beaches in Italy are rich in breathtaking landscapes, enchanting history and unique local culture. One of the most popular areas in Italy is Liguria, the birthplace of Columbus and music festivals (just think of San Remo). Tourists have long appreciated the beauty and the comfort of Ligurian beaches, the mild sunny climate and the mirror cleanliness of the Ligurian Sea. In a certain sense, the beaches of Liguria resemble the nests of land. So, on the back side they are protected by reliable cliffs of the continent, covered with massive carpets of vineyards and flowers, while on the front side the crystal sea opens up an expanse of unprecedented beauty.
Here, one of the most famous Italian beaches, highly appreciated by Italians and sophisticated tourists, is the Bay of Silence (Baia del Silenzio) of Sestri Levante. Not by chance, this precious piece of Liguria enters the Top 20 of “The Most Beautiful You Are” (“La più bella sei tu”): the project launched by Legambiente that explores and carefully chooses the most beautiful Italian beaches of the summer. In addition, in 2017, the mythical Baia del Silenzio was elected by the travelers as one of the 10 best beaches in Italy, occupying so seventh place in the TripAdvisor ranking.
The Bay Of Silence – One of The Best Beaches in Italy
So, let’s get a closer comprehension of this fabulous place! By the way, did you know that the Bay of Silence represents the unique Ligurian site among the 20 resorts that form the natural heritage of Italy, from the Rabbit beach in Lampedusa to Colle Lungo in the park of Maremma?
The first impact of the Bay of Silence is that it is a small yet extremely romantic beach framed by very colorful houses (all in pastel colours) and animated by fishermen’s boats. Yet, to appreciate totally the beauty of this Ligurian pearl I would recommend hiking along the bay… preferably barefoot, enjoying the soft sand and gentle water, savouring the enchanting view and all-embracing silence (unfortunately, given the period, the “promised” silence sometimes is slightly reduced), and capturing the profound emotions that the place inevitably suggests.
In the daytime, the Bay of Silence is a ravishing beach that offers its visitors the opportunity to swim, take sunbathe directly on the sand, and immerse in total relaxation. Otherwise, one can opt to visit the seaside beaches with a crystal clear sea water that are located in the Bay of Fables (Baia delle Favole), just across the Rimembranza Avenue, and are easily accessible on foot or by bike.
A True Pearl of Liguria
Beautiful during the day, the Bay of Silence yet offers its best early in the morning or late in the evening, when two contrasting sun positions – sunrise and sunset – mark the most intimate moments in life dimension enabling us so to capture the magic. So, these unique and unforgettable sceneries never leave the beach lovers indifferent.
Personally though, I prefer the Bay of Silence in the evening, when, with its lights reflected in the water, the ravishing beach turns into a truly magical place, a rare jewel, a true Ligurian pearl, a corner of Earth’s Paradise.
Sestri Levante offers its tourists a wide choice of extra-beach activities. One can:
- join the organized excursions to the Bay of Silence
- walk along the narrow and pastel coloured streets of down town and visit small shops and boutiques with typical Ligurian products;
- enjoy spectacular aperitifs in one of the inviting bars (apart from the wide choice of delicious Ligurian wines, appetizers are often accompanied by fresh fruit and vegetables, a real touch of class!);
- taste a biological ice cream (simply divine!);
- and, of course, try diverse restaurants where to taste local culinary specialties. Among these I can’t help myself mentioning at least three of them:
1. Baline Cousine (simply the Best!):
Personally, I admire its impeccable ultra-modern style (with its black tablecloths), impressive chef’s skills, high quality of primary products and truly delicious meals, with the exquisite purple shrimps (served raw) being my favourite dish. The Michelin Guide 2017 says: “This gem of a restaurant on Sestri’s seafront focuses on fresh produce prepared as simply as possible in order to bring out the flavours of the ingredients used. A hugely successful formula, which, along with the friendly, professional service, makes this restaurant a real delight.”
2. Baia del Silenzio (romantic!):
This renowned restaurant, a part from a bright modern dining room, offers its guests two Terraces with stunning views of the bay, as well as the intriguing option of some tables directly on the sandy beach. The kitchen is contemporary, all dishes are prepared only with fresh ingredients and are delightfully lush in the presentations. Also, the paper is fairly divided between “land” and “sea”. (even if personally, I always choose “Sea”!). The Michelin Guide 2017 describes the restaurant this way: “Elegant seafront dining room where you can savour fish based cuisine”.
3. Ai Castelli (enchanting!):
The restaurant is famous for its medieval style building and is set in a wonderful location in the center of Sestri Levante peninsula with a great view of the two gulfs, the Bay of Favors and the Bay of Silence. The Michelin Guide 2017 defines the place as following: “A delightful address, both in terms of its architecture and its cuisine which focuses on classic Ligurian specialities – especially fish and seafood – reinterpreted with a personalised twist.” What else to say? Enchanting!!!
Well, being at the Bay of Silence is always relaxing and romantic, because at the end of the evening, one can simply stroll down the bay or sit on the sand and enjoy such a lovely place. For those who need more, can enjoy various cultural events, among which the most renowned one is the Barcolata of Sestri Levante.
Barrcolata of Sestri Levante – what’s that?
According to history, this spectacular tradition was born in the 1960s, when Cavalier Magnelli proposed the first Barcolata of Sestri Levante. Over the years the last Sunday of July has always been reserved for the classic summer event on the Ligurian Riviera. This timeless romantic show, full of lights and colors, rooted to old times is designed to commemorate ancient fishermen traditions.
This year, on the 30th of July, the beautiful Bay of Silence will become the stage where allegorical boats the will float: it will be a carnival on the sea at night, a true paradise on the water. The event is organized by the Municipality of Sestri Levante in collaboration with the Naval League, and is preceded by tastings (paella and sangria).
In the evening, locals and tourists will embark in fishing boats, take with them multicolored lights and wear Mardi Gras costumes… And thousands of people will watch this unique show amid breathtaking natural landscapes right from the beach. This curious parade of boats – some of which are big and impressive, others are really small and simple – will entertain and make smile all its viewers.
Finally, last but not least: atccording to the different boat categories, there are fifteen prizes reserved! The winner boats will be awarded right before the expected fireworks show on the water that is traditionally to close the evening of Cav. Giovanni Magnelli.
This post is also available in: English