Interested cities

Sestri Levante


One of the most interesting surprises of Sestri Levante are its historical small shops. Commercial activities and crafts taking place  in the same shop for more than fifty years, without losing their culture and tradition. Charming objects and traditional activities linked to the city economic trends. Cultural heritage is essential for Sestri Levante’s identity. The project was funded by Sestri Levante Municipality and MIBAC – Ministero per I Beni e le Attività Culturali.

The texts are excerpts from the volume “Botteghe Storiche e Locali di Tradizione di Sestri Levante” by Costanza Fusconi and Rossana Vitiello. Edited by Annarita Bruno and Susanna Curioni. Published by Alessandro Avanzino. Photos by: Daria Vinco, Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la città metropolitana di Genova e le province di Imperia, La Spezia e Savona.
The complete guide is available at www.sagep.it


This clothes shop stands out from the rest of the buildings thanks to the presence of architectural decorations giving rhythm to its windows above a plinth of red Levanto marble and with vintage glass signs featuring gold lettering on a black background. Upon entering, the interior of the shop is filled up to the ceiling with robust wooden shelves,  once used to house the lengths of fabric that were originally the deluxe goods of its commercial activity. The interior is so overflowing with colourful goods at this point that our gaze can miss the fine ceiling with its late 19th -century stucco decorations. Since 1970 the activity has been managed uninterruptedly by the family Ferrari- De Martini.


Info: 0185 43304

2. ALIMENTARI SANGUINETI, via Nazionale 100

The activity of the Sanguinetti grocery store is documented from 1922, even if it has only been in its current location since 1946. The establishment maintains continuity in its offer: fruit and vegetables, alongside wicker baskets, piled up in a lively display at the entrance, making it stand out in the street; various kinds of food products are to be found inside on wooden shelves around the sales counter; pottery and everyday objects in ceramic can be discovered with amazement exploring the room once inside; the scent of fresh farinata just bakes and always available at lunchtime hints at the presence of an old oven at the back of the establishment. The shop is situated inside a beautiful historical building, preserving its ancient floors and architectural volumes.


Info: iappi.rosi@vodafone.it

3. ANTICA OSTERIA PIZZARELLO, Riva Trigoso, frazione di Sestri Levante, via della Libertà 23

The tavern known ass Antica Osteria Pizzarello was founded in 1954 in Riva Trigoso by Tomaso Castagnola, also called Pizzarello, the owner of the lateen named Due Fratelli Castagnola, used by them to reach Elba island to fetch wine. The family still retains some documents testifying the transportation of wine barrels on the boat, that would lie ready on the shore to sail towards the island. Among these some original blueprints can be found. They were used to build the scale wooden model kept at the tavern. In 1982, the business moved to its current location, originally a store room for barrels, today used to serve customers in memory of its original destination of use.

Info: castagnola.fondiaria@outlook.it

4. BAR GELATERIA CENTRALE, corso Colombo 43

The bar has kept its original features all the architectural elements from when the business began back in 1920: the façade, windows, flooring and fixtures; the choice of materials used also reflects some characteristics of the era such as the use of wood combined with green stone slabs for the windows, white and red Verona marble for the floor.

The elegant surfaces of the ceiling, worked in plaster, represent a later taste dating to around the second half of the 20th century. During this period, the interior saw a major transformation, being modified with Neoliberty forms: the wainscoting, monumental counter, display cases, bookshelves, stand for the till, chandeliers, doors and other furnishing elements.

Info: jodadajo@hotmail.com

5. BARBIERE BAICIN, viale Roma 61

The Baicin barber’s shop, opened in 1959, is located along the route leading from the railway station to the promenade, under a portico characterised by 1960s architecture. The windows with their silk-screened lettering Barbiera Baicin dal 1950 (Bacin Barber since 1950) and interior furnishing retain a sober style typical of the period: the window with its cast iron frame, the floor in black and white tiles, and original lamps. The interior is laid out as an evocative witness to the design of the epoch, with basins and furniture in Formica and unusual barber’s chairs of the Belmont brand, characteristic in their shape and material. The steady flow of visitors proves that even today loyal customers are not willing to forego a first-class shave, enjoyed within an atmosphere of yesteryear.


Info: marco.baicio@gmail.com


The shop, inside a building from the early 20th century, is characterised by a continuous space, partly divided in height by a large mezzanine floor. This is accessible through a curved stairway, particular for its shape, materials and attention to details. The large windows in decorated wood date back to the 1950s. Edoardo Baraldi, the municipality’s architect, was the author of the whole project and decorator of the interiors. Coherence and great attention to detail: something singular is plasterwork featuring inert materials that provide a bright iridescent effect. The shop still preserves many objects that recall its original business, dedicated to the world of music and vinyl records.


Info: carlagaribotto52@gmail.com

7. MERCERIA MARZI, via Nazionale 87

The Marcery haberdashery is located in a historical context, the area once called Ca di Ferre, a name that referred to the wheelwrights who shoed horses and reinforced the wheels of passing carriages with iron strakes. The business, which dates back to the early 20th century (1906), is documented from 1945, when it was registered as “ a retailer of fancy fabrics and haberdashery”. The shop is located on the ground floor of a historical building largely lost to wartime bombing. It is recognizable from the outside thanks to the goods displayed, well visible and partly piled up in front of the original wooden windows with their marble plinth. Inside, the shop is also characterised by integrally preserved historical décor, consisting of wall-mounted racks and wooden drawers.


Info: davideair@libero.it



In via XXV Aprile number 70, in Sestri Levante Old Town, we come across the first and oldest Rossignotti pastry shop, a lovely shop of groceries and sweets, from which in 1840 one of the oldest and most renowned shops in Liguria took its first steps. The elegant window has kept its original appearance, with a frame in natural wood and a high plinth of Levanto stone. On  the inside, the furnishing are well preserved and made of painted ivory.

Shelves and ledges host glass jars containing their delicious pastry products made in via Olive di Stanghe number 7. This address, to the north-west of the old town, is still Rossignotti’s production site today.

Info: info@rossignotti1840.it



This pastry shop was opened in the first years of the 20th century. The imposing exterior has three windows with wooden frames edged by stone from the early Levanto. A plinth covered with bas-reliefs in copper depicting fruits and vegetables motifs further enriches the look of the windows. The interior features well-preserved original furnishings, which confer an atmosphere of yesteryear: the large wooden counter decorated with mirrors, tall wainscoting with glass doors, a large  mirror and an elegant chandelier with crystal droplets. One of the windows features relics, photographs, plates and documents of the ancient and prestigious pastry-making activities, such as a certificate from 1924 that certifies the appointment of Angelo Rossignotti as supplier of the Pope.


Info: info@rossignotti1840.it

10. PASTICCERIA ROSSIGNOTTI, Riva Trigoso, frazione di Sestri Levante, piazza Brigate Partigiane 16, via Colombo

This businesss, founded in 1929, is located in Riva Trigoso, in a terraced house with a 19th century layout, decorated externally with simple but graceful leitmotifs. On the outside, the windows feature a plinth of grey Carrara marble, while inside wooden structures in a late Liberty style adorn the generous space. The floor in red terrazzo, mirroring the cross vaulting, is divided into large squares. The original furnishings are reminiscent of the style of the shop in via XXV Aprile 1 in Sestri Levante. An ancient kneader, once used to manufacture cakes, is prominent on display. This shop is witness to the great success that, from the mid 1920s, saw the Rossignotti brand take off at an international level.

Info: info@rossignotti1840.it

11. PESCHERIA AI PESCI VIVI, corso Colombo 75

Strolling across Corso Colombo it is inevitable to be attracted by the rich colours of the mosaic decoration that frames the entrance to the fish shop Ai Pesci Vivi. The name of the shops stands out thanks to its yellow letters, on a surface decorated with wavy green and blue lines to simulate the bottom of the sea. The polychrome tesserae reproduce different kinds of fish and marine creatures. The shop has opened in 1953, the period of the mosaic decoration, which continues inside the shop, where the original counter in mosaic and marble has been preserved.

Info: giorgiaertola@gmail.com

12. RISTORANTE PORTOBELLO, via Portobello 16

This restaurant is located on the ground floor of Palazzo Negrotto Cambiaso, (18th century), overlooking the picturesque Baia del Silenzio. The exterior of the building is decorated with overlapping orders in earth colours in line with the typical Ligurian custom, standing out from the other buildings surrounding the bay thanks to its striking appearance. Inside, the premises, used as restaurant since 1964 and renovated in the 90s, conserve a large vaulted ceiling branching off from slate corbels. A marble plaque, dating back to the 17th century, commemorates the widening of the road from Sestri Levante to Sarzana: a large fireplace is still used today to grill fish. The restaurant offers traditional Ligurian cuisine.

Info: nicolo.mari@hotelvisavis.com