Traditional shops managed by committed families passing on their traditional craft. Some shops have unluckily changed, but never ceased to represent important reference point for the history of the territory.
This bar is located in Sestri Levante’s Old Town. Recently renovated, the premises do not present visitors with any historical elements of particular importance. What arouses interest and curiosity is the long uninterrupted family history that gave the bar its name, and which dates back to U Baciollu, a burly fisherman who loved declaiming verses from the Divina Commedia and owned three boats named after his daughters. To create a meeting place between midway between the marina and the old town center. Later, the bar specialised in the production of ice cream, with particular attention to seasonal and locally-produced ingredients.
This shop, currently a stationery, is located in the old town. Despite its appearance, which is similar to other stationers’, the shop was once home to a flourishing and renowned typographer’s, opened and managed for many years by the Assereto brothers, ancestors of the present owners. The typographer’s business, whose machinery once filled a large space at the back, worked until the 1930s. Only a few traces remain of that era and activity: the terrazzo floor, the painted ceiling depicting the alternating of the seasons and the shelves, partly modified and hidden by the copious amount of goods for sale.
The shop boasts a long history of the female family business that began in the late 19th century. The foundress, Maria De Tomasis, moved to Sestrri Levante from Piedmont for the sake of her consort’s health and opened there an artisan shop making pots in copper and aluminium. The unusual name of the shop derives from the Ligurian dialect term calderaia, used to describe someone who makes or repairs metal pots and pans. The trade of tinsmith or pot maker turned into a specialisation in the sale off crockery and kitchen and household articles. A fine photo from the 1910s taken by the photographer Giovanni Borasino, portrays Maria on the threshold of the shop with her niece, grandmother of the current owner.
Of that ancient atmosphere, however, very little has survived: the only things left are vintage photographs and the same dedication.
The hotel, located on the slopes of the Peninsula of Sestri Levante, develops inside two historic buildings. The first one dates back to the 17th century and is the oldest one. The second, acquired in 2002 to expand the hotel, is the 18th century Villa Rita with its characteristic park surrounded by walls. Inside the two buildings have vaulted ceiling, balusters and sculpted slate corbels. A chapel from the 18th century and some ceilings painted in tempera give the accommodation a particular style, even though the hotel has been renovated recently to meet the demands of its hosts.
The original building was located on the beach where, from the end of the 19th century, it operated as a tavern. It is said that Mrs Palmira – from which the name derives – served anchovies with Aleatic wine that her husband Cilan brought from Elba island. Over time the activity moved into the current building on the waterfront and in the two world wars it expanded, offering sea-view rooms to the elites. In December 1943, however, the building was hit by a terrible bombardment and was largely rebuilt in the 1950s.
On the ground floor, the large restaurant is characterized by the presence of Art Deco elements.
The restaurant takes its name from the hamlet of Tannino, a town so called for the presence, in ancient times, of tannin factories that were used for storing wine.
The activity started in 1935 in a building constructed ex novo, consisting of two floors. In the 1940s, when the wine trade with Piedmont and Elba was strengthened, a large retail bar was set up in the area overlooking Via Nazionale. After the war the restaurant expanded, offering local customers good home-made food and the possibility of staying on the upper floors.
Today the restaurant still retains its original simple and welcoming character, offering, in a friendly atmosphere, traditional Ligurian cuisine strictly homemade with fresh local products.
Located with extreme farsightedness by Marinetta Ventura on the shores of the Baia delle Favole in the summer of 1917, the Segesta establishments rented the cabins to the bathers, elite tourists who from the end of the nineteenth century loved to visit the Ligurian Riviera for the mildness of the climate.
The warehouse of the plant still preserves objects related to the past: a wooden bailer to remove water from boats, a binocular from the beginning of the 20th century for the control of bathers in the sea, some cork lifejackets, blocks and pulleys for hauling boats, wooden ankles for flag-raising sheets, an out-of-1930s engine from the Enrico Vottero company of Genoa that was used on the lance used to transport tourists along the bay.
Since the fifties of the twentieth century the baths have been managed by the Raffo family.
The Sempione baths, managed by the Cozzi family, was established on the Baia delle Favole in 1915. The name of the baths derives from the place of origin of the rich clientele who moved from Milan to the Riviera for the holidays. With predominantly therapeutic functions, rather than leisure, the baths were known from the earliest years of activity for thalassotherapy. Originally the baths occupied a stretch of beach further to the west, in 1946 the activity moved to its current location, maintaining the same care service for guests and the same name. The entrance has been relocated to make a new modern access to the baths.
The business was foundedd in 1956 by Mario Bixio, father of the current owners of the establishment. Since 1930 he had worked, in the summer months, as lifeguard. In the fifties, thanks to the development of mass tourism in Liguria, Mario took the opportunity to start his own business, starting up a flourishing business that he handed down to his son Enrico and his grandchildren.
Going down to the roundabout of the baths immediately one perceives the great respect for the sea: the simple structure of the establishment, the cabins arranged in a linear way along the edge of the beach, and the beach umbrellas in two rows along the shoreline do not prevent the view of the Baia delle Favole.
Chatting under the veranda of the bathrooms with Cèrule, the nickname of Enrico, we discover how much passion he inherited from his father and channelled into his work.
Near the mouth of the Gromol, almost in the middle of the Baia delle Favole, in 1963 the Bagni Sporting were opened. The shape of the roundabout overlooking the sea that resembles the deck of a ship, descending the ladder that from the waterfront reaches the airy terrace on the beach. Some architectural and furnishing details are from the 1960s; the simple railings, the dark wood handrail, the flagstaff and the portholes placed on the floor simulate a boat ready to sail. The terrace opens towards the beach, limited along the sides by the long row of wooden booths painted with soft colours, which merge with the blue of the sea.
The activity of the kiosk was set up by Mario Dani and his wife Teodina in 1945 as a laboratory and a store for sweets and drinks along the beach crowded with tourists in summer.
The kiosk by then offered a wide selection of products including candy sticks, sweet pancakes, and hazelnut crisps; but the real specialty was the gremolata, very appreciated by vacationers.
The development of summer tourism boosted over time the activity of the mobile kiosk which in 1967 became a fixed structure with cast iron pillars, located on the promenade. The larger spaces of the new premises allow to start artisan ice cream production in the Seventies.
In 2007 the structure of the kiosk was renovated on the model of the previous one and today the activity is still run by the members of the Dani family.