One of the most important urban centers of the Western part of Genoa, Sestri Ponente is located between Cornigliano and Pegli. It Includes several districts such as: Borzoli, Calcinara, St. John the Baptist and Sestri: it represents a City within the city of Genoa with its districts and neighborhoods. It is crossed by five streams: Cantarena, Chiaravagna, Marotta, Ruscarolo and Molina, and famous for the mills located along its banks. It is a industrial center, seat of the establishments of the modern and luxurious cruise ships manufacturer Fincantieri.
The town's name derives from the Latin word "Sextum" of the phrase "Sextum lapis ab Urbe Janue", carved on VI milestone of the Via Aemilia Scauri mail, where a small settlement was built around the II century, near the hill where today Sestri is located. At that time the sea formed a small bay in the hillside called the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as evidenced by the ancient charts and by the discovery of anchors and mooring rings in the shallower points. A bradyseism, already present around the year 1000, has caused the gradual retreat of the sea. In the early XVII century, because of the importance and growth of its population, the Republic of Genoa proclaimed Sestri as a Captaincy and in this way they started to share the same historical events. From the XVII century the noble families of Genoa chose to build in Sestri their magnificent villas, among those still in existence, the Villa Rossi with an adjoining large garden. In 1797 it became part of the Ligurian Republic and then was annexed by the French that divided the town into two parts based on existing parishes: St. John the Baptist in the hinterland and Sestri Ponente. In this phase, the center was dedicated to agriculture and fisheries. With the creation of the first yard (here was built the famous Rex and the Andrea Doria) and the manufacture of tobacco, however, it quickly turned into an industrial center and expanded again in terms of population. In 1923 Sestri was united with the town of San Giovanni Battista, and in 1926 it was merged into the city of Genoa, even though it still keeps a strong personal identity.
Not to miss:
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mercy and St. Lawrence, where in 1150, a pre-existing church entitled to San Lorenzo was already built. The building has submitted renovations and structural changes over the centuries.
The Church of St. Francis of Assisi, built in 1200, is probably the first in Italy to be dedicated to the Saint.
The Church of San Giovanni Battista with its original structure dates back to the VII century and is probably the oldest church in Liguria. Several times it has been restored and modified and in 1683 the building was expanded to its present form, featuring one major nave and two aisles.
The Shrine dedicated to the Patron Saint of St. Albert, which was built in 1435.
The Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption built in the XVII century on the beach. It presents a splendid façade.
The Church of the Nativity of Holy Mary and St. Nicholas of Tolentino, built in 1647, features on the façade, a fresco of the artist Pennasilico.
The Church of the Santissima Annunziata Coast built between 1400 and 1500, it has been declared a national monument.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy.
The Fieschi Palace of the XVI century, Villa De Mari, also of the XVI century which belonged, over the different ages, to the De Mari, the Spinola, the Rossi and the Rollino Families; the Villa Parodi, originally a convent, and at present owned by the town of Genoa, the XVI century Villa Sciallero Carbone ; Villa Rossi Martini, built in the XVII century and is currently owned by the municipality.