What to see in Monte Argentario, itinerary including the main places of interest and villages in the area, including Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole.
Located on the southern coast of Tuscany in Maremma, Monte Argentario is a promontory overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, facing the island of Giglio, the Giannutri island and other islets of the Tuscan Archipelago.
This territory, with very particular characteristics, was originally an island, over time, the accumulation of debris produced by the Albegna river and the action of sea currents, have joined the island to the mainland through two strips of land , the Tombolo della Giannella to the north and the Tombolo della Feniglia to the south.
In the middle of the two lands is the lagoon of Orbetello, with the city of Orbetello in the center, connected to Monte Argentario by an artificial bridge, the Diga Leopoldiana, which divided the lagoon into two parts, that of Levante and that of Ponente.
The landscape is mainly mountainous, covered with Mediterranean scrub and crops, mainly consisting of Ansonico and Rimini vines.
The jagged coast is high and rocky, with sandy beaches and suggestive coves on the sea.
The promontory has had a significant strategic importance throughout history.
Since the Bronze Age, the first defensive works were planned, under the rule of the Republic of Siena, watchtowers were built to counter pirate raids.
It was especially during the Presidi State, born in the sixteenth century as a direct possession of the crown of Spain, that an impressive system of fortifications was created by the Spanish, through the redevelopment of the existing structures dating back to the times of the Aldobrandeschi and the Sienese, building new towers and fortresses in the strategic and highest points of the coast.
Among these we can mention the Spanish Fortress in Porto Santo Stefano, Forte Filippo, the Rocca and Forte Stella in Porto Ercole and many other watchtowers, some well preserved and others reduced to ruins.
The main villages of Monte Argentario, Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole, are renowned tourist and seaside resorts.Recommended readings
- Artimino (Tuscany): what to see
- San Galgano (Tuscany): what to see
- Poggibonsi (Tuscany): what to see
- Castiglione di Garfagnana (Tuscany): what to see
- Tuscany: Sunday day trips
Between the two villages there is a road which, immersed in the Mediterranean maquis, leads to the peak of Punta Telegrafo, where the panorama is magnificent.
About halfway up the slope, always in a splendid panoramic position, is the Convent of the Presentation of the Passionist Fathers, which owes its origins to San Paolo della Croce, which in 1728 settled in the hermitage of the Annunciation, constituting the first nucleus of the his order.