Argentario: what to do and what to see
The beautiful Argentario promontory in southern Tuscany is one of the most beautiful places in the whole region; here you can enjoy a crystalline sea and you can visit many interesting places. Picturesque seaports, historic villages and fortresses contribute to making the beautiful landscape of this corner of Tuscany unique.
Let’s not waste any more time and go straight to the classic list with the main points of interest:
- Porto Ercole
- Porto Santo Stefano
- Beaches and sea
- Tarot Garden
Orbetello with its lagoon is one of the main tourist destinations in southern Tuscany. Developed along a strip of land right in the middle of the lagoon, Orbetello has its most famous monument in the Spanish Mill: take a ride on Instagram and you’ll find hundreds of photos that portray it in all its glory! If you are passionate about archeology, you should not miss the Archaeological Museum of Orbetello or the Permanent Exhibition of the Fronton of Talamone where the famous pediment from the Etruscan temple of Talamonaccio is exhibited.
We begin the tour of Monte Argentario starting from the south-eastern coast where we find Porto Ercole, a pretty maritime village rich in history and interesting spots. In addition to the port, I recommend that you also visit the ancient village and stop in Piazza Santa Barbara, a beautiful terrace overlooking the sea. In Porto Ercole and its surroundings we also find some of the Spanish forts that characterize the Argentario such as the Rocca Spagnola and the Forte Stella.
Porto Santo Stefano
Exactly on the opposite side from Porto Ercole, we find the capital of the municipality of Monte Argentario, Porto Santo Stefano. From here ferries leave for the island of Giglio and that of Giannutri. The most important monument is the Spanish Fortress, built between the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th when Porto Santo Stefano became part of the State of the Presidi. For lovers of the genre, I also point out the existence of the acquario mediterraneo della Costa d’Argento (an aquarium).
Beaches and Sea
Sea lovers who decide to spend their holidays at Argentario are spoiled for choice. Here we find both the sand and the rock; long stretches of coast where free beaches alternate with equipped establishments, but also small sheltered coves sometimes reachable only by boat or by inaccessible paths. Among the beaches, the Feniglia, the Giannella and the Spiaggia Lunga are particularly famous. Among the numerous coves that open along the Argentario coast, Cala Grande, Cala Piccola and Cala del Gesso are certainly worth mentioning.
Now let’s see what to visit around the Argentario. Talamone is a pleasant village by the sea located at the foothills of the Maremma Park. Much appreciated by lovers of sailing, Talamone has a beautiful medieval fortress from which you can enjoy a beautiful view of the sea.
Ansedonia is a renowned holiday resort located on the coast just in front of the Argentario. The main attractions of Ansedonia are its large sandy beaches and the remains of the ancient Roman city of Cosa with its Archaeological Museum.
Let’s move now to the Maremma inland to reach the characteristic village of Capalbio. Capalbio is a typical Tuscan hillside village, made up of ancient buildings all leaned against each other along narrow and winding streets. The main monument is the Rocca degli Aldobrandeschi which with its tower stands on the roofs of the houses of this delightful village.
The Tarot Garden is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. Born from the imagination of the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, the garden hosts a series of sculptural works, inspired by the art of Gaudì, which represent the major arcana of the tarot. A fantastic place, a place of peace and serenity full of symbols and meanings.