The Two Towns

PORTO SANTO STEFANO

Porto Santo Stefano was considered a wonderful holiday resort even by the ancient Romans, and you’ll only be able to fully appreciate this ancient traditional town on foot. Therefore, we recommend that you leave your car in one of the available car parks (in addition to the public car parks, there are some that allow you to book a space in advance).

At the entrance to the town, you’ll notice the two main things that characterise the town and its people, both culturally and historically: the shipyards and fishing boats. We recommend that you take a few minutes to visit the pier and fishing boats, which is always a charming sight with a typical “flock” of seagulls watching for anything that might escape the fishermen. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see the fish arriving, the very same that you can taste in one of the many restaurants.

The large and recently renovated waterfront offers comfortable seats for admiring the view and lovely little places for an aperitif or a quick snack. The aquarium is a great place to visit in order to learn about our sea and the helpful, passionate staff will be delighted to tell you anything you might wish to know. Continuing along the waterfront, you’ll find the old port and the main square, with the town and a docking area for large boats. And beyond this, you’ll reach Siluripedio.

The town is dominated by the Spanish Fortress, built in 1600 by the Spanish to defend the port and the town. If you’ve got some comfortable shoes, we suggest you venture in via the many entrances at various points in the town. Once inside, you’ll be able to see the various artefacts and the history of the art of shipbuilding, and from the terrace, you’ll enjoy a truly unique panoramic view.

In summer, you can also go through “I fori” to reach small pebble and rocky beaches in just a few minutes and bathe in the crystal-clear waters (Cantoniera, Bionda, Punta Nera or the sandy beach of Pozzarello).

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PORTO ERCOLE

In the south of Argentario, Porto Ercole is reminiscent of the region’s ancient fishing villages. Just as in Porto Santo Stefano, we recommend a walk along the harbour amongst the boats, fishing boats and faces of the fishermen, marked by the sun and the salty sea air.

The traditional establishments and terraces overlooking the sea make for a truly unique and enjoyable walk in Porto Ercole. The historic centre is a true gem that hides, among other things, two special wonders: the Governors’ Palace (dating back to 1500) and the Corsini Garden.

The Forts of Forte Filippo, Forte Stella and La Rocca are well-preserved examples of military architecture and provide some spectacular views.

In the cemetery is where the remains of Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio, lay. He died here on 18 July 1610, and in the town, you’ll find signs of his short stay on the Argentario peninsula.

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CURIOSITIES

We began our presentation of Argentario on this site by saying that it has “all the charm of an island with the practicality of the mainland”, but in fact, the peninsula of Argentario was once a real island. First, the sea currents and then the continuous deposits of deposits from the Albegna river formed the two stretches of land known as “tomboli” (Feniglia and Giannella) that connect Argentario to the mainland. This, in turn, created the lagoon of Orbetello, which is home to beautiful pink flamingos and numerous other endangered species (it is a WWF protected reserve), and the long sandy beaches of Giannella and Feniglia.

IMPORTANT EVENTS AND FESTIVALS

Among the traditional events that take place every year in Argentario, there are many which are worth highlighting. The Argentario Trail and the Gran Fondo dell ‘Argentario in March, and Pasquavela during Easter. The “Night of the Pirates” and the “Trek of the 4 Spanish Forts” are held in May. In June, there is the Festival of Patron Saint Erasmus with a procession at sea, the “Regatta of the Four Forts”, Argentario Sailing Week and the “Festival of the Towers”. In July, there is the Corto Pop Corn Festival and “Running Under the Stars”. In August, there is the Feast of the Patron Saint Stephen with a procession at sea, Sealand and the Palio Marinaro dell’Argentario. From October and during the winter months, there is the Winter Sailing Championship. In December and January, there is the “Living Nativity”.

For summer 2020, events and demonstrations were suspended due to Covid-19. Any events that will be organised will take place in compliance with current regulations.

Experience Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole:

Walking around the towns:

MORE INFORMATION:

Palio Marinaro dell’Argentario

La Notte dei Pirati

Argentario Sailing Week

Pop Corn Festival del Corto

Argentario Trail

Gran Fondo dell’Argentario

 Argentario Mediterranean Aquarium

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