Monte Argentario, Province of Grosseto, Tuscany
45 km from Grosseto, Monte Argentario rises on a promontory in the Thyrrhenian Sea, opposite the Giglio and Giannutri islands. In ancient geological times also the Argentario was an island, but sea currents and the debris of the Albegna river formed the two narrow natural dams of Giannella and Feniglia, that united it to the mainland. The territory is terraced and cultivated with vineyards. The coasts is indented, and there are a great many small bays of great naturalistic beauty. The comune includes the two small centers of Porto Santo Stefano to the north of the promontory, and Porto Ercole to the south.
- Population: about 13,000 inhabitants
- Zip/postal code: 58019
- Dialing Area Code: +39 0564
- Patron Saint: St. Erasmo, celebrated on 2 June
- Frazioni & Localities: Porto Santo Stefano, Porto Ercole.
Follow Italy Heritage on Facebook
Provinces of Tuscany
The promontory was inhabited already in Etruscan times, then under the Romans was personal property of the Enobarbi-Domitii family, who were also known as "Argentari" (from argento= silver, since they were money lenders) which explains the origin of the name. In the Middle Ages it was under the Aldobrandeschi, Orsini, Ladislaw king of Naples, Siena, and finally in the 16th century was occupied by the Spaniards, who fortified the harbors. In 1815 the area was included in the Grand Dukedom of Tuscany, and finally in 1860 in the newly formed Kingdom of Italy.
What to see
- The many Spanish towers all along the coast from Talamone to Ansedonia, and the Spanish Fortress Fortezza Spagnola in Porto Santo Stefano, as well as Forte Filippo and Forte Stella in Porto Ercole.
- In Porto Ercole, the ancient church of Sant'Erasmo, the burial place of many Spanish governors
- The panoramic, steep road all around the Monte Argentario, which offers views of great eauty, as far as Corsica in clear days.
- The Palio Marinaro, on 15 august, held in Santo Stefano, where the four historical districts Pilarella, Valle, Croce and Fortezza compete in a rowing-boat regatta in the harbor waters.