Argentario Peninsula, Porto Ercole, Porto Santo Stefano and Orbetello

porto ercoleThe town of Monte Argentario, in the Maremma region near Grosseto, is named after the promontory of the same name across from the islands of Giglio and Giannutri.

A popular vacation destination, it includes the towns of Porto Santo Stefano and  Porto Ercole, with their many breath-taking views of little bays, amazing beaches, Mediterranean scrub and the uncontaminated waters of the Whale Sanctuary.

Plenty of opportunities to sunbathe and swim!

Choose between sandy beaches such as Giannella (8 Km long) or Cantoniera and Moletto (wheelchair-accessible), pebble beaches (such as Le Viste, Spiaggia Lunga, Acqua Dolce, Cala Grande or the splendid Cala del Gesso with its spectacular view) or smooth stones (as in Cala del Bove). Some of these locations are public beaches, while others are developed with bathing establishments, cafés and restaurants.

The town of Monte Argentario has for many years been an internationally recognised Bandiera Blu beach, officially confirming the quality of its waters and the sustainability of the services available to visitors.

Porto-Santo-StefanoPorto Ercole – An ancient harbour town ranked among Italy’s most beautiful villages. Among the town’s homes and greenery we may spot the fortifications built to defend the promontory: the sixteenth-century Forte Filippo and Torre del Mulinaccio, the eighteenth-century Forte Santa Caterina, the imposing Forte Stella with its six turrets, built by King Philip II of Spain to spot enemies arriving from all directions in the State of the Presidi, a small state on the Tuscan coast attached to the Kingdom of Naples.

Porto Santo Stefano – Overlooking the bay dominated by the Spanish Fortress, the harbour is home to fishing boats and yachts, and is the point of departure for ferry boats to the islands of Giglio and Giannutri.

Orbetello – A popular holiday destination, the town is characterised by the presence of the lagoon of the same name (where gilthead bream, sea bass, grey mullet and eels are raised) and by the cross-contamination of different peoples who have lived in the area over the course of its history. Peoples who lived here and left behind important traces of their presence include the Etruscans (responsible for the ingenious sunken roads), the Romans (who left behind the ruins of the colony of Cosa), the Sienese (who built the mill emerging from the lagoon), the Spanish (builders of the Guzman powder magazine), the Bourbons, and the Grand Dukes of Tuscany.

Duna di Feniglia national nature reserve divides the Tyrrhenian Sea from Orbetello Lagoon. The area is freely accessible (on foot or by bicycle) and biodiversity rules: you can photograph pink flamingoes, deer, badgers and foxes, walk the nature trails or relax on the uncontaminated beaches where the painter Caravaggio is said to have been found at death’s door.

Towns built of Tufa stone: Pitigliano, Sovana and Sorano

Schermata 2016-05-04 alle 18.28.32About 50 minutes from the holiday farmhouse by car is Pitigliano, known as “Little Jerusalem”. From the synagogue to the ghetto and the oven for unleavened bread, the town retains numerous traces of the Jewish community that came to live there in the late fifteenth century. The town is also home to an Archaeological Museum of Etruscan Civilisation, an Open-air Museum named after Alberto Manzi and wineries dug into the tufa stone with their delicious scent of fermenting must.

Sovana – A centre of great importance in the Etruscan age, with a necropolis in the countryside outside the town. Other historic sights include the Tomb of Hildebrand, the fourteenth-century Church of Santa Maria, the birthplace of Hildebrand of Soana (Pope Gregory VII) and the original Cathedral.

Sorano A medieval town dominated by the imposing Fortezza Orsini, now home to a museum of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Città del Tufo archaeological site is well worth a visit, with its important testimony of the Etruscan age including a necropolis (with chamber, niche and temple-shaped tombs) and the Vie Cave, fascinating sunken roads dug into the tufa stone.

Saturnia Hot Springs

Near the town of Manciano, about 60 km from the farmhouse, are the famous Saturnia Hot Springs, with sulphurous water at 37°. Visitors may enjoy the beneficial qualities of the waters in a natural setting at the Cascate del Mulino, the waterfalls by the mill, or in the luxurious spa.

Maremma Park

The green hills, centuries-old pine groves, aromatic herbs and Maremma cattle and horses of Maremma Park offer the best of nature, culture and adventure. Open year-round, the park offers a vast choice of itineraries to be explored on foot, by bicycle (on a cycle path), by canoe, on horseback, in a horse-drawn carriage or even on the back of a donkey!

Capalbio and the Tarot Garden

The Tarot Garden in Capalbio isan art park only 35 minutes away including 22 impressive sculptures covered with mosaics of coloured glass, mirrors and ceramics. Popular with adults and children alike, it is reminiscent of Antoni Gaudí’s Parque Guell in Barcelona and the Monsters of Bomarzo.

Our holiday farmhouse is only a  10 minute drive from the town and the beach, close to nature reserves and archaeological parks, medieval hamlets, museums and wine routes. Book your holiday now!