The pearl of the Tyrrhenian
A place characterized by a superb natural beauty and by a compelling thousand-year-old history, Monte Argentario is certainly on of the Bel Paese's most fascinating tourist destinations. It's pristine beaches and picturesque residential areas which stand on and face it actually attract thousands of tourists from around the world each year, which are welcomed in numerous hotels, campgrounds and resorts located throughout the territory.
There are also other famous tourist attractions which are found very close to Monte Argentario, such as the Parco Nazionale della Maremma, with its white, fine-sandy beaches, as well as Giglio and Giannutri islands, the marvelous depths of which - a downright paradise for diving lovers - make up the Santuario dei Cetacei (whale sanctuary), an internationally renowned protected aquatic area.
The Argentario promontory itself was originally an island, but over the centuries, the action of the Albegna river and the marine currents combined produced two narrow strips of land, the so-called Tomboli della Feniglia e della Giannella, which connected it to the terraferma while giving birth to the fascinating scenario of the Laguna di Orbetello. It is in this very are that the major number of tourist structures are concentrated, among which the Park Hotel Residence, located in Orbetello's historic downtown, Argentario Camping Village, Argentario Osa Village and the Il Gabbiano Camping Village both located in the immediate vicinity of Orbetello, along via Aurelia.
Most likely already inhabited by the Etruscans, who had their most important settlements right in the Maremma, Monte Argentario took on an extremely important strategic role under the Romans, in that it was located just before the consolar road Aurelia, main military and commerce access way toward flourishing Ligurian lands and the endless Gaul territories.
The entire are reached its maximum splendore under the ownership of the Domizi Enobarbi family, to then begin its slow decline, extended throught the Middle Ages, with the transfer of owndership to the Roman Catholic Church. The revival occured in the Sixteenth Century, when, having been dominated by the Spaniards, the promontory was fortified and transformed into an important defense outpost against Turkish attacks. Later, the territory fell into the control of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany to then pass permanently, starting in 1860, to the newly constituted Kingdom of Italy. Some of it's most important testimonies of Monte Argentario's history may be admired such as the Fortezza Spagnola (Spanish Fortress) and Rocca Aldobrandesca.
Interesting places and fun things to do
Monte Argentario is characterized by a particularly wild territory. The only human interventions were the various terraces dug out of the rocky slopes, cultivated by grapes and olives, and of the residential areas of Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole, located on the promontory's Northwestern and Eastern shores, respectively. The more athletic types can therefore adventure out into the various trekking paths to discover the marvelous coves and inlets surrounding the rocky relief, or until reaching its highest peak, Punta Telegrafo, while lovers of shopping and daily life can indulge themselves in the numerous shops and restaurants along Porto Santo Stefano's Lungomare dei Naviganti, or admire the luxurious yachts anchored Porto Ercole's touristic port.
The terraferma offers some lively downtowns worth visiting as well, such as Orbetello, Albinia, Talemone and Ansedonia, important tourism cities where you can practice nearly any sporting and leisure activity, and where almost every type of service is available. Further, taking a vacation in Argentario means being able to reach, in less than one hour by car, other fantastic touristic places such as Pitigliano, ancient Etruscan city famous for its impressive necropolis, and Saturnia with its spectacular thermal baths.