Porto Santo Stefano
On Tuscany's "wild side" the Monte Argentario is an "island" connected by strips of land to the Maremma region, and its pretty town of Porto Santo Stefano is a really lovely place. Crowned by a Spanish fortress, the pastel seacoast town has both a hill town vibe and a resort ambiance, offering hidden coves, great dining, and the green "monte" (hill) that marks the promontory and gives it the name. It is left mostly natural, with just a couple of towns, rocky landscapes, beautiful sea views, and strips of beach. Otherwise,it is mostly a natural paradise of wild cliffs and green-covered hills.
It is easily connected to the mainland, though, and is about halfway between Rome and Florence. In the area are famous hotsprings at Saturnia, the city of Grosseto, historic Etruscan sites, the whimsical Tarot Garden at Capalbio, the "little Jerusalem" of Pitigliano, wine country, and more.
The ancient Romans loved the beauty and built opulent villas. Under Emperor Constantine, it was granted to the monastic orders. Originally named Portus Traianus, it was changed to its current name to give it a more religious context. The area was part of the Republic of Siena then became the Stato di Presidi in the mid-16th century, when the Spanish fortress was built. It passed under the Grand Duchy of Toscana for a time.
Some of the attractions include the fortress (obviously), the seafront walkway which is especially nice at sunset, and the Aquario Mediterraneo (aquarium). Hiking paths lead to the wilds of the mount, there is boating, and ferries to the isle Isola del Giglio. On the "mainland" you'll find wineries, pretty hill towns, real cowboys, art, hot sprigs, and more.
Taste the area's fresh seafood, but venture across the land bridges and the cuisine changes to "land-based" specialties, so you get the best of both worlds!
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Explore nearby towns
Porto Ercole is a delightful seaside town on the Argentario promontory on the Tuscan coast.
Orbetello is a sliver of a peninsula with and island feel.
The town of Albinia in Tuscany's Maremma district is a frazione of Orbetello, near the Argentario Promontory.