Monte Argentario - Tuscany's Best Kept Secret
A peninsula known as much for it's ragged coastal beauty and laid back affection as it is for it's quiet, unassuming luxury that has long catered to the Roman elite. This is why you should consider Monte Argentario, and the greater area of La Maremma i nTuscany during your next quest for a rustic respite from the summer crowds in Italy.
On the western coast of Italy, about half way between Rome and Florence in the area known as the Maremma, rests a peninsula that goes mostly unmentioned in travel magazines and tour guides. But Monte Argentario, made of up the two main towns of Porto Ercole and Porto San Stefano along with miles of rustic coastline akin to an undiscovered Greek isle, wild, overgrown countryside, and a dotting of crumbling forts left over from the rule of Spanish kings in the 1600s, is known well among the rich and famous who have long come here seeking a secluded paradise. The most valued real-estate among this group just may be the Hotel Il Pellicano, which can be found down the coast from Porto Ercole along the winding cliffside road that hugs the southern side of the peninsula.
View from the pool deck at Hotel Il Pellicano
Since the mid 60s, Il Pellicano has been the rustic hide-away resort of choice for many socialites and movie stars alike who crave the unmatched beauty and charm of the mainland Italian coastline but have tired of the ever increasing crowds that continue to flock to places like the Amalfi Coast and Portofino.
But even if you're not in the mood to indulge in a 5 star luxury experience, Monte Argentario still has plenty to offer for visitors just looking to spend a day or a weekend at the beach with great food and wine. The small but beautiful and sleepy port town of Porto Ercole offers great seafood, history, and a selection of beaches and beach clubs that span the coast just outside the town.
To the north, the slightly bigger and more lively town of Porto San Stefano boasts picturesque seaside promenades and colorful buildings that overlook the port.
Throughout the peninsula you can find boutique hotels, wellness spas, and secluded resorts that will quench the thirst of any traveler seeking true Tuscan hospitality, relaxation, and rustic beauty.
It's hard to to truly say what an authentic Italian experience is in the modern age, but the beauty, magic, and serenity that Monte Argentario offers just may be the closest we can get. For anyone visiting Florence or Rome, it is highly recommended to take a day or a weekend to venture out to this charming peninsula and discover all that hides within its rustic edifice.
The peninsula is only accessible by car, bike, or on foot via 3 narrow isthmuses that connect to the mainland, and is located about a 2 hours drive up the coast from Rome, or 2.5 hours drive south from Florence through the Tuscan countryside.
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