Orbetello - Monte Argentario
"The entry to the peninsula of the Monte Argentario"
Orbetello is the entry to the peninsula of the Monte Argentario about 160 Km north of Rome on the Tyrrhenian coast. The mountainous promontory is 635 m high and has high and rocky coastlines. Monte Argentario was probably an island which became linked to the main land by strips of sand forming a laguna. The town of Orbetello is located on the middle strip.
Thanks to its position, at the centre of the coast of Tyrrhenian Sea, Monte Argentario was a safe place for the navigators. There are two ports: Porto Santo Stefano of the north side and Porto Ercole on the south side. Because of its strategic position, watch towers were built under the Republic of Siena to help prevent raids by the Saracen pirates. Under the Spanish rule (16th - 17 th c.) the promontory of Argentario became the most important strong hold in all Tuscany. Orbetello, Porto Ercole, Porto Santo Stefano and Talamone were members of the Stato dei Presidi (State of Royal Garrisons of Spain).
The Mediterranean vegetation (dwarf palm, maritime pine, olive trees, vineyards, orchards) of the Monte Argentario is very nice as well as the two ports of Santo Stefano and Ercole. Orbetello is less attractive.
Nowadays Monte Argentario is a place of tourism, essentially Italian tourism. Many Romans have here vacation residences going from luxury villas, apartments to small bungalows. There are many camping's and well developed marinas.
Actually there are not many hotels; international tourism is less developed here than on the Ligurian or Adriatic coasts.
The area is very crowded in summer and on week-ends, I would advise to visit in low season.