Monte Argentario - the hidden paradise in Italy
Monte Argentario, one of Italy's less known tourist destinations, is home to wealthy and famous people in holidays. As a wilder version of the Côte d'Azur with serenity and cheaper food, this southern Tuscan peninsula can only be reached by road, foot or bike.
Being once an island, the Monte Argentario is now linked to the mainland by three isthmi. Its undulating coastline is dotted with ruined forts and towers of Spanish kings ruling this area 400 years ago.
The Monte Argentario beaches are crowded during July and August but the peninsula is very quiet during the low season. Located in the Maremma region, less than one and a half hours from Rome, the most attractive feature of Monte Argentario is an unusual geographical location.
The land is covered by Mediterranean forests and wild vegetation, alternating between olive groves and vineyards. The Monte Argentario is located closer to the Eternal City than Florence, which is why it is so popular with the elite of Rome, many of whom have a second home here.
One of the two centers of Monte Argentario is the bustling commercial port for locals and tourists on summer evenings. The second center is Porto Ercole, which used to be a fishing village, now a luxury resort.
Spiaggia Lunga in Porto Ercole is one of the most beautiful landscapes among many beaches around the Monte Argentario. There are at least 20 beaches around Argentario, with many smaller bays reached only by boat.
Located on a private beach, Hotel Il Pellicano welcomes celebrities like Kirk Douglas and Britt Ekland. Accommodation at the Il Pellicano hotel is iconic and enchanting, which will be the highlight of any trip to Monte Argentario. The cheapest room at the hotel costs about 450 USD.
The five-star hotel has 50 rooms and a large swimming pool with terraces leading to a sparkling private cobalt beach. Built in the 1960s, the hotel quickly became a "mecca" for Hollywood and Italian stars to sunbathe and socialize after filming at Cinecitta Studios in Rome.
Just over an hour's drive from the city of Santo Stefano, the old town on Pitigliano hill and its quarters are linked by the arches of a giant water trough. The cliffs here are filled with caves like a honeycomb of Etruscan tombs. Pitigliano is famous for a large Jewish community who started moving to here from Rome in the 15th century.
Located two kilometers north of Pitigliano, through the rolling hills of Southern Tuscany, the small Saturnia village is famous for its hot springs with therapeutic properties. Even on the coldest winter day, people can still take a dip in the Cascate di Mulino natural stone lake with warm blue water.
By: Kelly Jonas