This pretty seaside resort is one of the most famous in Tuscany and is one of the two main towns on Monte Argentario.
The fortresses of La Rocca, Filippo, Santa Carolina and Stella dominate the hillside above the perfect little natural harbour and are reminders of more belligerent times when the town was controlled by the Spanish in the 16th century. Now that Porto Ercole is a place more associated with pleasure, good food, boats and relaxation (the renowned Pellicano hotel is just outside the town), the profusion of these fortifications takes one by surprise but adds another interesting angle to this incredibly picturesque little port.
The historic centre of Porto Ercole can be reached through the Porta of Sienese origin surmounted by a clock tower on which one can read the plate commemorating the great painter Michelangelo Merisi – “Caravaggio” – who died in Porto Ercole in 1610.
Things to see in Porto Ercole
Porto Ercole has a wonderful buzz during the summer season when the long seaside promenade is filled with the “beau monde” strolling by the shops, cafes and restaurants next to the boats anchored in the harbour.