Argentario is a remarkably unspoilt coastal haven particularly considering its proximity to Rome. Since the 1970s there have been strict planning laws in place to preserve the natural beauty of the area.
Consequently, if you drive round the west side of the promontory from Santo Stefano to Porto Ercole you find yourself on narrow roads – partly asphalted for 4km – wiggling along the coast surrounded by Mediterranean scrub; thyme, myrtle, rock roses, lavender, wild olive and fig. The land rises steeply above the road and falls away precipitously below it to the sea.
It is an exhilarating and breathtaking journey, most spectacular at sunset when the whole sky seems to glow red, though not one to be undertaken in the dark by faint-hearted drivers.