Set on the slopes of the Argentario and overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea and the coasts of the Tuscan Maremma, Porto Ercole is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
It is located in the province of Grosseto and more precisely in the southern part of the Argentario promontory is one of the most beautiful seaside resorts in Tuscany.
This wonderful village boasts an ancient history to discover and the Tuscan Maremma of which it is part offers endless sports and tourist activities of all levels starting from its crystal clear sea.
The history of Porto Ercole
The Etruscans of the nearby town of Cosa built Porto Ercole in the seventh century A. C. but already before them had been reported the presence of the Phoenicians. In the second century B.C. these places were sold by the Roman Republic to the Domizi Enobarbi family. In the IX century A. C. Pope Leo III took possession of these territories from the Aldobrandeschi counts to hand it over to the monastic order of Saints Anastasius and Vincent.
In the Renaissance period under the rule of Siena were erected walls. In 1526 Andrea Dori under Pope Clement VII invaded Porto Ercole and destroyed it. In 1529 the population rebelled against the rule of the Pope and the territories returned under the control of Siena. In 1559, with the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis, Porto Ercole passed to Spain as the State of the Presidi.
In 1815 with the Congress of Vienna the territories became part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany until the unification to the Kingdom of Italy in 1860. An important event happened on July 18, 1610, when Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio, died in Porto Ercole.
Porto Ercole: what to do and see
Porto Ercole offers many things to visit such as the fortifications dating back to the State of the Presidi. One of the most important buildings of the city is the Rocca Aldobrandesca overlooking the historic part of the village.
It was built for the first time in 1296 and then was rebuilt in the ‘500. Continuing along the panoramic road that exits from the town you meet the Forte Stella which is on top of a hill overlooking the sea. Its name is due to the fact that its shape is similar to a six-pointed star.
In this way it was possible to spot enemies coming from different cardinal points. On a hill north west of the fort is the Water Tower of sixteenth-century origin. The entrance to the ancient part of the village is through a door in Gothic style.
Very interesting to visit also the Governor’s Palace located on the Piazzetta Santa Barbara. The building was rebuilt by the Spanish after the attack of Saracen pirates.
Porto Ercole is famous today for its beautiful beaches. Its favorable geographical position allows you to easily visit some of the most beautiful beaches of the Argentario promontory.
South of the town of Porto Ercole is the Acqua Dolce beach, one of the most beautiful in the area. Another beach to visit is Cala Galera which is located north of Porto Ercole. This low and sandy beach is particularly suitable for families with children.
Typical recipes of Porto Ercole
During your stay in Porto Ercole you can discover the exceptional quality of traditional Tuscan cuisine. In particular, one of the most famous and appreciated dishes of Porto Ercole is the soup with sardines and potatoes.
One of the typical products of this area of the Maremma is the ficamaschia a stocchetto or fillets of salted and dried potassolo fish. Among the first dishes one of the most popular recipes is that of fish soup Portoercolese.
It is a type of soup made using fish caught in the waters of Porto Ercole. As for sweets, the traditional cuisine of Porto Ercole includes the recipe for a particular type of pastiera.
Port Hercules: what is it and where is it?
Porto Ercole is one of the most famous seaside resorts in Tuscany located on the Argentario promontory. It is the second largest town of the promontory and is located in the southern part.
This seaside resort was included in the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy in 2014. The original inhabitants of the place were fishermen and this activity is still important for Porto Ercole. The oldest settlement is located within the walls at the foot of the Spanish Fortress.
The new part overlooks the sea and is The port is formed by a wonderful natural bay. Here every year many private boats and yachts dock during the summer season
To get to this part of the Maremma you need to take the A12 motorway for those coming from the Tuscan coast. While for those arriving from Florence Siena and Grosseto by road SS Aurelia to Orbetello.