In a specular position south of Mount Argentario is Porto Ercole, which has been recognised as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy since 2004. Wandering through narrow alleyways you will find the oldest part of town where the church of Sant’Erasmo is located, in which the tombs of the Spanish rulers are kept.
The entrance is surmounted by the Clock Tower, where an inscription tells us that the great Caravaggio lived there for the last part of his life, on the run from his problems with the law. There is great mystery surrounding his death, which took place here on July 18, 1610: sailing from Naples in a felucca, the painter arrived, dying, on the Feniglia beach, and was then hospitalized in the Church of Sant’Erasmo. His remains – which were never identified - were buried in the old cemetery of San Sebastiano, where the centre of the new village stands today.
In addition to its natural beauty, the charm of Porto Ercole derives from the imposing Spanish fortresses that were built in the sixteenth century under the Governors: Forte Filippo, la Rocca and Forte Stella are three perfectly preserved fortifications from which you can admire the wonderful views of the sea.
It’s impossible not to appreciate Porte Ercole’s beautiful sea: from the splendid Feniglia beach to the many coves along the entire headland’s coast, all are reachable from here.
One particular reason to visit this remote paradise is the Palio Marinaro dell’Argentario, which has been held every August since 1937. The competition between the four quarters of the village evokes the region’s strong bond with the sea.