On the Argentario Promontory, you will find the charming seaside village of Porto Ercole. The harbor here is surrounded by different hills, each of them lined with colorful buildings. The Rocca Spagnola (the Spanish Fortress) dominates the landscape here.
A little history
If we delve into the history of Porto Ercole, we have to go back as far as the Etruscan times. It was not until 1296 that the town actually began to take shape. It was then that Margherita Aldobrandeschi – the countess of Savona – ordered the construction of the Torre di Terra. The Republic of Siena overtook the harbor in the 15th century, which leads to the development of the medieval city walls that you can still find surrounding parts of Porto Ercole. This includes a gothic gate with a clock tower that you can admire in the historic center of Porto Ercole.
Afterwards the town was taken over by the Spanish, which held the town under a client state called ”Stato dei Presidi.” This lead to the development of the fortresses of Forte Santa Caterina, Forte Stella, and Forte Filippo.
Nowadays, especially during the summer time, Porto Ercole is a very popular tourist destination. The primary reasons for this are the beautiful bays and beaches that you find nearby. And the lively seaside promenade that has a number of different restaurants and bars. However, there is much more to see:
The Palazzo dei Governanti
One of the most interesting pieces of architecture of the village of Porto Ercole is without doubt the Palace of the Governors (the Palazzo dei Governanti). The building was constructed in the second half of the sixteenth century and originally served as the residence for its Spanish rulers, the lords of the State of the Garrisons. (more…)