Porto Ercole. Club Cavallo Italia, the world of those who love the elegance and the horse, in this article offers Porto Ercole, one of the most elegant places in Italy that, since 2014, is part of the most beautiful villages in Italy and is called the promontory VIPs for the many famous people that populate it, especially in the summer.
Porto Ercole, a kind of island embraced to the earth where the crystalline sea merges with the villages, is the real pride of the Maremma and is located on the eastern side of the Argentario Promontory, in the beautiful Tuscany, about 40 kilometers from Grosseto and about 12 kilometers from another beautiful and elegant resort: Porto Santo Stefano.
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When to go to Porto Ercole? The pleasantly mild climate invites you to visit all year round, excluding November and December for the rains and, of course, the months for sea lovers are from April / May to September / October.
Now let’s get to know Porto Ercole, whose history begins in Etruscan times, then conquered by the Romans and we have news in the Middle Ages. In fact, in 1296, Margherita Aldobrandeschi, Countess of Sovana, erected a square tower called Torre di Terra, the first nucleus of what will be the Rocca di Porto Ercole.
In the fifteenth century the port was bought by the powerful Republic of Siena, which contributed to its development.
Subsequently, Porto Ercole was the scene of an important battle, or “the Port of Porto Ercole”, portrayed by Vasari in the Sala dei Cinquecento at Palazzo Vecchio.
With the defeat of Siena and France, the Port was annexed to the new State of the Royal Presidi of Spain.
Napoleon dissolved the States of the Royal Presidios of Spain and the city had a slow decline but was reborn as a tourist destination thanks to the visit of Queen Juliana of Holland.
Today it is a top-level tourist destination that offers the visitor the four forts, especially the Forte Stella, with its characteristic six-pointed star-shaped plant, and the churches of Sant’Erasmo and San Rocco.
Here the great Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio died. In 2002 an evocative monument was erected and, in 2010, on the occasion of the four-hundredth anniversary of his death, a small sarcophagus containing five of the alleged bones of the great artist was also built.
Now we discover the events of Porto Ercole.
The most curious is in the first weekend of May is called the “Night of the Pirates“, because it is the historical re-enactment of the battle of 12 June 1544 when the pirate Barbarossa, with the whole Ottoman fleet and some French galleys devastated the city . This reenactment can be attended by those who want but only if dressed as a pirate. In the “Night of the Pirates” there is also a unique treasure hunt at night, which can only be attended by teams of ten people called “ciurme”.
From 1978, between the first and third week of June, there is the Palio, a rowing regatta inside the port with four-rowers boats with helmsman between the districts surrounding Porto Ercole (Forte Filippo, La Rocca, Forte Santa Caterina, Forte Stella).
Finally, in the months of July and August, you can attend Concerti in Monte Argentario (CIMA) a music festival founded by the baritone Jorge Chaminè and co-chaired by Princess Cristina of the Netherlands.
And here are some of the monuments to visit.
Arriving at Porto Ercole from the main road you will find the sixteenth century Forte Filippo, the contemporary Torre del Mulinaccio and the eighteenth-century Forte Santa Caterina.
Entering the historic core of the city from a Gothic door surmounted by a bertesca, with the Clock Tower, from the walls erected by the Sienese in the second half of the fifteenth century, you can admire the Palace of the Rulers in the Piazza di Santa Barbara from where it dominates the port and, going through a series of narrow lanes, you climb in the oldest part of Porto Ercole and reach the Church of Sant’Erasmo.
The city is dominated by the mighty Rocca, which can be reached by diverting from the panoramic road and, at the northeastern corner, rises the nineteenth-century Faro di Porto Ercole.
Continuing the path along the panoramic road you will come across the descent towards Spiaggia delle Visite, in front of the islet, and arrive at the Sbarcatello, dominated by the imposing structure of the sixteenth century Forte Stella, a mighty six-pointed fortification that, in the past, it had the function of sighting and from where one can admire an extraordinary panorama.
Of course there are equestrian centers in Porto Ercole but we do not know them well and we do not want to recommend them to the friends of Club Cavallo Italia.
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