Hidden Gems on the Tuscan Coast
Argentario and Tuscan Archipelago
In just a few weeks we set off to run our first Tuscany Golf Tour, an exciting project we have been developing over the last few years, with special attention to non-golfing partners.
Before the tour starts, Simona and Antonio went to do the last bits of research and put the final touches to the first part of the trip. It will start on the beautiful Tuscan coastline, west of the Maremma, around the ancient area of the Monte Argentario peninsula and the typical small towns on the Tuscan Archipelago.
Here’s what they discovered.
Inhabited since Etruscan & Roman times, the Argentario Mountain is a peninsula which sticks out from the Tuscan Coastline and is surrounded by the Mediterranean sea. Its connected to the mainland by 3 tight strips of land, which form 2 internal lagoons.
It’s 3 main town are: Porto Santo Stefano, Porto Ercole & Orbetello.
Porto Santo Stefano is the main Port Town & Marina from where you can catch ferries to the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago. We took the ferry to explore the Giglio Island, but more on this bellow. The port is surrounded by numerous fortresses and towers built by the Spanish in the 16th century. It has the typical look of Italian coastal town, with colourull houses, tight alleys and hidden piazzas.
Porto Ercole is much smaller, but arguably more graceful. The colorful houses surround an enchanting marina, a mandatory stop for many private yachts cruising around the Mediterranean. The old town is surrounded by a 15th century wall and has a high up Piazza which overlooks the whole marina. It is said that the famous artist Caravaggio died here in 1610. It to is overlooked by an imposing fortress perched on the top of the hill just outside of the town.
Orbetello is a charming town located in the center of the lagoon, surrounded by water on all sides. Here we can see the foundations of aqueducts built by the Etruscans nearly 3000 years ago. One of the town main sites is the Gothic Cathedral built in the late 14th century, on top of a preexisting Etruscan-Roman Temple. The Lagoon is a natural reserve managed by WWF.
We set off on the 8,30 ferry and one hour later we were in Giglio Porto. Few words can explain how charming this tiny port village is. The picture bellow probably does it more justice.
After a coffee and a stroll along the colorful port, we made our way to Giglio Castello, the main town of the island. It is located at the top of the mountain in the middle of the island.
This incredible small village is entirely surrounded by ancient walls with turrets, lined with tiny alleys and stone houses. We were completely blown away by how beautiful Giglio Castello was, not surprising it is considered one of the most beautiful town in Italy.
After a delicious fish lunch with a breathtaking view we made our way back on the ferry to the Argentario.
Tarot Garden & Capalbio
About half an hour inland from the Argentario, and in the heart if the Maremma area, we find the mesmerising Tarot Garden, an unbelievable garden-monument based on the tarot cards built by the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle. It took the artist over 20 years to complete the installation, during which time she lived within one of the structures.
Completely immersed in nature the garden is made of humongous tiled sculptures which represent esoteric figures and the tarot card deck. It is somewhat reminiscent of Gaudi’s and of the not too far Bomarzos’ garden. As we could read from a lovely letter putted at the entrance of the card, the artist admits to have been somewhat inspired by him and the esoteric character of the Gardens of the Monster in Bomarzo.
To end an already great day on another high, after visiting the Tarot Garden we headed to Capalbio, just 10 minutes away from there.
A walled town, perched on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside, it is quintessential Tuscany. In Renaissance times this village was know as the little Athens and was an important centre for culture and art. The hills around the town are well know for the production of a DOC wines , most notably a blend of 50% Sangiovese and 50% of a local grape called Abrusco. Excellent Vin Santo, white wine & rosé is also made here.
Would you like to visit this incredible area?
All of these destinations are part of our new Tuscan Golf Tour especially designed to guide you through the best Tuscan Golf Clubs without giving away the incredible cultural gems of the region.
We are always available to create and plan together with you the perfect journey with all the activities and experience that you, your family and friends may desire.
If you would like to speak with us, send us an email or call 1 – 800 -9081980 or + 44 (0)2476016158. We would be happy to hear from you and help you planning your next adventure with Caspin Journeys.