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Looking across to the old town
As with Porto Santo Stefano, Porto Ercole has long been a popular holiday destination for Italians. The harbour and its associated seafront become the centre of the hustle and bustle in the summer and Porto Ercole certainly lives up to its reputation of being associated with pleasure and good food. The little harbour is packed with pleasure craft in the summer months which has led to the construction of a large, new purpose built marina at Cala Galera, less than a mile away. This marina is fully equipped for big boats and has bars, restaurants and shops along the edge.
The harbour - Photo: www.understandingitaly.com
Typical street in the old town
Forte Stella is one of many watchtowers built by the Spanish and gets its name from the fact that it is built in the shape of star. It is quite unique and the views out to sea from here are staggering.
Forte Stella - Photo: Matteo Vinattieri
Forte Santa Caterina is now privately owned and not as well preserved as the others.
Rocca Aldobrandesca is a large fort of a complex and irregular structure and is very well preserved.
As well as the forts the other buildings to visit in the town are the Chiesa di Sant'Erasmo (patron saint of sailors) and the Palazzo dei Governanti with its elegant and intricate facade.
In the hills, just outside Porto Ercole, is the convent of Padre Passionisti. It was founded in 1721 by Paolo Danei della Croce when he stopped at Porto Ercole and was so obsessed with the beauty and tranquility of the area that he decided to establish a hermitage there. They stayed there until 1737 when their numbers became so large they outgrew the available space founder built a convent in its place.
The Convent of Padre Passionisti
City of Monte Argentario
Population density: 214.6 per square km
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