The Monte Argentario Peninsula is located in the province of Grosseto about 150 km south of Florence. It was once an island, but the sea currents and the Albegna river have now joined it to the mainland through two stretches of land called “tomboli”. The area now boasts a truly unique setting with two lagoons and magnificent views over the Tuscan coast and archipelago.
The two main villages on Monte Argentario are Porto Santo Stefano, facing north, and Porto Ercole facing south.
The promontory, already inhabited by the Etruscans, was a personal property of the Domitii Aenobarbi family, who obtained it in return for the money they lent to the Roman Republic in the Punic Wars. The current name probably stems from this origin, since Arganterii was the name of money lenders in ancient Rome. Later, this unique stretch of land was possessed by the Aldobrandeschi and Orsini families and by King Ladislas of Napels until it was acquired by Spain in the late 16th century.
The Spaniards heavily fortified the two ports, as the main stronghold of the State of Presidi. In 1815 the Argentario was handed over to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, to which it remained until 1860, when it became part of the newly united Kingdom of Italy. During World War II, the settlements of Argentario were heavily bombed, with numerous losses. The port of Santo Stefano was destroyed, and was rebuilt only in the 1950s.