Porto Santo Stefano

Porto Santo Stefano (Italian: [ˈpɔrto ˈsanto ˈsteːfano]) is a seaport town on the west coast of Italy, in the municipality of Monte Argentario, in the Province of Grosseto, Tuscany. It is the municipal seat of Monte Argentario[2] and one of the two major towns that form the township, along with Porto Ercole. The region is on the slopes of Mount Argentario, which dominates the whole area. Porto Santo Stefano is 150 kilometres (95 miles) northwest of Rome.

Porto Santo Stefano
P.S.Stefano panorama.jpg
Porto Santo Stefano is located in Italy
Porto Santo Stefano
Porto Santo Stefano
Location of Porto Santo Stefano in Italy
Coordinates: 42°26′7″N 11°7′3″E / 42.43528°N 11.11750°E / 42.43528; 11.11750Coordinates: 42°26′7″N 11°7′3″E / 42.43528°N 11.11750°E / 42.43528; 11.11750
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
ProvinceGrosseto (GR)
ComuneMonte Argentario
5 m (16 ft)
 • Total8,810
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0564
Old harbour
Street in the historic center



The resort is located on the northwestern promontory of Monte Argentario, a little more than 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of Grosseto, about 10 km (6.2 mi) southwest of Orbetello and about 12 km (7.5 mi) from Porto Ercole.


The town is divided into four historical districts, each with its own coat of arms (gonfalone) banner:[3]

  • Croce (Cross), whose nobles are called crociaioli, its coat of arms depicts a gray seagull on a red background, above the red cross of Saint Andrew on a white background.
  • Fortezza (Fortress), whose nobles are called fortezzaioli; its coat of arms depicts a Spanish fortress in gold on a red background on the left side, and a golden horse to the right on an amaranth background.
  • Pilarella, whose nobles are called pilarellai; its coat of arms depicts a golden vase in a red background on the left, and a light gray dolphin to the right on a blue background.
  • Valle (Valley), whose nobles are called vallaioli; its coat of arms depicts an axe and the lighthouse.


Because of the increased exposure to pirate raids, the center had low priority during the rule of Aldobrandeschi and of the Republic of Siena, but with its entry into the State of Presidi in the mid-16th century, the town became a center of great importance in Argentario. It was during this the construction of the Spanish Fort began, a powerful defensive structure that now hosts a permanent exhibition "Submerged Memories". Like all other centers in the area, Porto Santo Stefano joined the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in the first half of the 19th century.

Besides the fortress, the territory still plays host to two Spanish lookout towers; Lividonia and dell'Argentiera, the latter situated on the slopes of Mount Argentario which dominates the whole Santo Stefano area.[4][5]

Annual eventsEdit

Notable events in the town include the Palio Marinaro, an annual 4,000-metre (2.5-mile) rowing regatta – a boat is called a "gozzo" (plural "gozzi") – which is held every August between the four districts.[6] The prize was started in 1937, but discontinued from 1940 to 1944 because of World War II. The list of victories are:[7] 23 victories for the Pilarella district, 19 for the Cross district, 16 for the Valley and 13 for the Fortress district.

Transportation and infrastructureEdit

Porto Santo Stefano was once connected by rail to Orbetello via a small rail line, closed in 1944.[8][9] The town has two port harbors: Porto Vecchio and Porto del Valle.

Porto Santo Stefano has regular ferry service to the Isola del Giglio (Giglio Island). After the capsizing of the cruise ship Costa Concordia on 13 January 2012, many of the ship's passengers and crew were evacuated to the mainland on these ferries.[10]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Population on town website.
  2. ^ (in Italian) Municipal information on Monte Argentario official website
  3. ^ http://www.palioargentario.it/storia.htm
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-10. Retrieved 2014-05-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ http://www.comunemonteargentario.gov.it/territorio/la-storia.html
  6. ^ (in Italian) Official website of the Palio Marinaro Archived 2012-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ http://www.palioargentario.it/albodoro.htm
  8. ^ (in Italian) Infos at ferrovieabbandonate.it
  9. ^ it:Ferrovia Orbetello-Porto Santo Stefano
  10. ^ Protezione Civile
  • Mazzola, Aldo (1997). Guida della Maremma. Percorsi tra arte e natura. Florence: Le Lettere.
  • Guerrini, Giuseppe (1999). Torri e Castelli della provincia di Grosseto. Siena: Nuova Immagine Editrice.
  • Baldacci, Valentino (2000). I luoghi della fede. Itinerari nella Toscana del Giubileo. Florence: Mondadori.

External linksEdit