Forte Stella may just be one of the many watchtowers built in Porto Ercole by the Spanish the 16th century, but it is, without a doubt, the most unique and beautiful. It's also the only one open to visitors.
The fort is really two forts, one embracing the other. As its name suggests, the inner fort is shaped like a six-pointed star with high walls and a sentry walk that protect a large open terrace below.
As if this protection wasn't enough, the outer fort also has tall walls, which were once circled by deep ditches. The front door was once guarded by a wooden drawbridge and is today crowned by an archway with two large crests.
Forte Stella is open all year round and both its interior and exterior can be explored by visitors.
The fort is one of my favourite things to visit in the entire Maremma. Not only is the interior incredible to behold, but the view from here will leave you speechless. I usually visit just as dusk is setting in and it's impossible not to get caught up in the romance of it all as you stand on the battlements looking out into the incredible countryside and out to sea.
During the summer months, the fort also hosts exhibits, lavish garden parties and other events. If you're not sure how to get to Forte Stella, pop into the tourist information centre in Porto Ercole and they'll give you directions.
Photo: Paolo Ramponi via Flickr.
Address: Loc. Forte Stella, Monte Argentario
Easter-Jun: weekends: 10:30am-12:30pm and 4pm-6pm
12-30 June: every day: 10:30am-12:30pm and 6pm-10pm
Sept: weekends: 10am-12pm and 4pm-6pm
Price: €2 for adults, €1 for kids
For more information: check out the official website