Porto Ercole

Porto Ercole
PORTO ERCOLE is more intimate than Santo Stefano, with an attractive old quarter and a fishing-village atmosphere. Though founded by the Romans, its chief historical monuments are two Spanish fortresses facing each other on opposing sides of the

harbour, and a third one above the new town. At the entrance to the old town, a plaque on the stone gate commemorates the painter Caravaggio, who in 1610 keeled over with sunstroke on a beach nearby (taken to a local tavern, he soon died of a fever, and was buried in the parish church of Sant’Erasmo). A couple of good walks suggest themselves from the village, the most obvious being along the Tombolo di Feniglia. The other is to the top of 11 Telegrafo, acces-sible either by road and track from the ridge that runs up from the lighthouse to the south, or on a rough road that leaves the port to the north and then runs west under the main ridge. The way is fairly open, and superb views make the haul worthwhile. Reasonably priced hotels in Porto Ercole are limited to the one-star Conchiglia in Via della Marina (•0564.833.134;), and the Albergo-Gelateria Stella Marina in Lungomare A. Doria (•0564.833.055, fax 0564.836.057; 0). For information about rooms, ask in Bar Central& on the main road opposite the bus stop. The nearest campsite is on the Tombolo di Feniglia (see p.285). For a meal, try the excellent La Lampara, Lungomare  which serves Neapolitan specialities, pizza included.