Porto Santo Stefano is a storied seaport town that’s divided into four historical districts that have seen numerous pirate raids throughout the years. Along with an annual rowing regatta, Porto Santo Stefano offers access to an ancient fortress, sprawling lagoon and fascinating aquarium.
Things to do in Porto Santo Stefano
The historic Fortezza Spagnola showcases a time when Porto Santo Stefano needed to protect itself from pirate attacks. It’s a Spanish fortress that houses engaging exhibits in its on-site museum, including cargo from shipwrecks, old tools and model boats of traditional fishermen, and tableware dating between 140 and 130 BC.
Adults and kids alike will enjoy discovering the Mediterranean Sea’s vibrant marine life at the Argentario Aquarium, which houses a variety of tropical fish and an extensive shell collection. It’s located at the port, just a short walk from a range of gelato eateries and a popular waterfront pizza restaurant called Trattoria Lo Sfizio.
You’ll find a wealth of restaurants in the centre of Porto Santo Stefano, including Ristorante Il Cavallino with its authentic Italian fare and Ristorante La Bussola’s late-night eats and sumptuous wine. Take some time between meals to browse Italian retailers at the Surgelati Sotto Zero shopping mall.
Nature lovers can take a day trip to the Lagoon of Orbetello, a sprawling lake with pink flamingos and verdant wetlands. You can also chill out in WWF Oasi di Orbetello, a peaceful park with walking trails, horses and picnic spots overlooking the lagoon. If you need a beach day, venture out to Playa del Can to swim in the calm Tyrrhenian Sea water and sunbathe on the sand.
Getting around Porto Santo Stefano
Porto Santo Stefano is about 50 minutes’ drive from Grosseto Airport, connected via a combination of trains and buses. You can easily explore Porto Santo Stefano using buses and taxis or by walking, but you’ll need a vehicle to access the surrounding region.