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The silver coast

Surely one of the most beautiful coasts of Italy, the Silver Coast is a promontory of the province of Grosseto, surrounded by the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Lagoon of Orbetello. Administered by the Municipality of Monte Argentario is located along the east coast of Tuscany ‘s Island of Giglio and north of Giannutri. The highest point reaches 635 meters s.l.m. on the summit of Mount Telegraph. 

The Monte Argentario was originally an island, which over the centuries was reconnected to the nearby mainland, before throught Tombolo della Feniglia (action of marine currents ) and then Tombolo di Giannella (material accumulation from the nearby river Albegna). Once connected to the mainland by two strips of sand, the inner part of the promontory between them formed the lagoon of Orbetello, starting the process that led to the transformation of the Argentario from island to promontory. 

The territory of the promontory is almost completely hilly and at times, softened only by the work of the man who created the terraces where the vine is cultivated predominantly (Ansonica Argentario coast) as well as the olive. The only flat area, which is very limited, is located in the eastern part of the promontory, Terrarossa area, near the point of arrival the nineteenth century artificial dam, on which was built during the last century the way for the Orbetello instead of the disused railway Orbetello-Porto Santo Stefano. The two towns located on Monte Argentario are Porto Santo Stefano (north-west) and Porto Ercole (south-east), both with very ancient origins. 

portosantostefano

The hinterland of Argentario comes completely hilly, with slopes that tend to rise more slowly in the north-east of the promontory, starting from the small flat area of Terrarossa. Some of these hills at Terrarossa were exploited in the past for the extraction of pyrite, which is derived the name of that village. The mines were served by freight trains that stop at the station Terrarossa, situated along the disused railway Orbetello-Porto Santo Stefano, which created a link between the Port and the lagoon city, when absorbed into the Tyrrhenian railway.

The existence of these mines is also demonstrated by the presence of towers, visible from the Tombolo della Feniglia and the Laguna di Levante. While on the north-east the slopes tend to rise more gradually, there are steep cliffs along some stretches of coast, which are very strong at the point of Capo d’Uomo (west coast), along different stretches of the coastal stretch south-west and the area overlooking Punta Avvoltore along the south-east, where there are steep walls and dolomite, which in the past have caused some landslides. 

Punta Avvoltore immediate hinterland reaches 635 meters above sea level of the top mountain called Punta Telegraph, the highest peak of the entire cape, reached by climbing more gently from the north-east, after passing the religious complex of the Convent of the Presentation in the Temple and the Church and Novitiate of St. Joseph. The ridge that includes the highest peak is easily recognizable even from distance because of the presence of numerous television and radio repeaters, on the summit of Mount Telegraph is also the meteorological station of Monte Argentario, officially recognized by the World Meteorological Organization, which belongs to service Meteorological Air Force.

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