Argentario, A Landscape of Inspiration

It may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but to me one of the most productive things I can do for myself is to not do anything. Yes, like I said, it’s not a popular concept for the work-centric of us. But the truth of it all is simply this – giving yourself a break is what makes you more productive. One landscape I am always able to relax and take back that sense of self is on Monte Argentario.

Argentario is a spectacular piece of earth, a land mass floating slightly off the coast of Tuscany. Filled with all kinds of magic, Etruscan roots and a one-time social haven, this storied island becomes a hub of summer tourism in July and August. But my time there is always in the off-season, when the beauty of the place feels more personal. Its effortless combination of civilized and curated comforts against the untamed and craggy natural elements create a harmonious pairing.

It’s also home to the world-famous luxury hotel Il Pellicano, but for my time off I prefer the true unwinding of the lesser-traveled countryside. Waking up to the sound of soft waves, and, as you open the window, seeing the glimmering sea. A step across the winding road to the beach – honestly this is my idea of true luxury.

It is here the terracotta-colored villas are wedged into the slopes of the rocky island, with the always familiar umbrella pines of Italy. Pink, magenta and white flowers bloom along with roads. Inspiration is found in an afternoon iced coffee or fresh coconut on either the Gianella beach facing the sunset; or the Feniglia sands with the sun illuminating the Ansedonia shoreline across the water. Dinner in Porto Ercole – the spot made famous by Caravaggio’s last days on its banks – and a late summer night stroll round out the tranquility. It is here my mind can find a sense of wonder and peace that is lost in the hustle of every day.

Argentario is the reminder of the truth we all need to hear sometimes – a little beauty is a necessary thank you to yourself for all your hard work. So, thank you, Italy, for this gorgeous piece of paradise – one of your many beautiful places that each explorer would claim as her own discovery.