Where there’s adventure, there’s Panerai
Much like the way your two Sportech™ straps connect you to your Luminor Marina Carbotech 44mm, the ultimate sportsman’s watch, two ropes of sand connect the picture-perfect semi-island of Monte Argentario to the mainland.
Diving in this Tuscan oasis is a true feast for the senses—and its neighboring resorts, villages, and beach clubs prove equally beguiling. In Episode One of PAMCAST, we share the ultimate sophisticate’s guide to Argentario, replete with hotel, restaurant, and, of course, expedition recommendations.
THE ADVENTURE SEEKER
Diving in Argentario is rewarded by the many attractions hidden in the depths of the Italian sea, from the red coral of the coast to the vertiginous walls of Punta Del Fenaio at Giglio Island or the wrecks of Giannutri Island. Especially at Punta Secca, divers encounter barracudas, sunfishes and snappers. Discover the cracks and caves that are best for admiring stunning sponges and luscious lobsters.
After a full day of diving could anything be better than heading to Il Pellicano for a little dolce far niente? Built in 1965 by two lovers, a charismatic American socialite and dashing British aviator, the hotel is set in a pristine cove sheltered by rugged cliffs and abounds with romance and spontaneity.
Just few minutes away we find the seaside town Lerici, a jumble of pastel buildings that jockey for attention alongside beaches, crescent-shaped coves and rocky cliffs that melt into the sparkling sea.
Secluded between towering cliffs and the glittering beach club Eco del Mare is an environment embellished and inspired by nature, which is respected and preserved by use of alternative energy sources and rigorous recycling efforts. Taken together, the four towns of Lerici, San Terenzo, Fiascherino and Tellaro form the eastern edge of the Gulf of La Spezia, also known as the Golfo dei Poeti, the Poets’ Gulf.
Perched on the dreamy Poets’ Gulf western promontory lies Porto Venere. The historic fishing port's perimeter of seven- and eight-story harbor front houses form an almost impregnable citadel around the muscular Castello Doria.
Reserve a table for lunch at Locanda Lorena. This restaurant on the sparsely populated island of Palmaria has a large covered terrace where well-heeled locals gather at tables draped in white linens to dine on fritto misto, lobster-stuffed ravioli and overflowing platters of grilled fish and crustaceans.
Heading north, we enter in Cinque Terre, to be best experienced on hike. Along with the coastline and the five villages, Cinque Terre includes a national park of nearly 10,000 acres, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Don’t forget to add a little of adrenaline to your trip to the towns of Cinque Terre: Cliff jumping in Manarola is another local favorite.
A strenuous hike ought to culminate with rest and a reward, both of which can be procured at Nessun Dorma. This casual outdoor bar occupies a landscaped terrace on a promontory overlooking Manarola’s timeless vista.
Deep in the heart of the Cinque Terre park and set inside a medieval monument surrounded by wonderful terraces is Aurora Tower restaurant and cocktail bar, with a breathtaking view encompassing all of the gulf.
Proceeding along the coast you’ll reach Belmond Hotel Splendido, one of the most enchanting hotels in Portofino. Start the day with an invigorating soak in the sea at Paraggi Bay, an inlet on the road between Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino, and reserve your lunch at Langosteria Paraggi. The pieds-dansl’eau restaurant includes a beach bar and serves from the first coffee of the morning to dinner on the seafront.
In the heart of Portofino park lies a beautiful creek that can be reached only by sea, one of the essential dive spots in Italy. In the crystal-clear waters surrounding San Fruttuoso cove, about 15 meters below the surface, you can admire the poignant Christ of the Abyss bronze statue with his arms extended upward. He appears to beckon divers to him.