Ditch the motorino on Rome’s congested streets and head two hours north to Maremma, which stretches along the Tyrrhenian Sea from Lazio to Tuscany. Your destination: Monte Argentario, the Italian peninsula where sunflowers salute the sun, hay tumbles through medieval landscapes, and nature lovers converge with yacht owners for country strolls and a relaxed beach scene.
Chic farm estate and vineyard Antica Fattoria La Parrina has a Laura Ashley-meets-Gucci feeling. It’s the sort of place where a walk through the olive trees and nearby natural reserve ends with a visit to the winery to taste top-rated Tuscan reds Parrina Red Muraccio and Parrina Rosso Riserva.
To rest your head closer to the sea, head to Don Pedro overlooking Porto Ercole on Monte Argentario. The rooms are basic, but you can reserve ocean views for affordable rates between 140 and 190 euros — even in summertime.
Once home to a thriving Etrurian community, Maremma holds the remains of ancient cities. Get in touch with Etruscan spirits in Cosa, the ancient ghost town with towering views atop Ansedonia, the hill that rich Romans call home in summertime. You can just wander the ruins or pop into Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cosa on Via Rosmarino (+39-0564-881-1421; no URL).
Back downhill, stroll from Ansedonia to Monte Argentario along the busting beach of La Feniglia and head to Da Braccio for octopus salad and spaghetti alle vongole. Lunch in your bikini — does it get any better? Burn your meal off with a brisk walk through Feniglia Natural Reserve in the WWF Protected Oasis of Orbetello, where deer stroll blithely along the four-mile bike trail.
Escape the yacht scene (really, Enzo, you do go on) and trade your Fiat for a dingy. The ferry at Porto Santo Stefano transports you to Isola del Giglio, where the vibe is less Capri chic and more famiglia friendly and the waters are among the most breathtaking in Italy. Pack a picnic and bask under the Tuscan sun.
Known throughout Italy for its thermal waters and healing sulfur baths, hotel and spa Terme di Saturnia has nonintimidating day rates and treatments like the detox raindrop massage and an antiaging facial that uses real gold to turn your glow up to mega.
Learn this phrase: pappardelle al cinghiale. Maremma is famous for its wild boar, and that will be the menu del giorno more often than not. There’s no shortage of hilltop medieval towns with great trattorie a short drive away, but our favorites are Da Maria in Capalbio and Trattoria Antica Aurora in Magliano (12/14, Via Chiasso Lavagnini; +39-564-592030).
Watch the rich and famous board their yachts over several baretti, an enchanting mix of cream of peach, lime juice, and vodka at Il Baretto in Porto Ercole (54, Via Andrea Doria; +39-0564-832654). Go for sunset and stay into the wee hours.
Stuck at your desk when you’d rather be zooming up the Italian coastline in a convertible. Join the club. Take a virtual trip instead with our photo gallery.
Photos: riccardo08 / Flickr; Courtesy of Hotel Don Pedro; Marco Cadena / Flickr