The Spanish Fort, Port Santo Stefano
On its entry into the State of Presidi in the mid-16th century, Porto Santo Stefano became a centre of great importance in Argentario. It was during this the construction of the Spanish Fort began, a powerful defensive structure, seen in this photograph and situated at the highest point of the town. Hence my need to catch my breath after climbing innumerable stairs to reach the fort.
The Stato dei Presidi” (loosely in English, "The State of the Garrisons") was a client state of the Kingdom of Spain, situated in central Italy, which included the city of Porto Santo Stefano in what is now southern Tuscany.
The State of Presidi was created by King Philip II of Spain in 1557 out of territories once belonging to the Republic of Siena, after the latter had been annexed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany by Cosimo I de' Medici. The State of Presidi was governed directly by Spain, as part of the Kingdom of Naples. Hence the name, "The Spanish Fort".
Picture added on 24 June 2013 at 07:59