The old Cirio sardine factory that we wish to convert to a modern hotel and meeting place.


Cirio’s sardine factory in Porto Ercole has been inactive for almost 40 years. The abandoned and decadent old factory ruins destroy one of the best locations in this beautiful Tuscan village by the sea.

An idea was born to convert Cirio’s inactive sardine factory into something that Porto Ercole and Argentario can be proud of. Something that attracts tourists, create job opportunities and contributes to the development of the local community and the beautiful surroundings.

Qarlbo acquired the factory and the land around it in 2016. Thereafter, we have sketched and drawn on various proposals to create an attraction in the form of a resort hotel.

At the moment we do not have building permits for the construction of the hotel. But Qarlbo is patient and determined to get all the permits needed. We are convinced that an international hotel, open all year if possible, with high quality standard in the heart of Porto Ercole will benefit the whole village and area. The hotel will generate more people that visit the local restaurants, bars and shops. Our aim is to create job opportunities for the local people and community, not only within the hotel.

We have also acquired land in connection with the entry to Porto Ercole, taking into account the traffic logistics of the city today and beyond. Our goal is to establish an entry parking and shuttle service to the village with electric cars. 

The whole of Monte Argentario will benefit from this venture.

What, How & Why

The Hotel is a destination within a destination, built from the ruins of an old Italian fish factory in the iconic setting of Porto Ercole, located in the lush and genuine Mediterranean coast of Tuscany.

Through indigenous experiences and authentic culinary delights that tell the story of Tuscany, matched with an array of moments that stimulate and relax your body and mind: The Hotel experience will be memorable.

When you experience The Hotel, you awaken your body and mind and leave enriched with unexpected Tuscan surprises.

The Hotel will be known for its understated luxury and authentic Tuscan Experience. 

Our definition of understated luxury…

  • Our guests will experience a highly personalized level of service, however always with a genuine, authentic discreet style.
  • We will welcome our guests as if they are at “home”, get to know their needs, passions and interests.
  • We will be able to anticipate the needs our guests may have and always try to offer an extra personal touch at every encounter.
  • Every encounter will be ”a moment of truth” where the values and style of The Hotel will come to life.
  • Understated luxury will also be defined by the elegant, discreet design of The Hotel and by the high- quality furniture and fittings: quality is embedded in every detail but without “showing off”.

The Hotel is nested in one of the most beautiful settings along the Tuscan coast: the iconic Monte Argentario.

During your stay in The Hotel you will discover this beautiful part of the country, one of the best Italian seaside locations, with its rocky coast and rich Mediterranean vegetation. Just beside the village you have Feniglia; one of the longest and untouched sand beaches in this part of Italy framed by crystal blue sea creating a canvas of colours like no others: from dark to turquoise to very light blue and bright green.

You can enjoy a private boat tour around the coast or to the beautiful islands nearby Monte Argentario, like Giannutri and Giglio; two real gems. Porto Ercole is also the perfect destination if your passions are walking, trekking or riding bikes. You can find mountains for trekking with marked paths and bike circuits with most of the Monte Argentario connected by bicycle lanes.  

The two cities composing Monte Argentario are Porto Ercole, where The Hotel is located, and Porto Santo Stefano – few minutes away – two very authentic Italian “Borghi” full of history and characterized by the Spanish fortresses that dominates the two cities.

Monte Argentario is situated in the southwest part of Tuscany, in the region called “Maremma”. Close by you can visit Capalbio, with its Tarots Garden – an absolute must-see – Orbetello the medieval Etruscan town on the lagoon – a very unique setting – Pitigliano the town of tuff rocks and Saturnia, world famous for its thermal waters.

Porto Ercole is very close to some of the most important Italian landmark cities: Rome (just one hour and 15 minutes away by car), Florence, Siena and Pisa. 

Staying in The Hotel means that you have the opportunity to experience a unique holiday surrounded by nature, history, authentic Italian food, wine and traditions. 



Porto Ercole and Caravaggio

Porto Ercole is situated on the promontory of Monte Argentario in the southwest of Tuscany, an area with a long and rich history: cradle of the Italian language and the Rinascimento. Porto Ercole was first mentioned in 1296, when Margherita Aldobrandeschi, countess of Sovana, ordered the construction of a tower named Torre di Terra, the oldest core of the town. The village is mentioned again when Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, best known as Caravaggio, died on the beach of Feniglia in Porto Ercole on July 18, 1610. How and why he died there are many theories of: syphilis, poisoned by the oil colors he used, malaria to be downed by crusaders. But still, he is buried in the village. Caravaggio is considered to be one of the most important Baroque painters and his works are more or less priceless.


The Cirio company opened its first factory in Porto Ercole in 1926 where they preserved sardines and anchovies. In 1970 the factory was expanded into its current size. In 1984, the factory had to close and since then the building has been left untouched. Today the building has been abandoned for many years and is merely a reminder of times gone by.

It is at this location we would like to create The Hotel.



Our ambition when building The Hotel and later running it, is to make it as sustainable as possible and thus minimize harmful environmental consequences. We have chosen to work with leading experts in environmental and sustainable construction to ensure we are doing what is best for nature and the surrounding area when building. This means that the material will be environmentally manufactured and that we make smart choices in every situation.


We plan to produce most of the electricity needed by covering the roofs of the hotel with solar panels. At the same time, we try to minimize the consumption of electricity by using the most modern and efficient systems available on the market. This applies to lighting, AC and other technical installations. Our energy consumption to cool the hotel in the summer and to heat it in the winter is minimized by using the temperature difference from the sea.


During the summer, there may often be a shortage of fresh water. We will have two systems not to impair access of water to the village. First, we will have large water tanks where we collect rainwater that we can later use for watering plants and for the pool. Second, we are planning for a desalination plant to create drinking water directly from the sea to not waste the village’s water reserves.


We have bought an area just outside the village, just 1 km from the hotel. There we plan to build an entrance parking, both for hotel guests and for other visitors. If you do not want to walk to the hotel from there, we offer transfers with electric golf carts. We also plan to build storage and warehouses at this location so that transports of goods and garbage trucks do not have to go into the village.


An ambition we also have is to plant as many green plants as possible in our common areas. These will be irrigated with rainwater.