Taranto district guide







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Taranto district guide                                        (Back to Taranto main information page)  

Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, southern Italy, the most interior part of the Ionic gulf, at the north-west of the Salentine Peninsula.

known as an important military and commercial port second only to La Spezia (Liguria), it has a population of around 200 thousand inhabitants.

It is locates at an altitude of 15 metres above sea level, with a surface area of 217 km?, standing on an island and on two peninsular projections between the lagoon area of the Mar Piccolo and the small marine bay of the Mar Grande

Its economy has includes steel and iron foundries, oil refineries, chemical works, some shipyards for building warships, and food-processing factories.

The ancient city was situated on an island, joined by two bridges with the mainland, where the new city is built. Two islets, S. Pietro and S. Paolo, protect the bay (Mar grande), the commercial port, while the old city forms another bay (Mar piccolo), a military port.

The city has a large export trade and extensive works connected with the construction of warships, while the fishing industry, especially in the Mar piccolo, is flourishing.

To the visitor the Taranto retains the antique atmosphere of an historic city by the sea with few remains of the numerous Greek buildings that once stand, while in relation to the Roman Tarentum there is still the amphitheatre, the remains of the thermal baths and private houses with mosaics. There can be also found some medieval remains like the Cathedral, fully restored in Baroque times, the Gothic church of San Domenico Maggiore; and the Aragonese castle (1481).

Undoubtedly, Taranto is famous for its seafood since antiquity, the speciality being its shellfish and fleshy oysters.



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