Taranto, Italy

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Taranto, Italy

Region: Taranto

Geographic Coordinates: 40.471100, 17.243100
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 30.0°C (50°F to 86°F)
Climate: Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.
Population: 198283
Language: Italian

Taranto is a historic city located in the Apulia region of southern Italy. It is situated on a peninsula that extends into the Gulf of Taranto, Which opens up to the Ionian Sea. The city has been inhabited since ancient times and has played an important role in Mediterranean history. One of the most significant landmarks in Taranto is the Aragonese Castle, Which dates back to the 15th century. This impressive fortress was built by King Ferdinand I of Aragon and served as a military stronghold for centuries. Today, It houses a museum that showcases artifacts from Taranto’s rich past.

Another must-see attraction in Taranto is the National Archaeological Museum, Which houses one of Italy’s most extensive collections of ancient Greek artifacts. The museum features exhibits on everything from pottery and jewelry to sculptures and mosaics. For those interested in exploring Taranto’s religious heritage, There are several noteworthy churches worth visiting. The Cathedral of San Cataldo is an impressive example of Romanesque architecture and features beautiful frescoes dating back to the 12th century. Meanwhile, The Church of San Domenico boasts stunning Baroque architecture and houses several notable works by local artists.

In addition to its cultural attractions, Taranto also offers visitors plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. The city’s beaches are some of Italy’s best-kept secrets – with crystal-clear waters and soft sand – while nearby nature reserves provide ample hiking trails through scenic landscapes. no trip to Taranto would be complete without sampling some local cuisine! The region is known for its fresh seafood dishes such as octopus stew (polpo alla tarantina) or swordfish fillets (pesce spada alla tarantina).

Visitors can also indulge in traditional pasta dishes like orecchiette con le cime di rapa (pasta with turnip greens) or fave e cicoria (fava bean puree with chicory). Overall, Taranto is a fascinating destination that offers visitors a unique blend of history, Culture, And natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins or simply soaking up the sun on the beach, This charming city has something for everyone.

Important Landmarks

  1. Taranto Old Town: The historic center of Taranto is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, with its narrow streets, ancient churches, and traditional buildings.
  2. Castello Aragonese: This impressive castle was built in the 15th century and overlooks the Gulf of Taranto. It is now a museum that tells the history of Taranto.
  3. Ponte Girevole: This rotating bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Taranto and connects the old town to the modern part of the city.
  4. National Museum of Archaeology: This museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts from ancient Greece and Rome, as well as from prehistoric times.
  5. San Pietro Church: This beautiful Baroque church dates back to the 17th century and features stunning frescoes by local artists.
  6. Cathedral Basilica San Cataldo: This cathedral is dedicated to Saint Cataldus, who was once bishop of Taranto. It features a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architectural styles.
  7. Piazza Fontana Grande: This large square in central Taranto is surrounded by historic buildings and has several cafes where visitors can relax and enjoy a coffee or gelato.
  8. Parco Archeologico di Saturo: Located just outside Taranto, this archaeological park features ruins from an ancient Greek settlement that dates back over 2,500 years ago.
  9. Tarantismo Museum: A museum dedicated to tarantism which was once considered a form or hysteria caused by being bitten by a tarantula spider.
  10. Torre dell’Orologio: A clock tower located in Piazza Maria Immacolata which provides views over both new town & old town areas.

Primary Industries

  1. Taranto, Italy is known for its steel industry.
  2. The Ilva steel plant is one of the largest employers in the area.
  3. Other major industries include shipbuilding and repair, petrochemicals, and agriculture, especially olive oil production.
  4. The city also has a growing tourism sector due to its historic sites and proximity to popular beach destinations.

Noteable History

  1. Taranto was founded by ancient Greeks in the 8th century BC and became an important center of Magna Graecia.
  2. During World War II, the British Royal Navy launched a surprise attack on the Italian fleet anchored at Taranto, crippling half of Italy’s naval strength.
  3. Archimedes, a famous Greek mathematician and inventor, spent some time in Taranto during his life.
  4. Hannibal Barca, a Carthaginian general, passed through Taranto during his march through Italy in the Second Punic War.
  5. In 1064, Robert Guiscard led a Norman conquest of southern Italy that included taking control of Taranto.
  6. Artists such as Andrea della Robbia and Francesco da Sangallo worked on various Renaissance projects in Taranto.
  7. Giuseppe Garibaldi visited Taranto in 1860 as part of his campaign to unify Italy under one government.
  8. In the late 19th century, industrialization transformed Taranto into a major steel-producing center for Italy.
  9. A devastating earthquake struck southern Italy in 1980 causing significant damage to buildings and infrastructure in Taranto and nearby cities.
  10. Antonio De Curtis (Totò), one of Italy’s most famous actors and comedians was born in Naples but spent much of his childhood living with relatives in Taranto before becoming famous across Europe.

Museums and Things To See

  1. National Archaeological Museum of Taranto
  2. Castello Aragonese
  3. Cathedral of San Cataldo
  4. Ponte Girevole (Swing Bridge)
  5. Palazzo Pantaleo
  6. Museo Spartano di Taranto (Spartan Museum)
  7. Palazzo del Governo
  8. Chiesa di San Domenico Maggiore
  9. Piazza Fontana
  10. Teatro Orfeo

Sports Teams

  1. Taranto Football Club 1927 – This football club was founded in 1927 and has a long history of playing in various Italian leagues. They have had some success over the years, including winning the Serie C1 championship in 2002.
  2. Pallacanestro Basket Club Taranto – This basketball team was founded in 1974 and has played in various Italian leagues over the years. They have had some success, including winning the Legadue championship in 2008.
  3. Rugby Taranto – This rugby team was founded in 1966 and plays in the Italian Serie C league. They have had some success over the years, including winning several regional championships.
  4. Nuoto Club Taranto – This swimming club was founded in 1959 and has produced several notable swimmers who have competed at national and international levels.
  5. Circolo Tennis Taranto – This tennis club was founded in 1930 and has hosted several important tournaments over the years, including ITF events and national championships.

Overall, sports are an important part of life for many people living in Taranto with a range of teams representing different disciplines at both amateur and professional levels.

Cultural Events

  1. The Taranto International Film Festival is an annual event that showcases international films in Taranto.
  2. The Festa di San Cataldo is a religious festival held in May to honor the patron saint of Taranto, San Cataldo.
  3. Notte della Taranta is a music and dance festival held in August that celebrates the traditional folk music of Salento.
  4. The Carnevale di Taranto is a carnival celebration held in February with parades, costumes, and street performances.
  5. The Festa di Sant’Antonio Abate is a religious festival held in January to honor Saint Anthony the Abbot with processions and traditional food.
  6. The Fiera del Levante is an annual trade fair held every September featuring exhibitions, conferences, and cultural events.
  7. Il Borgo dei Librai e dell’Editoria Indipendente is an independent book fair featuring local authors and publishers.
  8. The Estate Jonica Festival takes place throughout July and August along the coast of Jonica area including Taranto with concerts, theater performances, art exhibitions, and more.


  • Osteria Al Duomo – a cozy restaurant serving traditional Apulian dishes such as orecchiette pasta with turnip greens and grilled octopus.
  • Ristorante La Perla Nera – a seafood restaurant located on the waterfront with stunning views of the sea. They are known for their fresh fish dishes.
  • Trattoria da Gianni – a family-run trattoria that serves homemade pasta dishes, meatballs, and other classic Italian cuisine.
  • Antichi Sapori di Puglia – a rustic restaurant that specializes in regional cuisine such as burrata cheese, taralli biscuits, and friselle bread.
  • Il Caminetto – a pizzeria that offers wood-fired pizzas with creative toppings such as truffle oil and prosciutto di Parma.
  • Il Cortiletto – a charming courtyard restaurant that serves traditional Apulian dishes like fava bean puree and grilled lamb chops.
  • La Vecchia Taverna del Borgo Antico – an elegant restaurant located in the historic center of Taranto serving refined seafood dishes like lobster risotto and swordfish carpaccio.
  • L’Angolo della Pizza e della Birra – a casual pizza place offering Neapolitan-style pies made with high-quality ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella cheese.
  • Caffè degli Specchi – an iconic café founded in 1861 serving coffee, pastries, sandwiches & light bites under ornate chandeliers & frescoes ceilings
  • Caffè Palazzo D’Auria – another iconic café founded in 1840 where you can enjoy coffee or cocktails while admiring historical artifacts from the city’s past

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Parco Archeologico di Saturo: This park features ancient ruins and a museum showcasing the history of Taranto.
    2. Parco Salinella: A beautiful park with picnic areas, playgrounds, and walking paths.
    3. Pista Ciclabile del Mare: A cycling path that runs along the seafront of Taranto.
    4. Parco delle Magnolie: A large park with gardens, a playground, and a pond.
    5. Lido Gandoli: A popular beach area for swimming and sunbathing.
    6. Piazza Maria Immacolata: A public square in the city center with fountains and benches for relaxing.
    7. Mercato Ortofrutticolo di Taranto: An outdoor market selling fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers.
    8. Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Taranto: This museum showcases artifacts from ancient Greek colonies in southern Italy.
    9. Teatro Comunale Giuseppe Verdi: The city’s main theater offering performances throughout the year.
    10. Castello Aragonese di Taranto: An impressive castle built in the 15th century overlooking the seafront of Taranto which is now used as an art gallery space for exhibitions, concerts or other cultural events throughout the year.


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