Taranto is a naval city with over 200,000 inhabitants, about 48 km from Villa Lavanda. The ancient city was located on an island connected by two bridges to the mainland, where the modern city eventually was built. The commercial and military port is located in the bay (Mar Grande), protected by the islands of San Pietro and San Paolo.
The other bay, Mar Piccolo, is formed by the old town and there is a thriving fishing harbour. Taranto is known for its delicious fresh mussels and fish. Mar Piccolo is a military port with strategic importance and the islands and the coast are heavily fortified.
Sites and attractions in Taranto
Along the promenade you will see breakwaters with mermaids and giant buildings, mainly from the period of Mussolini.
In the picturesque Città Vecchia lies the Roman fort Tarantum. In between the narrow streets of the historic center, you’ll find the cathedral S. Cataldo from the 11th century, with a Baroque façade from 1713. The Gothic crypt with low columns belongs to the oldest building phase, and contains Byzantine frescoes and early Christian sarcophagi. The island is situated on the borderline between the Mare Grande and the Mare Piccolo. In the Città Nuova is the famous Museo Nazionale, one of the largest and most diverse archaeological collections Italy owns.
Because of its long history, there are many historical sites. Besides the museum that we mentioned above, there is also a castle with four towers, built in the late fifteenth century and the ruins of a Greek temple from about 500 BC.
Furthermore, a marina, beautiful shops and of course you can enjoy fresh fish and mussels in the many local restaurants.
Now there’s a fantastic new possibility in Taranto:
Dolphin watching – Researcher for a Day
“From 2009 the Jonian Dolphin Conservation carries out scientific research and protection of cetaceans in the Ionian Sea. Starting this year, you will actively participate in climbing aboard the brand new catamaran research TARAS designed and built specifically to get involved in the protection and preservation of cetaceans in these waters for more than 4.000 age. Your, with researchers at the JDC will identify specimens photographing their dorsal fin (photo identification), listen and whistles and clicks will register the esempalri (vocalizations), gather data for environmental assessment of the waters of the Ionian Sea (oceanographic parameters) and you’ll be building boards whale watching. All these data will be transmitted and viewed sull’Obis-Seamap (Ocean Biogeographib Information System) and will continue to integrate our database. During all of these activities, the crew of the catamaran TARAS you will also taste local specialties.By participating in “On the route of TARAS”, and you will be immediately associated with accessing our website you can subscribe to the mailing list to keep informed on all our activities thanks to your contribution.The card with your ID number you will be given boarding.”
EXPLORE, with RESPECT for UNDERSTANDING. This is the motto, that like so much smaller, “The adults of tomorrow “.