Located in the Apulia region of Southern Italy, Taranto is a huge commercial and military port and is one of the most important cities in this area of Italy. Currently the city has a population of 200,000 and has several major economic industries including commercial shipping and trade, steel works, iron foundries and shipyards for military use. Taranto actually has a long and celebrated history and was colonized around 700 BC by the ancient Greeks as a Spartan Colony.
During this period, the city thrived and it had one of the largest populations of the era and you can still see some of the architectural remains today. As time progressed, the fortunes of Taranto frequently fluctuated and the city is now seeing a resurgence due to the shipping industries that are thriving here. Offering a fantastic range of ancient buildings and monuments and beautiful white sand beaches, Taranto is a beautiful and interesting tourist destination.
Here are the best things to do in Taranto:
1. Castello Aragonese
Undoubtedly one of the finest sights in Taranto, the Aragonese Castle stands in the south east corner of the island of Borgo Antico and can be seen when entering the bay surrounding the city.
Parts of the castle actually date back to the 900’s when the Byzantines rule this region of Italy.
The main walls and towers that stand today however were constructed in the late 1400’s by Ferdinand II of Aragon.
Enter the castle via the fantastic raised walkway and stroll across the battlements and towers to see out across to the sea and the Isle of Saint Peter in the distance.
Furthermore, the Chapel of St. Leonard which is located within the castle walls is quite magnificent and is a must see.
Guided tours are also available if you wish to learn more about the history of this wonderful structure.