Taranto

Taranto - Photo giulia heuser
Taranto Monumento al marinaio - Photo Leonardo Catozzella

Taranto is a very old and powerful city of the Magna Graecia era and was founded in 706 AC by Spartan colonies for the motivation and expansion of commerce. The Archita of Taranto was Livio Andronico, poet and tragedian and was well loved by some of the most important people of Latin literature such as Orazio, Virgilio, Properzio and Tibulio, who spent time in Taranto in search of inspiration for their work. The city developed around a small gulf called Mare Piccolo (small sea) enclosed by two peninsulas joined to the turning bridge on the Mar Grande, (big sea).  The castle of Aragon can be seen on a small island nearby. The city architecture gives testimony to the history and culture of some of the ancient places, amongst which are the remains of the Doric Temple, the Crypt of the Redemptor and the homes of the noble families like the Palazzo Pantaleo and Palazzo d’Ayala Valva. In Taranto there are numerous churches from Romanesque to Baroque like the Cathedral of Saint Cataldo, and Gothic such as the Church of Saint Dominic as well as  the architecture of the neoclassic churches. Other important realities of the cultural history is the National Museum of Archaeology where there is an exhibition of amongst other things, the biggest collection of jewellery made in the Magna Graecia’s era such as the Ori di Taranto (The gold of Taranto).