An locals insight to beautiful Taranto, Italy
Author: James Robertson | Last Updated: 29 Jun 2019
It is certainly no news that Italy offers the richest variety of holiday possibilities. A tourist can choose between art, folklore, and history for a cultural trip and, mountain, sea, and country, for a vacation in total relax, while practicing sport, excursions, or simply sunbathing at a beach… and there, too, one can still decide for an organized or a free and wild shore. Everywhere a traveller would choose to go, he will certainly have an endless array of choices. Who never heard before of Rome or Amalfi coast and Capri? However, Italy is not only determined by famous names and places: everywhere, in this incredible country, a sightseer can find unique wonders to experience and to place in his travel memories. In fact, there is a really remarkable city, which can offer all of the above experiences: Taranto, the Two-seas City.
It is located in Apulia, on the Ionian Gulf coast, in the so-called heel of Italy. It is one of the main cities of the Magna Graecia Period, home to the Italian Navy Arsenal and a large industrial, commercial, and military port. Moreover, Taranto is a strategically important center for the Italian secondary sector, as it is equipped with steel (the largest group in Europe), petrochemical, cementitious plants , and an immense industrial shipyards in the harbor area.
Best time of the year to visit Taranto
Depending on which period a tourist will be visiting this special city and, by the way, the two seas are called Mar Grande and Mar Piccolo, he will have slightly different experiences. The perfect period for being in this Italian area is from March till October; although in summer, the temperature rises above 30°C and, actually, it can reach even higher and, in some occasions, it even touched the 38°C. A good solution to withstand these hot temperatures, frequently offered by the touristic package, it is sightseeing during evening, if not night time. During the day, along the coast, the Salento beaches are worth a stop for a refreshing swim and spend a few hours in the sun, lying idly for sunbathing.
How to get there
Tourists can reach Taranto, landing at Brindisi airport and, from there, renting a car or taking a train to arrive in town. Also, travelling by train, the “Freccia Bianca”, starting from Bologna in the North of the country, is quite fast, easy, and comfortable. However, once in Taranto, we suggest to rent a car, anyway, for the kind of itineraries we are going next to suggest to you. For this incredibly interesting and beautiful visit, it would be worth employing at least 7 days to enjoy the experiences proposed.
Let your tour begin immediately in Taranto itself, where you can choose between two different itineraries or, simply, follow both or mix them accordingly to your personal interests. Out of any doubt, you can still ask for detailed information at : [email protected].
Taranto Itinerary #1
- The Archaeological Museum MarTà with the astonishing “Ori di Taranto”,
- a valuable collection of golden jewels of Magna Graecia Epoch;
- the mysterious and massive Aragonese Castle (1492) and Ponte Girevole (swing bridge) with a tour presented impeccably by Military Marine Officers;
- a complete historic downtown guided tour,
- visiting some minor museums and S. Cataldo Cathedral (XI Century) with its surprising Baroque-style “Cappellone”;
- concluding with a number of churches and historical convents and the peculiar underground tour of the town.
Taranto Itinerary #2
- The elegant Borgo Umbertino with some scattered hypogeum sites of pagan origins;
- the “Lungomare” seafront walk with palaces and architecture from the Fascist period;
- the spectacular Giò Ponti’s Concathedral Gran Madre di Dio (God’s Great Mother), one of the most important projects of the twentieth Century, by the famous Italian architect; the surprising naturalistic tour around the Mar Piccolo, discovering its short rivers and springs;
- the Cervaro river area,
- finding the church and convent of the Battendieri, built in 1597 and equipped with one “gualchiéra” (a circular tower with a few small windows and a staircase to access the upper part);
- the WWF Oasis “Palude La Vela” with guided walking or kayaking tours in the area;
- the marvelous medieval complex (1119) of S. Maria della Giustizia, located on the Taras river; concludes this second interesting itinerary of Taranto, the fascinating Archaeological Park of Saturo, located on a coastal promontory, between sea and sky.
Holy Week – Settimana Santa
Last special information that we would like to pass you is related to the events of the Holy Week, in Italian called “Settimana Santa”. Tarantini, the inhabitants of Taranto, celebrate Christ’s Passion with great importance and following this first procession, hooded individuals, called “Perdoni” (forgiveness seekers) walk bare feet and very slow, centimeter after centimeter, bringing Our Sorrowful Lady, from church to church, looking for her dead son Jesus. It is an extremely pathos-dense ceremony that goes on during the Holy Friday night. Indeed a folklore experience to don’t miss, especially, if a tourist is looking for an impacting religious moment.
So, come and enjoy the Apulian traditions, culture, food, and sea… Fall into the mysteries of this unique, southern Italian town… Taranto is welcoming you!
Categories: Travel Guides