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Province of Taranto

Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Puglia  /  Province of Taranto
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base.It is the third-largest continental city of Southern Italy: according to 2011 population census, it has a population of 200,154.Taranto is an important commercial and military port. It has well-developed steel and iron foundries, oil refineries, chemical works, some shipyards for building warships, and food-processing factories.In ancient times around 500 BC the city was one of the largest in the world with population estimates up to 300,000 people.OverviewTaranto's pre-history dates back to 706 BC when it was founded as a Greek colony, established by the Spartans. The ancient city was situated on a peninsula; the modern city has been built over the ancient Greek city of which only a few ruins remain, including part of the city wall, two temple columns dating to the 6th century BC, and tombs.The islets of S. Pietro and S. Paolo (St. Peter and St. Paul), collectively known as Cheradi Islands, protect the bay, called Mar Grande (Big Sea), where the commercial port is located. Another bay, called Mar Piccolo (Little Sea), is formed by the peninsula of the old city, and has flourishing fishing. Mar Piccolo is a military port with strategic importance.
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