in ancient times, one of the most rich and important centres
of Greater Greece, was constructed on the extreme eastern
side of the Istmo, which was joined to the Peninsula Salentina
continent, on the coastal road called the Mare Grande (Big
Sea) and an ample lagoon called Mare Piccolo (Small Sea) (it
is for this reason that Taranto is noted as “the City
with Two Seas”).
Taranto is composed of three distinct parts: the Borgo (suburbs),
on the mainland, which is the commercial and industrial nucleus,
with the Railway station, the mercantile port and the new
mercantile port and the fruit market; the Old City in the
centre, on an island between two canals, where once upon a
time there was an old acropolis, characterized by tortuous,
narrow roads on which sit the oldest monuments of the City;
and finally, beyond the revolving, iron bridge (Navigable
Canal), the New City, with rectilinear, orthogonal roads which
include the administrative and residential centres.
Taranto is native land to the musician Paisiello and probably
also to Livio Andronico.
Taranto, with the same name as the homonymous hero, began
its life around 700 BC; a work of Spartan colonies, the Parteni.
The geographic position adapted to defence and to commerce,
with a sea abundant with fish, rich in shells which produce
the colour purple and a fertile countryside, offered the permission
for its development. The City’s prosperity, including
its cultural, reached its peak with the philosopher Archita.
It was constantly threatened by the population of the inland,
and to defend itself, Taranto adhered to the Italiota League.