Framed by the glistening Ioanian, this ancient city dates back
to the eighth century BCE. Taranto pairs its historic old town with
an impressive modern centre and a bustling industrial hub. Spend
mornings here sipping espressos in the Borgo Nuovo and strolling
around the sprawling fish market, and afternoons lazing on
Taranto’s sandy beaches.
The city’s major drawing point, however, is the old quarter.
Cross the Ponte di Porta Napoli to reach the old town, where
crumbling ruins and centuries-old buildings provide a sharp
contrast to the grid-like layout of the modern districts.
At its gateway stands the Castello Aragonese, a fortress
designed to defend the bridge and house prisoners. While the castle
itself dates from the 15th century, fortifications have been on the
site since the fourth century BCE when Greeks occupied the
Nearby in the Piazza Castello lie the crumbling remains of the
sixth-century BCE Temple of Poseidon, while the romanesque Taranto
Cathedral houses delicate marble statues and intricate
A trip to the Museo Nazionale Archeologico di Taranto is a must see.
Located down a side street in the bustling city centre, the museum
contains some of Italy’s most important objects and artefacts such
as the world’s largest collection of Greek terracotta figures in
the world, collections of ancient glassware and Magna Graecia-era
Who to take with you
Someone happy to spend hours getting lost in the old town’s
cobbled alleys – but also keen to explore the Borgo Nuovo’s lively
bar scene come evening.
When to go
Italy’s Apuglian region can reach unbearable temperatures during
summer months, so come in September when the heat starts
to ease up.
Where to stay
Arched stone ceilings, original 19th-century frescoes and views
of the sea make boutique hotel L’Arcangelo the
perfect base for a stay in the historic city.
Most likely to bump into…
Archaeologists brushing up on ancient Roman and Greek
Essentials to bring with you
Throw on this Rixo Denise floral-print silk midi
dress for a get-up-and-go outfit that’ll keep you cool as you
amble through Taranto’s warm streets.
How to get there
Fly into Brindisi airport, where you can drive to Taranto in
under one hour.