With a stunning location on the Ionian Sea, Taranto has a long and fascinating history thanks to its strategic Mediterranean position. Home to both a naval and a fishing port, the city boasts two bays which give it its colloquial name “city of two seas.”
Attractions in Taranto
The Cathedral Di San Cataldo
In old Taranto’s heart, the ancient cathedral was build in the 11th century. It is still home to the relics of Saint Cataldo, the patron saint of the city. Its baroque facade and mosaic floors make this place of worship well worth a visit, while its San Cataldo chapel, in which the relics of the saint are preserved, feature an impressive array of 18th century frescoes.
The Aragonese Castle
Constructed by Ferdinand, King of Aragon (and father to Henry VIII’s first wife, Katherine of Aragon), Taranto’s Aragonese Castle is one of the most famous monuments that the city has to offer. Built in the 1400s, it was a prison in the 1700s before being passed onto the Italian Navy. Now, it’s a top tourist attraction and attracts visitors from around the world.
Taranto’s Spartan Museum
The region known today as Taranto was once home to a colony of Spartans and some of their history remains today, with artefacts that can be discovered at the city’s Spartan Museum. All the exhibits and rooms are found underground in ancient chambers constructed by skilled Spartan crafstmen thousands of years ago. At the museum you can find out more about the Spartans’ history inthe region and find interesting artefacts as well as recreated armor.