Overlooking the Ionian Sea, the Province of Taranto has about 600,000 inhabitants. The main city is Taranto, the second largest Apulian city after Bari. It is called the city of the two seas, because it lies between the Mar Grande and Mar Piccolo, inside the homonymous Gulf.
Taranto is well known for its industrial and commercial port, and for its largest European steelworks.
The beaches facing the Ionian Sea are generally sandy. In particular, those closest to Basilicata are characterized by soft sand bank, like the beautiful beach of Marina di Ginosa. The beaches south of Taranto are equally appreciated. These include the beaches of San Pietro in Bevagna and Vecchia Salina of Torre Colimena latter part of the Regional Marine Reserve.
What to see in Taranto
The old city of Taranto is on an artificial island, obtained by creating a fairway instead of the mainland as an additional protection against the assaults of the Turks in 1400. In this area lies the beautiful castle of Taranto, also called Aragonese Castle.
If you like cinema, we suggest you to visit to the Museum Rodolfo Valentino, set up in honour of the actor in the town of Castellaneta. Apart from the city of Taranto, it's definitely worth to visit Manduria and the numerous historical founds in its Archaeological Park.
The gorge surrounding Castellaneta is one of the largest of the region. The town became famous for being the birthplace of the famous silent film star Rudolph Valentino. You can visit the museum dedicated to him, opened in 1895. About 10 Km south is the town of Palagiello, dominated by an eighteenth century castle at whose foots are the homonymus gorge. Inside are the church-crypts of St. Nicola and St. Domenico and the crypt of the hermits.
Photo Credits: jerik0ne, bizz0k0
Manduria probably resembles more to a Baroque center of Salento than to a city near Taranto. Inside you will find the Archaeological Park of the Walls Messapiche, which represents the oldest documented archaeological settlement in the Province of Taranto.