As SailGP prepares to head to Taranto, southern Italy, for the Italy Sail Grand Prix, we take a look at five of the best reasons to visit the city that is hosting the second event of SailGP Season 2. for the second event of SailGP Season 2.
The City of Two Seas
One of the most well-known facts about Taranto is its location around two large bays, which lend the city the moniker of ‘The City of Two Seas’. The Mar Grande, the larger of the two bays, is the location of the commercial port, while the Mar Piccolo boasts a prosperous fishing fleet and is flanked by the old town.
The old town center, full of history and character, is best fully appreciated from the Mar Piccolo, while the Mar Grande offers excellent views across the Ionian Sea.
And a city of two distinct parts
Not only does Taranto boast the title ‘The City of Two Seas’, it is a city which also comprises two distinct parts on land. The old town – or centro storico – dates all the way back to 706 BC, when it was founded by Sparta as a Greek colony. Ancient ruins and historic architecture reveal glimpses of the old town’s past, and contrast sharply with the larger new city with its commercial zones and busier streets.
Amazing architecture and iconic landmarks
Taranto has an incredibly diverse history, being occupied at various points by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens and Normans, and all these cultures have blended into the Italian city which stands today. The architecture ranges from Greek ruins and the Aragonese Castle, to the Romanesque cathedral and imposing Palazzo del Governo, inaugurated by Mussolini in the 1930s.
If you fancy taking a trip outside the city, the Puglia region boasts a wealth of changing coastline as rocky shores alternate with sandy beaches on the outskirts of Taranto. With incredible views across the Ionian Sea, find your place to chill out and swim in the beautiful waters that will play host to the Italy Sail Grand Prix and our cutting-edge F50s at the start of June.
The dolphin is the symbol of Taranto, and features upon the city’s coat of arms. Dolphins are also one of the top sights of the city, as they live in the Gulf of Taranto and ongoing conservation projects work to raise awareness of the cetacean population. Preserving and protecting dolphins in the Ionian Sea is a key priority of these projects, and tourists can take on-water trips for the unique experience of watching dolphins in their natural environment.