As SailGP prepares to head to Taranto for the Italy Sail Grand Prix, the second event of Season 2, we take a look at the top five landmarks to visit in this beautiful coastal city in southern Italy.
Built in the 15th century, on the site of an older fortification dating back to the Byzantine era, the Castello Aragonese was once a prison and is now occupied by the Italian navy. The fort separates the Mar Grande and the Mar Piccolo, and is open for visitor tours.
Museo Nazionale Archeologico di Taranto
Given Taranto’s storied history, it is unsurprising one of the top tourist destinations is one of Italy’s most important archaeological museums. Housed in the Museo Nazionale Archeologico di Taranto, among other historic items, are artifacts dating from the city’s founding by Spartans, including gold coins and jewelry.
The Doric Temple
Only fragments of the ancient Greek colony of Taras remain on the site of modern-day Taranto, but there is one key landmark to visit just minutes from the Castello Aragonese. The ruins of the Doric Temple, dated to the 6th century BC, reveal some of the grandeur and scale of the ancient city despite only two columns and the foundations remaining. Incredibly, this temple is the oldest in all of Magna Graecia.
Taranto Cathedral - Duomo of San Cataldo
One of the oldest Romanesque buildings in Puglia, the 11th century cathedral in Taranto is dedicated to an Irish monk, Saint Catald, who lived and was buried in the city in the 7th century. With a Baroque façade and numerous historic relics in the chapel, including statues by the famed Giuseppe Sammartino, Taranto cathedral is one of the highlights of the city.
Palazzo del Governo
The Palazzo del Governo was inaugurated by Benito Mussolini in the 1930s and bears many of the hallmarks of that era’s architecture. With reddish brickwork and a commanding presence, the Palazzo del Governo dominates the seafront and harks back to pre-war Italy.