Summer is slow to come here in Apulia and someone may think that it is not right time to look at bathing places as holiday destinations yet. Well, not so wit Salento: let's see the town of Taranto It is very appreciated in summer, but did you know that it is nice discovery in other periods of the year too? Here, for example, what to see when heat gives way to mild temperatures.
#1 - Saint Catald's Cathedral
Let's start from the old centre of the town, where there is one of the most beautiful things you could ever see and the most ancient cathedral in Apulia: the duomo. It is amazing to see it especially in the period of the celebration of the patron Saint Catald (of which I wrote here). Actually, in this occasion you also can enter the crypt beneath. The whole building is a big work of art, but the absolute wonder of the Cathedral is the "Cappellone". It seems a painting, but in reality it is entirely decorated with white and green marble. It's so articulated that you don't know where to look at!
Together with the Turning Bridge and the castle, there are the symbol of Taranto. Nowadays there are just two survivors and it seems that they belonged to a greek temple. It's really beautiful to look at them closely, even though I prefer to observe them from afar, imaging how they should be when the temple was still there.
#3 - The Castle
Property of the Navy. For some years they have opened it to the public with guided and free visits every day. Servicepersons guide and explain to visitors the history of the castle and show with care the hidden corners of the castle, where there is even a mummy of a cat trapped there.
Everybody, but everybody in Taranto doesn't turn his nose up at a good walk along the Lungomare. Crossing the Turning Bridge, we continue turning right and going toward the Monument of the Italian Sailor, one of the most photographed attractions of Taranto, and accessing the long tree-lined promenade. It's also one of the favourite promenade of couples, especially at the twilight, when the sun dives into the sea.
#5 - Archeological Museum of Taranto MARTA
The museum is one of the jewels of the town. It's known overall because it hosts the famous craftsmanships in gold of Taranto. It's worthy to be visited just for them! It's a mandatory stop if you want to discover something more about the richness of the people of Magna Grecia. If you want to read something more about the MARTA, click here.
#6 - Spartan Museum of Taranto - Bellacicco hypogaeum
Thank to the care of a citizen particularly in love with his town, for some years it's possible to visit a hypogaeum belonged to a noble family of Taranto. Even though it's not particularly large, it's worthy to be visited for its exit on the sea: a little tunnel faces directly on the water and on some ruins of the ancient ramparts of the town. Just a gate will impede you to take a dip in the sea A really fascinating view!
A corner of tranquility right in the centre of the town. It's beautiful, even romantic, to walk along the tree-lined promenades and to discover here and there a little fountain in some hidden corner among plants. Not to speak of the promenade with a view on the sea. It's not rare to find ships of the Navy docked, to me one of the most fascinating thing you can see in Taranto, with their huge and elegant silhouettes.
#8 - D'Aquino Road
Together with Di Palma Road, it's the main street of the centre and of shopping in Taranto. It's mostly the best place where you can meet your friends, do shopping and stop in one of the bars for a good happy hour.
#9 - The Athlete's Grave
one of the most known archaeological site in Taranto and one of the best-preserved too. Unfortunately, it's not always open to the public. So, it's necessary to book a guided visit to enjoy this croos section of the culture of Magna Grecia.
#10 - The tour of Mar Piccolo and Mar Grande
We are in the town of two seas and don't we want to make a ferry tour in this wonderful gulf? It's a magic experience, especially at the sunset, when the shore is illuminated by the red sunlight. From here you can see the statue of the saint patron of Taranto, Saint Catald, that greets the ships that set sail and those that arrive in the harbour. Absolutely, you can't miss it!
|View of a ship from Peripato Garden|