Taranto (ˈtaːranto; ; Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

: Tarās; Modern Greek
Modern Greek
Modern Greek refers to the varieties of the Greek language spoken in the modern era. The beginning of the "modern" period of the language is often symbolically assigned to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, even though that date marks no clear linguistic boundary and many characteristic...

: Tarantas; Tarantino
Tarantino language
Tarantino of the southeastern Italian region of Apulia is a dialect of Southern Italian / Sicilian. Most of the speakers live in the Apulian town of Taranto. The dialect is also spoken by a few Italian immigrants in the United States, especially in California...

 "Tarde") is a coastal city in Apulia
Apulia is a region in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its most southern portion, known as Salento peninsula, forms a high heel on the "boot" of Italy. The region comprises , and...

, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto
Province of Taranto
The Province of Taranto is a province in the Apulia region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Taranto.It has an area of 2,437 km², and a total population of 580,588...

 and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base.

It is the third-largest continental city of Southern Italy: according to 2010 estimates, it has a population of about 190,000.

Taranto is an important commercial and military port. It has well-developed steel and iron foundries, oil refineries, chemical works, some shipyards for building warships, and food-processing factories.


Taranto's pre-history dates back to 706 BC when it was founded as a Greek colony but there are many pieces that move long before the founding of the city, dating from the Bronze Age. The ancient city was situated on a peninsula
A peninsula is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland. In many Germanic and Celtic languages and also in Baltic, Slavic and Hungarian, peninsulas are called "half-islands"....

, protected by a helm; the modern city has been built over the ancient Greek necropolis
A necropolis is a large cemetery or burial ground, usually including structural tombs. The word comes from the Greek νεκρόπολις - nekropolis, literally meaning "city of the dead"...


The islets of S. Pietro and S. Paolo (St. Peter and St. Paul) protect the bay, called Mar Grande (Big Sea), where the commercial port is located. Another bay, called Mar Piccolo (Little Sea), is formed by the old city, and there fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

 is flourishing; Mar Piccolo is a military port with a strategic importance.

At the end of the 19th century, a channel was excavated to allow the military ships to enter Mar Piccolo harbour, and the ancient Greek city become an island. In addition, the islets and the coast are strongly fortified.
Because of the presence of these two bays, Taranto is also called “the city of the two seas”.

The Greek
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 colonists from Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

 called the city Taras (), after the mythical hero Taras
Taras (mythology)
Taras was, according to Greek mythology, the son of Poseidon and of the nymph Satyrion.Taras is the eponymous founder of the Greek colony of Taras , in Magna Graecia...

, while the Romans
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, who connected the city to Rome with an extension of the Appian way
Appian Way
The Appian Way was one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic. It connected Rome to Brindisi, Apulia, in southeast Italy...

, called it Tarentum.

The natural harbor at Taranto made it a logical home port for the Italian naval fleet before and during the First World War. During World War II, Taranto became famous as a consequence of the November 1940 British air attack on the Regia Marina
Regia Marina
The Regia Marina dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 after Italian unification...

 naval base stationed here, which is today called the Battle of Taranto
Battle of Taranto
The naval Battle of Taranto took place on the night of 11–12 November 1940 during the Second World War. The Royal Navy launched the first all-aircraft ship-to-ship naval attack in history, flying a small number of obsolescent biplane torpedo bombers from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea...


Taranto is also the origin of the common name of the Tarantula
Tarantulas comprise a group of often hairy and often very large arachnids belonging to the family Theraphosidae, of which approximately 900 species have been identified. Some members of the same Suborder may also be called "tarantulas" in the common parlance. This article will restrict itself to...

 spider family, Theraphosidae, even though strictly speaking there are no members of Theraphosidae in the area. In ancient times, residents of the town of Taranto, upon being bitten by the large local Wolf Spider
Wolf spider
Wolf spiders are members of the family Lycosidae, from the Ancient Greek word "" meaning "wolf". They are robust and agile hunters with good eyesight. They live mostly solitary lives and hunt alone. Some are opportunistic hunters pouncing upon prey as they find it or even chasing it over short...

, Lycosa tarentula, would promptly do a long vigorous dance like a Jig
The Jig is a form of lively folk dance, as well as the accompanying dance tune, originating in England in the 16th century and today most associated with Irish dance music and Scottish country dance music...

. This was done in order to sweat the venom out of their pores, even though the spider's venom was not fatal to humans. The frenetic dance became known as the Tarantella
The term tarantella groups a number of different southern Italian couple folk dances characterized by a fast upbeat tempo, usually in 6/8 time , accompanied by tambourines. It is among the most recognized of traditional Italian music. The specific dance name varies with every region, for instance...



Taranto was founded in 706 BC by Dorian Greek immigrants as the only Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

n colony, and its origin is peculiar: the founders were Partheniae
In Ancient Greece, the Partheniae or Parthenians are a lower ranking Spartiate population which, according to tradition, left Laconia to go to Magna Graecia and founded Taras, modern Taranto, in the current region of Apulia, in southern Italy.- Origins of the Parthenians :At least three...

 ("sons of virgins"), sons of unmarried Spartan women and Perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta); these out-of-wedlock unions were permitted extraordinarily by the Spartans to increase the prospective number of soldiers (only the citizens of Sparta could become soldiers) during the bloody Messenia
Messenia is a regional unit in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese region, one of 13 regions into which Greece has been divided by the Kallikratis plan, implemented 1 January 2011...

n wars
History of Sparta
The History of Sparta describes the destiny of the ancient Dorian Greek state known as Sparta from its beginning in the legendary period to its forced incorporation into the Achaean League under the late Roman Republic, its conquerors, in 146 BCE, a period of roughly 1000 years...

, but later they were retroactively nullified, and the sons were then obliged to leave Greece forever. Phalanthus, the Parthenian leader, went to Delphi
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

 to consult the oracle
The word Sibyl comes from the Greek word σίβυλλα sibylla, meaning prophetess. The earliest oracular seeresses known as the sibyls of antiquity, "who admittedly are known only through legend" prophesied at certain holy sites, under the divine influence of a deity, originally— at Delphi and...

: the puzzling answer designated the harbour of Taranto as the new home of the exiles. The Partheniae arrived in Apulia, and founded the city, naming it Taras after the son of the Greek sea god, Poseidon
Poseidon was the god of the sea, and, as "Earth-Shaker," of the earthquakes in Greek mythology. The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology: both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon...

, and of a local nymph
A nymph in Greek mythology is a female minor nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform. Different from gods, nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing;...

, Satyrion. According to other sources, Heracles
Heracles ,born Alcaeus or Alcides , was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson of Perseus...

 founded the city. Another tradition indicates Taras as the founder of the city; the symbol of the Greek city (as well as of the modern city) depicts the legend of Taras being saved from a shipwreck by riding a dolphin that was sent to him by Poseidon. Taranto increased its power, becoming a commercial power and a sovereign city of Magna Graecia
Magna Graecia
Magna Græcia is the name of the coastal areas of Southern Italy on the Tarentine Gulf that were extensively colonized by Greek settlers; particularly the Achaean colonies of Tarentum, Crotone, and Sybaris, but also, more loosely, the cities of Cumae and Neapolis to the north...

, ruling over the Greek colonies in southern Italy.
Its independence and power came to an end as the Romans expanded throughout Italy. Taranto won the first of two wars against Rome for the control of Southern Italy: it was helped by Pyrrhus
Pyrrhus or Pyrrhos or Pyrros may refer to the following figures from Greek history and mythology:* Pyrrhus or Neoptolemus, son of Achilles* Pyrrhus of Epirus , famous king, to whom the term Pyrrhic victory alludes...

, king of Greek Epirus
Epirus (ancient state)
Epirus was an ancient Greek state, located in the geographical region of Epirus, in the western Balkans. The homeland of the ancient Epirotes was bordered by the Aetolian League to the south, Thessalia and Macedonia to the east and Illyrian tribes to the north...

, who surprised Rome with the use of elephants in battle, a thing never seen before by the Romans. The second war was conversely won by Rome, which subsequently cut off Taranto from the centre of Mediterranean trade, by connecting the Via Appia directly to the port of Brundisium (Brindisi
Brindisi is a city in the Apulia region of Italy, the capital of the province of Brindisi, off the coast of the Adriatic Sea.Historically, the city has played an important role in commerce and culture, due to its position on the Italian Peninsula and its natural port on the Adriatic Sea. The city...


Taranto as a centre of ancient art

Like many Greek city states, Taras issued its own currency in the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. The denomination was a Nomos, a die-cast silver coin whose weight, size and purity were controlled by the state. The highly artistic coins presented the symbol of the city, Taras being saved by a dolphin, with the reverse side showing the likeness of a hippocamp, a horse-fish amalgam which is depicted in mythology as the beast that drew Poseidon's chariot.

Taras was also the center of a thriving decorated Greek pottery industry during the 4th century BC. Most of the South Italian
South Italian
South Italian is a designation for ancient Greek pottery fabricated in Magna Graecia largely during the 4th century BC. The fact that Greek Southern Italy produced its own red figure pottery as early as the end of the 5th century BC. was first established by Adolf Furtwaengler in 1893...

 Greek vessels known as Basilican ware were made in different workshops in the city.

Unfortunately, none of the names of the artists have survived, so modern scholars have been obliged to give the recognizable artistic hands and workshops nicknames based on the subject matter of their works, museums which possess the works, or individuals who have distinguished the works from others. Some of the most famous of the Apulian vase painters at Taras are now called: the Iliupersis Painter, the Lycurgus Painter, the Gioia del Colle Painter, the Darius Painter
Darius Painter
The Darius Painter was an Apulian vase painter and the most eminent representative at the end of the "Ornate Style" in South Italian red-figure vase painting...

, the Underworld Painter, and the White Sakkos Painter, among others.

The wares produced by these workshops were usually large elaborate vessels intended for mortuary use. The forms produced included volute kraters, loutrophoroi
A loutrophoros is a distinctive type of Greek pottery vessel characterized by an elongated neck with two handles. The loutrophoros was used to hold water during marriage and funeral rituals, and was placed in the tombs of the unmarried...

, patera
A patera was a broad, shallow dish used for drinking, primarily in a ritual context such as a libation. These paterae were often used in Rome....

i, oinochoai, lekythoi
A lekythos is a type of Greek pottery used for storing oil , especially olive oil. It has a narrow body and one handle attached to the neck of the vessel. The lekythos was used for anointing dead bodies of unmarried men and many lekythoi are found in tombs. The images on lekythoi were often...

, fish plate
Fish plate
A fish plate is a Greek pottery vessel used by western, Hellenistic Greeks during the Fourth Century B.C. Although invented in Fifth-Century B.C. Athens, most of the corpus of surviving fish plates originate in South Italy, where Fourth-Century B.C...

s, etc. The decoration of these vessels was red figure (with figures reserved in red clay fabric, while the background was covered in a black gloss), with overpainting (sovradipinto) in white, pink, yellow, and maroon slips.

Often the style of the drawings are very florid, and frilly, as was already the fashion in Fourth-Century Athens. Distinctive South Italian features also begin to appear. Many figures are shown seated on rocks. Floral motifs become very ornate, including spiraling vines and leaves, roses, lilies, poppies, sprays of laurel, acanthus leaves, etc. Often the subject matter consists of naiskos scenes (scenes showing the statue of a deceased person in a naos, a miniature temple or shrine). Most often the naiskos scene occupies one side of the vase, while a mythological scene occupies the other. Images depicting many of the Greek myths are only known from South Italian vases, since Athenian ones seem to have had more limited repertoires of depiction.


In 1991 Taranto was declared a high environmental risk area by the Ministry of Environment. As a consequence of the poisons discharged into the air by the factories in the area (most notably the ILVA steel plant), Taranto is the most polluted city in Italy and western Europe. Only 7% of Taranto's pollution is inhabitants-related: 93% is factories-related. The European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER) showed that in 2004, estimated dioxin emissions from the ILVA plant were responsible for 83% of Italy's total reported emissions.

Every year Taranto's inhabitants inhale 2.7 tons of carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide , also called carbonous oxide, is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly lighter than air. It is highly toxic to humans and animals in higher quantities, although it is also produced in normal animal metabolism in low quantities, and is thought to have some normal...

 and 57.7 tons of carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

. The latest data provided by the INES, the Italian national institute of emissions and their sources (Inventario nazionale delle emissioni e loro sorgenti), confirm that Taranto stands comparison with China's Linfen
-Administrative divisions:The prefecture-level city of Linfen is divided in one district, two cities and fourteen counties. The information here presented uses the metric system and data from 2010 Census.-Pollution:...

 and Copşa Mică
Copsa Mica
Copşa Mică is a town in Sibiu County, Transylvania, Romania, located north of Sibiu, 33 km east of Blaj, and 12 km southwest of Mediaş. According to the town's website, its population in 2000 was 5189, down 23% from its population in 1989, the year communism collapsed in Romania.The town...

 in Romania, the most polluted cities in the world due to factories' emissions.

In particular, Taranto has dioxin. 92% of Italy's dioxin is produced there and, in other terms, 8.8% of the dioxin in Europe. In ten years, leukaemias, myelomas and lymphoma
Lymphoma is a cancer in the lymphatic cells of the immune system. Typically, lymphomas present as a solid tumor of lymphoid cells. Treatment might involve chemotherapy and in some cases radiotherapy and/or bone marrow transplantation, and can be curable depending on the histology, type, and stage...

s increased by 30–40%. Furthermore, dioxin accumulates over the years: so far at least 9 kilos of dioxin have been discharged into Taranto's air by its factories, i.e. three times the quantity discharged in the Seveso disaster
Seveso disaster
The Seveso disaster was an industrial accident that occurred around 12:37 pm July 10, 1976, in a small chemical manufacturing plant approximately north of Milan in the Lombardy region in Italy...

 (the one in 1976 where the Italian city Seveso was contaminated by dioxin).

Municipal bankruptcy

The Municipality of Taranto was declared bankrupt because - as ascertained by Francesco Boccia, chief of the liquidation committee - as of 31 December 2005, it had accrued liabilities in an amount equal to 637 million euros. This is one of the biggest financial crises which has ever hit a municipality.

The fact that the municipality went bankrupt was officially declared on 18 October 2006 by the receiver Tommaso Blonda, appointed further to the resignation of the mayor, Rossana Di Bello, following her one-year-and-four-months imprisonment after her conviction for abuse of office and documental forgery in relation to investigations made on the contract for the management of the city incinerator given to the company Termomeccanica.

Main sights

Taranto has a number of sites of historic value. Sitting along the Little Sea, The Aragonese Castle was built in the 15th century with the intention to protect the town from the Turks' frequent raids. The castle replaced a pre-existing fort which was deemed unfit for 15th century warfare.

The old town, including Piazza Fontana, the church of San Domenico, the Madonna della Salute Sanctuary, and a number of old palazzi, is standing exactly as it did a thousand years ago, when the Byzantines rebuilt what the Saracens had razed to the ground in 927 AC. The picturesque alleyways, arches and stairwells, along with the old crafts workshops, contribute to its unique atmosphere.

Taranto features several Greek temple ruins - some stretching as far back as the 6th century BC - such as the remains of a Doric Temple still visible on Piazza Castello.

A number of 18th-century palazzi adorn the town centre. For years, they served as the main residence of local aristocratic families and these include Palazzo Carducci-Artenisio (1650), Palazzo Galeota (1728) and Palazzo Latagliata.

The Ponte Girevole (swing bridge
Swing bridge
A swing bridge is a movable bridge that has as its primary structural support a vertical locating pin and support ring, usually at or near to its centre of gravity, about which the turning span can then pivot horizontally as shown in the animated illustration to the right...

), built in 1887, runs across the navigable ship canal that joins Mar Piccolo (Little Sea) with Mar Grande (Big Sea) and stretches along 89.9 meters or 294.95 ft. When the bridge is open, the two ends of the city are literally left without connection.

A really important institution of Taranto is the "Galileo Ferraris" high school, founded in 1848, located in via Mascherpa 10. This school is famous for its highly-developed level of instruction, due to the high quality of its teachers and students. Others schools are: IIS Archita, IIS Quinto Ennio, IIS Aristosseno, and ITIS Pacinotti.

The Promenade (lungomare), named after former Italian king Victor Emmanuel III, overlooks the Mar Grande, with the imposing views of its natural harbour and commercial port.

International relations

Taranto is twinned with:

Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

, Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. Brest
Brest, France
Brest is a city in the Finistère department in Brittany in northwestern France. Located in a sheltered position not far from the western tip of the Breton peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

; since 1964. Donetsk
Donetsk , is a large city in eastern Ukraine on the Kalmius river. Administratively, it is a center of Donetsk Oblast, while historically, it is the unofficial capital and largest city of the economic and cultural Donets Basin region...

, Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

; since 1985. Alicante
Alicante or Alacant is a city in Spain, the capital of the province of Alicante and of the comarca of Alacantí, in the south of the Valencian Community. It is also a historic Mediterranean port. The population of the city of Alicante proper was 334,418, estimated , ranking as the second-largest...

, Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

; since 2010. Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

; since 2010.

Notable people

These historical figures have had a relationship with the city. Not all of them were actually born in Taranto.
  • Archytas
    Archytas was an Ancient Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, and strategist. He was a scientist of the Pythagorean school and famous for being the reputed founder of mathematical mechanics, as well as a good friend of Plato....

     of Tarentum, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, strategist and commander-in-chief of the army of Taranto;
  • Philolaus
    Philolaus was a Greek Pythagorean and Presocratic philosopher. He argued that all matter is composed of limiting and limitless things, and that the universe is determined by numbers. He is credited with originating the theory that the earth was not the center of the universe.-Life:Philolaus is...

    , mathematician and philosopher.
  • Aristoxenus
    Aristoxenus of Tarentum was a Greek Peripatetic philosopher, and a pupil of Aristotle. Most of his writings, which dealt with philosophy, ethics and music, have been lost, but one musical treatise, Elements of Harmony, survives incomplete, as well as some fragments concerning rhythm and...

    , peripatetic philosopher, and writer on music and rhythm;
  • Leonidas of Tarentum
    Leonidas of Tarentum
    Leonidas of Tarentum was an epigrammatist and lyric poet. He lived in the third century B.C. Leonidas lived in Tarentum, in the coast of Calabria, then Magna Graecia. Over a hundred of his epigrams are present in the Greek Anthology...

    , poet;
  • Lysis of Tarentum
    Lysis of Tarentum
    Lysis of Taras was a Greek philosopher. His life is obscure. He was said to have been a friend and disciple of Pythagoras. After the persecution of the Pythagoreans at Croton and Metapontum he escaped and went to Thebes, where he became the teacher of Epaminondas, by whom he was held in the...

    , philosopher;
  • Rhinthon
    Rhinthon was a Hellenistic dramatist.The son of a potter, he was probably a native of Syracuse and afterwards settled at Tarentum....

     (c. 323–285 BC), dramatist;
  • Livius Andronicus
    Livius Andronicus
    Lucius Livius Andronicus , not to be confused with the later historian Livy, was a Greco-Roman dramatist and epic poet of the Old Latin period. He began as an educator in the service of a noble family at Rome by translating Greek works into Latin, including Homer’s Odyssey. They were meant at...

    , poet;
  • Titus Quinctius Flamininus
    Titus Quinctius Flamininus
    Titus Quinctius Flamininus was a Roman politician and general instrumental in the Roman conquest of Greece.Member of the gens Quinctia, and brother to Lucius Quinctius Flamininus, he served as a military tribune in the Second Punic war and in 205 BC he was appointed propraetor in Tarentum...

    , propraetor of Tarentum;
  • Pacuvius
    Marcus Pacuvius was the greatest of the tragic poets of ancient Rome prior to Lucius Accius.He was the nephew and pupil of Ennius, by whom Roman tragedy was first raised to a position of influence and dignity...

    , tragic poet, died in Tarentum in 130 BC;
  • Cataldus, archbishop and patron saint of Taranto;
  • Bohemond of Taranto, key military leader on the First Crusade
  • Gil Albornoz, archbishop of Taranto in 1644;
  • Giovanni Paisiello
    Giovanni Paisiello
    Giovanni Paisiello was an Italian composer of the Classical era.-Life:Paisiello was born at Taranto and educated by the Jesuits there. He became known for his beautiful singing voice and in 1754 was sent to the Conservatorio di S. Onofrio at Naples, where he studied under Francesco Durante, and...

    , composer;
  • Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
    Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
    Pierre Ambroise François Choderlos de Laclos was a French novelist, official and army general, best known for writing the epistolary novel Les Liaisons dangereuses ....

    , Napoleonic army general and novelist, died in Taranto;
  • Etienne-Jacques-Joseph-Alexandre MacDonald
    Étienne-Jacques-Joseph-Alexandre MacDonald
    Étienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre MacDonald, 1st duke of Taranto was a Marshal of France and military leader during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.-Family background:...

     (1765–1840), duke of Taranto and marshal of France;
  • Marcus Fulvius Nobilior
    Marcus Fulvius Nobilior
    Marcus Fulvius Nobilior , Roman general, a member of one of the most important families of the patrician Fulvius gens....

    , rumoured to have been born here and not Rome as was first assumed.
  • Michael of Taranto, Master hazmat chief of the east coast and creator of the stamp and go method.
  • Riccardo Tisci
    Riccardo Tisci
    Riccardo Tisci is an Italian fashion designer. He graduated from London's Central Saint Martins Academy in 1999, and in 2005 was named Creative Director for Givenchy womenswear and haute couture...

    , fashion designer, creative director of Givenchy
    Givenchy is a French brand of clothing, accessories, perfumes and cosmetics with Parfums Givenchy.The house of Givenchy was founded in 1952 by designer Hubert de Givenchy and is a member of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret-a-Porter...

  • Roberta Vinci
    Roberta Vinci
    Roberta Vinci is an Italian tennis player. As of 29 August 2011, Vinci is ranked World No. 20, on the WTA Tour Rankings. Vinci has won thirteen WTA Tour titles, six in singles and seven in doubles....

    , professional tennis player.



  • Star of David
    Star of David
    The Star of David, known in Hebrew as the Shield of David or Magen David is a generally recognized symbol of Jewish identity and Judaism.Its shape is that of a hexagram, the compound of two equilateral triangles...

    : "A David's shield has recently been noted on a Jewish tombstone at Tarentum, in southern Italy, which may date as early as the third century of the common era."
  • Tarentum was included in the hit PC game Rome: Total War as the governing settlement for Apulia as well as the capital of the Roman Faction of Brutii
  • Taranto fortress is the sign of this city.

External links

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