| Share
 

Taranto

Taranto (täˈräntō) [key], Lat. Tarentum, city (1991 pop. 232,334), capital of Taranto prov., Apulia, S Italy, on the Gulf of Taranto, an arm of the Ionian Sea. Taranto is, after La Spezia, the chief military port of Italy, and it is also an agricultural, industrial, and fishing center. Manufactures include steel, metal products, refined petroleum, cement, machinery, and ships. Of note in Taranto are the cathedral (11th–12th cent., with a baroque facade), a castle (originally Byzantine, rebuilt in 1480), and the national museum (with a fine collection of Greek pottery).

Founded by colonists from Sparta in the 8th cent. B.C., Taranto was a town of Magna Graecia and was powerful enough to resist the Romans until 272 B.C. It was destroyed (927) by the Arabs but was later rebuilt by the Byzantines. As a part of the kingdom of Naples the city was strongly fortified and was held as a principality by various lords. Its harbor, protected by the Italian fleet, was bombed several times in World War II. Much of the Italian navy was caught and destroyed there.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Taranto from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Italian Political Geography


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring