Taranto is an ancient Greek colony, the first town of Salento by population and second of Puglia. It is often called the “City of the two seas” because of its strategic location straddling the Great Sea and the Small Sea and also known as “Dolphin Earth” for the historical settlement of a group of cetaceans over the islands of St. Paul and St. Peter. Taranto in particular was founded by Spartans and was the only Spartan colony outside of the greek territory.
While the Big Sea reaches the outer coast, the Small Sea is an inland sea formed by two breasts divided by the bridge that connects Punta Pizzone and Punta Penna.
Until the unification of Italy, the city was placed exclusively on the island. From 1865 to 1883 they demolished the fortifications of the ancient city giving way to the growth of the new part of the city outside the walls. They are distinguished, in fact, the Ancient Town and New Town. While the former is characterized by a maze of narrow streets due to the need to exploit all the space available and facilitate the defense in case of invasion, the New Village instead has a more reasonable organization.
In the old town you can appreciate the Romanesque and baroque style of the San Cataldo Cathedral which houses the tomb of the saint. The most interesting aspect, however, is the variety of architectural styles. It moves from the gothic Church of St. Francesco da Paola al Borgo to the baroque style of the other churches and the palaces of the ancient town, with the romanesque style of the Church of San Domenico Maggiore and the Renaissance style of the Borgo Umbertino palaces.