Why choose a cruise to Taranto?
A Taranto cruise introduces you to a city of contrasts. On one hand, Taranto is a buzzing modern city, where marble, palm-tree-fringed boulevards are lined with shops and restaurants. Meanwhile, the old town is located on an island and joined to the main city with a causeway.
Drive through the industrial outskirts of the city and you’ll find yourself surrounded by beautiful Puglian countryside. Not only is the coast dotted with stunning beaches, but inland is the park of Terra delle Gravine, a natural playground of ravines, ancient gardens and waterfalls. You’ll also love the villages of whitewashed buildings – trulli – with distinctive pointed roofs.
A guide to Taranto’s hotspots
There’s lots to explore in the city of Taranto. Start off in the atmospheric, crumbling alleyways of Mar Piccolo. The highlight of this historic district is the imposing fortress that surrounds it – take a guided tour through its towers and ramparts.
In the modern part of the city, saunter down the Via d’Aquino, a swanky pedestrianised shopping street, where you can purchase some souvenirs or a refreshing gelato. Modern Taranto also boasts a National Archaeological Museum, which houses one of Italy’s finest collections of Greco-Roman artefacts. End your day sampling traditional Puglian seafood dishes at one of the waterfront restaurants.
Drive through the beautiful Puglian countryside for 45 minutes until you reach the fascinating village of Alberobello, renowned for its iconic trulli. You’ll find a whole neighbourhood of these quirky houses with their distinctive conical roofs, as well as the world’s only trulli church. You’ll love exploring the picturesque streets of this UNESCO-designated village.
A Taranto cruise also enables you to visit some beautiful beaches. The Lido Gandoli is a picturesque bay tucked into the coast south of Taranto. Sun yourself on the golden sands or take a refreshing dip in the sparkling waters. Break for lunch at the delicious waterfront pizzeria.
Cruise lines that sail to the port of Taranto
The best time to visit Taranto
Taranto has deliciously warm summers, with temperatures averaging 25°C in July and August, though often rising higher. It’s a great time to visit, as Taranto doesn’t have the summer influx of tourists you see in other Italian cities.
May is another great month to visit, with pleasant weather ranging from 18°C-22°C – perfect for sightseeing. See if you can time your visit with La Festa di San Cataldo, a festival celebrating the city’s patron saint which consists of parades, fireworks and a street-food festival.
Did you know?
- Taranto was initially founded by the Spartans almost 3,000 years ago
- A local delicacy is the tarantello, a unique sausage made from cured tuna belly
- Taranto is also renowned for its fresh oysters and mussels
- The tarantella is a folk dance that originated in Taranto, where people once believed that a spider bite caused a hysterical disease known as tarantism, which could only be cured by frenzied dancing