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The land

The land

There are some advantaged places where nature has voluntarily concentrated every factor inviting individuals to stop and make a stable abode.


Such an ideal place is where a twiggy piece of land meets and divides a great gulf  and a little sea. The gulf and the sea where it will be built the town that Greeks will call Taras and the Romans Tarentum.


As a matter of fact, according to a legend, 2000 years before Christ, one of the sons of Neptune got to the northern land of the Ionian sea with his fleet. It seems that he landed on a flow that drew its name from him (i.e. the river Tara). Moreover, he would devote himself to build on that river and nearby the sea the town of Tarentum that would draw its name from him.


In this way, among myth and legend, it was born the ancient Apulian town of Tarentum that other sources say it was founded by the Spartans in 706 b.C., landing on coasts inhabited from the natives.


Tarentum isn’t a town you come across so frequently!!


It lays between two seas: Mar Piccolo and Mar Grande. What’s more, it is divided in two parts: the New town and the Old one. The first is connected to the latter by means of a turning bridge, enabling the passage of ships from one sea to the other one.


As you can remark, the history of Tarentum draws its origins far away. You can perceive it wandering along the city centre and the historical Old Town centre: here you can admire two Doric columns, so that Tarentum, together with Syracuse and Corinth, are the single towns all over the world having rests of a Greek temple from the first half of the VI century. b. C..


The Old town corresponds to the acropolis of the ancient Greek town that extended to the nowadays New Town with its public area, the dwelling zone and the huge necropolis. However, since nowadays the town impends above the ancient one, the materials from the necropolis have a remarkable quality and value, so that they are part of the exposition of the wonderful archaeological museum. An important sample of the medieval urban planning is represented by the awesome cathedral, that is dedicated to St Cataldus, having a Romanic structure, the stunning baroque Cappellone, the baroque double stairs together with the wonderful ogival portal of the St Dominicus church, and the superb Aragonese castle, laying on the channel and on the promenade providing romantic sunsets.


In addition,  in the Old Town you can find, among humble tenements, noble dwellings and luxurios buildings, where a large number of churches, cloisters and monasteries stuff it despite the limited room. You also have to visit the Tower of the Clock, the Pantaleo building, seat of the archeological museum.


Tarentum is the most industrialized town of Southern Italy.


Notwithstanding, fishing employs thousands of families and the Sea food is excellent.


At night rowing boats for fishing use a  peculiar method to fish by means of an a stern lamplight, with the aim of attracting fish on the net.


Located at 15 metres above the sea level, with a clear and blue sea where sandy creeks and  bluffs from the Ionian coast tangle with a fertile hilly hinterland, nowadays Tarentum is betting on tourism and on food industry linked to the flourishing agriculture of its land.


Gastronomy is another attraction of the Ionian territory.
In Tarentum cooking is based on the sea products: as a matter of fact oysters and mussels make this town proud of them. The rich and generous sea is populated by dentexes, gilthead sea breams, groupers, red mullet, anchovies , shrimps and squids. Cooking based on food products coming from the agricultural hinterland is as appetizing as the previous one.


Obviously, meal has to be completed by a good quality wine, that is a real vocation in the countryside of Tarentum, such as the Primitivo wine from Manduria, the Negroamaro wine from Lizzano, the Bianco (N.d.t.: white) wine from Martina that have acquired the DOC (i.e. denominazione di origine controllata) certification of quality since they are referred to a particular area of production.

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