Taranto

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Taranto, Italy

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40°28.49′N, 17°13.36′E
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Photo gallery
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Local chartlet
TarantoHarbourAerial.jpg
Taranto Porto Mercantile
Click for larger view

Contents


The city of Taranto, at the head of the gulf of the same name, is one of Italy’s largest ports and the second most important naval port after La Spezia. Founded in the 7th century BC by exiles from the Peloponnese city state of Sparta, the city rapidly grew to be the de facto capital of Magna Graecia, the Greek colonies in the southern part of the Italian peninsula. Its importance faded during the era of Roman expansion, particularly with the completion of the Via Appia linking Rome to the port of Brindisi, which resulted in Taranto being bypassed by much of the trade over which it had previously enjoyed a monopoly. The city’s unique natural harbour, with its three separate basins, has always made it an attractive base for naval forces and significant elements of the Italian navy were based here during both World Wars. The harbour was the object of a major allied attack in November 1940, subsequently dubbed the Battle of Taranto, which was the first major use of a carrier-based strike force against naval targets. The battle resulted in the loss or incapacity of half the Italian battleship force and, together with the Battle of Cape Matapan four months later, enabled the Allied forces to wrest command of the Mediterranean from the Axis forces. Today, the city retains several traces of its earlier history, including an old town dating back to the Byzantine era and several Greek temple ruins. Visiting yachts normally berth in the Porto Mercantile in the outer harbour, the Mar Grande, or at one of several boatyards around the shores of the Mar Grande.

Local Weather

During the summer the prevailing winds in the Ionian are light to moderate SW or SE seabreezes. In spring and autumn northerly winds are more frequent and can quickly rise to near gale force, especially in the lee of high mountain ranges. Winds in summer are generally light from the Straits of Messina until reaching the Golfo di Squillace between Rocella Ionica and Le Castella. With anything W in the wind, it tends to funnel down here over the mountains of southern Calabria, bringing strong gusts and raising an uncomfortable sea. The conditions to avoid, however, when cruising this part of the Ionian coast are strong southerlies. The harbours here are few and far between and none of them are really safe to enter in such conditions. Further east in the Gulf of Taranto local seabreezes predominate during the summer, although a light to moderate northerly is not uncommon. With strong southerlies, a heavy and uncomfortable swell develops across the whole gulf.

Sources for weather information:

  • There is a continuous (computerised voice) weather forecast on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on VHF coastal stations following a notification on channel 16
  • Navtex weather forecasts are broadcast from stations at Roma, Cagliari (Sardinia) and Augusta (Sicily)

Charts

British Admiralty
187 - Punta Stilo to Brindisi
1417 - Approaches to Taranto
1643 - Taranto
Italian charts
919
920
27 - From Crotone to Point Alice
147
148

Radio Nets

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.

Approach and Navigation

The harbour of Taranto is enclosed by a long western mole linking the islands of Isola San Pietro and Isola San Paulo to the shore and a shorter eastern mole extending NW from Capo San Vito. The islet of San Paulo and the tower and lighthouse on Capo San Vito are conspicuous either side of the entrance channel. The area enclosed by the moles is called the Mar Grande and contains the main commercial port and the Porto Mercantile. A swing bridge separates the Mar Grande from two smaller natural basins which together form the Mar Piccolo. Leisure craft moorings are found in the Porto Mercantile at the NE end of the Mar Grande and at several boatyards around its shores. A visiting yacht should proceed straight to the Porto Mercantile to berth. There are two operations that offer berths for yachts in transit here, Taranto Yacht and Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio. Shelter here is good, although an uncomfortable swell develops with strong southerlies.

Berthing Options

Taranto Porto Mercantile showing the two marina operations
Click for larger view

Taranto Yacht

World icon.png 40°28.72′N, 17°13.45′E
Taranto Yacht is situated at the northern end of the Porto Mercantile. It offers 160 berths in total on a long, L-shaped pontoon for yachts up to 25 metres. Laid mooring at all berths. Depths at the pontoon range from 1.5 metres inshore to 8.0 metres at the outer end. Water and electricity on the pontoon. Toilets and showers. Mobile crane (50 T). Hard standing area. Engine, electrical and electronic repairs. Hull repairs. Sail repairs. Divers.

To contact, call Taranto Yacht on VHF channel 12 or telephone: +39 099 4706846 or Email.

Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio

World icon.png 40°29.49′N, 17°13.36′E
Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio is situated on the eastern side of the Porto Mercantile. It offers 254 berths in total on a series of seven pontoons for yachts up to 40 metres. Laid mooring at all berths. Depths at the pontoons range from 4.0 metres to 12.0 metres. Water and electricity on the pontoons. Toilets and showers. Mobile crane (60 T). Hard standing area. Engine, electrical and electronic repairs. Hull repairs. Security (24 hrs). Divers.

To contact, call "Marina Taranto Molo Sant’Eligio" on VHF channel 08 or telephone: +39 099 4712115 or Email.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

'See above'.

Anchorages

List details of all safe anchorages in the area.

Offshore Islands and Groups

  • Isola San Pietro

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.

Repairs/Yards

  • Several yards around Mar Grande.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel
a station at northern end of Porto Mercantile (0800 - 1900)
Water
on the pontoons of Taranto Yacht
on the pontoons of Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio
Electricity
on the pontoons of Taranto Yacht
on the pontoons of Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio

Things to do Ashore

Castello Aragonese with Mare Piccolo behind
Click for larger view
Taranto cathedral
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Tourism

The old town of Taranto SE of the Porto Mercantile, although rather dilapidated, is worth exploring. Several of the old palazzi here have been restored and the 11th century cathedral has ancient columns in the nave and a lovely Baroque chapel of Sam Cataldo, the city’s patron saint. The Museo Nazionale is one of the finest archaeological museums in Italy and contains many relics of Taranto’s former stature as capital of Magna Graecia, including some wonderful ceramics and gold objects as well as prehistoric finds. The 15th century Castello Aragonese at the southern tip of the island on which the old town was constructed is worth a look, although entry is forbidden as it is occupied by the Italian Navy.

Grocery & Supply Stores

  • Good shopping for all provisions.

Eateries

  • Excellent choice of restaurants in the town.

Internet/WiFi

None.

Laundry

None.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Several outlets in the town.

Garbage Disposal

Bins at both pontoon operations.

Transportation

Transportation (local and/or international)

  • Buses to Rome and Naples
  • Trains to Brindisi, Naples and Rome
  • Local and international flights from Taranto-Grottaglie airport (16 km).

Routes/Passages To/From

Popular passages/routes, timing, etc.

Cruiser's Friends

Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.

Forum Discussions

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

External Links

Links to relevant websites.

References & Publications

See Italy.


Personal Notes


Last Visited & Details Checked (and updated here)

Date of member's visit to this Port/Stop & this page's details validated:

  • Data compiled from web research (please update if possible)--Athene of Lymington 16:40, 21 December 2010 (UTC)


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SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Athene of Lymington


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