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WorldMediterraneanIonian SeaItalyIonian Coast of ItalyTaranto
Port of Entry
40°28.490'N, 017°13.360'E Chart icon.png
lat=40.47483 | lon=17.22267 | zoom=13 | y
Taranto Porto Mercantile

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. 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.


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


During the summer the prevailing winds in the Ionian are light to moderate SW or SE sea breezes. 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 sea breezes 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 (computerized 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)


See Aegean to West Mediterranean Passages.


  • Isola San Pietro
  • Isola San Paulo


Add here VHF channel for the coastguard, harbor masters. etc.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The harbor 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 on 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, Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio and Taranto Yacht. Shelter here is good, although an uncomfortable swell develops with strong southerlies.


Taranto is a port of entry for Italy. For details see Entrance: Italy.


Yachts stay away from the large commercial harbour and go to one of the marinas.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Taranto Porto Mercantile showing the two marina operations

Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio

Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio/wiki/Taranto#Marina_Taranto_Molo_Sant_Eligio
Marina icon Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio [[Taranto#Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio|Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio]] 40°28.717'N, 017°13.471'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. Laundry service. Free WiFi. Bar & Restaurant. Weather service. Mobile crane (60 T). Hard standing area. Engine, electrical and electronic repairs. Hull repairs. Security (24 hrs). Divers.

[email protected]; Tel: +39 (099) 460 945; Fax: +39 (099) 471 7148; VHF channel 08
Address: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 1 74123 Taranto, Italy

Taranto Yacht

Taranto Yacht/wiki/Taranto#Taranto_Yacht
Marina icon Taranto Yacht [[Taranto#Taranto Yacht|Taranto Yacht]] 40°28.817'N, °'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.

[email protected]; Tel: +39 (099) 471 2115; Fax: +39 (099) 460 0413; VHF channel 12


Mar Grande

Mar Grande/wiki/Taranto#Mar_Grande
Anchorage icon Mar Grande [[Taranto#Mar Grande|Mar Grande]] 40°27.759'N, 017°10.981'E
Many places to anchor.


Water On the pontoons of Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio and Taranto Yacht
Electricity On the pontoons of Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio and Taranto Yacht
Toilets In both Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio and Taranto Yacht
Showers In both Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio and Taranto Yacht
Laundry In Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio}
Garbage Bins at both pontoon operations
Fuel A station at northern end of Porto Mercantile (0800 - 1900)
Bottled gas ?
Chandlers ?
Internet WiFi in Marina Taranto Molo Sant Eligio
Mobile connectivity ?
Vehicle rentals Several outlets in the town


Good shopping for all provisions.

Eating out

Excellent choice of restaurants in the town.


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



Taranto was 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.

Places to Visit

Castello Aragonese with Mare Piccolo behind
Taranto cathedral

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.


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


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



See Italy.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Taranto and 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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Names: Lighthouse, Athene of Lymington

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