Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto, serving as an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base. Founded by Spartans in the 8th century BC during the period of Greek colonisation, Taranto was among the most important in Magna Graecia, becoming a cultural, economic and military power that gave birth to philosophers, strategists, writers and athletes such as Archytas, Aristoxenus, Livius Andronicus, Heracleides, Iccus, Cleinias, Leonidas, Lysis and Sosibius. By 500 BC, the city was among the largest in the world, with a population estimated up to 300,000 people. The seven-year rule of Archytas marked the apex of its development and recognition of its hegemony over other Greek colonies of southern Italy. Taranto is now the third-largest continental city in southern Italy (south of Rome, roughly the southern half of the Italian peninsula), with well-developed steel and iron foundries, oil refineries, chemical works, naval shipyards and food-processing factories. Taranto railway station connects the city with Rome, Naples, Milan, Bologna, Bari, Reggio di Calabria and Brindisi.
Taranto is twinned with: Sparta, Greece • Brest, France • Donetsk, Ukraine • Alicante, Spain • Islamabad, Pakistan • Pittsburgh, United States.
Taranto has a population of over 195,227 people. Taranto is the #400 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 1.6281 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.