The Province of Taranto is the only one of the six Puglian provinces not to border the Adriatic Sea, with all its coastline being on the Ionian. The capital city of Taranto has ancient origins, known as 'The Spartan City' after its founders, who established a colony here in the 7th Century BC. Subsequently known as Tarentum by the Romans, the city benefits from a natural harbour and is the location of the main naval base for the Italian military.
The province reaches north to the grand baroque town of Martina Franca; in the west lies the town of Laterza, renowned for it's bread and a 12km long canyon; and Manduria, the home of the Primitivo grape, in the east.
The province of Taranto is home to some of the best beaches in the region, or indeed in Italy, with mile after mile of white sandy beaches from the Gulf of Taranto down to Gallipoli.
Taranto Province has a population of c.580k, and covers a land area of 2 437 km2.