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Taranto view
Taranto (/təˈræntoʊ/, also US: /ˈtɑːrənˌtoʊ/; Italian pronunciation: [ˈtaːranto] (About this sound listen); Tarantino: Tarde)[1][a] is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base.[3]

It is the third-largest continental city of Southern Italy. According to 2011 population census, it then had a population of 200,154.

Taranto is an important commercial and military port with well-developed steel and iron foundries, oil refineries, chemical works, naval shipyards, and food-processing factories.

In ancient times around 500 BC the city was one of the largest in the world with population estimates up to 300,000 people.The Big Sea is frequently known as the Big Sea bay as that is where ships harbour. It is separated from the Little Sea by a cape which closes the gulf, leading to the artificial island. This island formed the heart of the original city and it is connected to the mainland by the Ponte di Porta Napoli and the Ponte Girevole. The Big Sea is separated from the Ionian Sea by the Capo San Vito, the Isole Cheradi of St Peter and St Paul, and the three islands of San Nicolicchio, which are completely incorporated by the steel plant. The latter form a little archipelago which closes off the arc creating the natural Big Sea bay.

The Little Sea is considered to be a lagoon so it presents problems of water exchange. It is virtually divided into two by the Ponte Punta Penna Pizzone, which joins the Punta Penna to the Punta Pizzone. The first of these forms a rough triangle, whose corners are the opening to the east and the Porta Napoli channel linking it to the Big Sea in the west. The second half forms an ellipse whose major axis measures almost 5 kilometres (3 miles) from the south-west to the north-east. The Galeso river flows into the first half.

The two water bodies have slightly different winds and tides and their underwater springs have different salinities. These affect the currents on the surface and in the depths of the Big Sea and the two halves of the Little Sea. In the Big Sea and in the northern part of the Little Sea, there are some underwater springs called citri,[8] which carry undrinkable freshwater together with salt water. This creates the ideal biological conditions for cultivating Mediterranean mussels, known locally as cozze.

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Additional Photos by Costantino Topas (COSTANTINO) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7146 W: 23 N: 12702] (83332)
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