A view of Taranto.
- seaport in SE Italy, on the Gulf of Taranto: pop. 230,000
- arm of the Ionian Sea, in SE Italy: c. 85 mi (137 km) long
Origin of TarantoClassical Latin Tarentum ; from Classical Greek Taras, said to be named after Taras, son of Poseidon
A city of southeast Italy east-southeast of Naples on the Gulf of Taranto, an arm of the Ionian Sea. Founded by Greeks from Sparta in the eighth century BC, it was known as Tarentum in Roman times. Ruled by varied powers over the centuries, it became part of Italy in 1861.