Taranto, port city in the Puglia (‘Apulia’) region in far south-east Italy. It is the capital city of the eponymously named province. Taranto lies between two bodies of water. It overlooks the Gulf of Taranto or Mar Grande (Big Sea) which is part of the Ionian Sea to the west, and the much smaller Mar Piccolo (Little Sea) to its east, a lagoon which is almost completely surrounded by land. The waters of the Mar Piccolo privilege the breeding of mussels, because they are made sweeter (compared to those of Mar Grande) by the presence of numerous ‘citri’ or underwater springs. It is classified by the EU as a site of community interest due to its relevance from an environmental and wildlife point of view.