The Aragonese Castel (Castello Aragonese) is an important landmark in Taranto and is a popular tourist attraction. It is a must-see for anyone interested in medieval history, architecture, or military fortifications.
It is a medieval castel located on a small island in the Mar Piccolo, a narrow sea inlet in the city of Taranto. The castel was built in the 15th century by the Aragonese dynasty, who ruled over Taranto at that time.
The previous Greek, Byzantine and Norman-Swabian-Angevin structures are still legible and visible during the guided tour. The new castle from the Aragonese era was rebuilt in the years between 1487 and 1492, according to the new criteria imposed by the improvement of the artillery. The reconstruction project, wanted by Ferdinand of Aragon, was carried out with the intervention of the architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The cylindrical towers and internal walkways are characteristic. The Renaissance chapel of S. Leonardo inside is also interesting.
The castel is an impressive structure, with imposing walls, towers, and a moat that was once filled with seawater. It served as a military fortress and was also used as a prison. The castel has undergone several restorations and renovations over the years, including a major restoration in the 20th century.
Today, the Castello Aragonese is open to visitors and houses a museum with exhibits on the castel’s history, as well as on the archaeology and natural history of the area. Visitors can explore the castel’s many rooms and halls, and enjoy views of the Mar Piccolo from the castel’s ramparts.
When can I visit?
The opening hours of the Aragonese Castel in Taranto may vary, so it is always best to check ahead of time. Generally, the castel is open to visitors every day and may have different slots for visits
Visits to the Castel are totally free!
For more info and reservation please visit the official website http://www.castelloaragonesetaranto.com/
Where to park
If you plan to visit the Castello Aragonese in Taranto by car, there are several parking options available in the surrounding area. Here are a few suggestions:
Parcheggio Piazza Archita: This is a large street parking lot. It is about a 5-10 minute walk to the castel entrance.
Parcheggio Largo Piazza Castello: This is a smaller parking lot located closer to the castel, but it may fill up quickly during peak times.
Street parking: There may be some free or metered street parking available in the surrounding area, but it can be difficult to find a spot during busy times.
It is important to note that the roads leading to the castel can be narrow and winding. So be sure to drive carefully and follow any posted signs or instructions.
Things to see near the Castel
There are several other interesting places to visit near the Castello Aragonese in Taranto. Here are a few suggestions:
- Taranto Old Town: The historic center of Taranto is located just across the bridge from the Aragonese Castel. Here you can explore the winding streets, visit the Cathedral of San Cataldo. And also admire the Baroque architecture of the Palazzo Pantaleo.
- National Archaeological Museum of Taranto (MArTA): This museum is located in the historic Palazzo della Giudecca in Taranto’s Old Town. It features a large collection of artifacts from ancient Greek, Roman, and other civilizations that inhabited the area.
- Ponte Girevole: This is a unique swing bridge that spans the entrance to the Mar Piccolo. It connects the Aragonese Castel to the mainland. It is a fascinating engineering feat and a popular spot for photos.
- Parco Archeologico di Saturo: This archaeological park is located just outside Taranto. It features the remains of a Greek settlement dating back to the 8th century BCE. It is a great place to learn about the area’s ancient history and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings.
- Ionian Coast: Taranto is located on the Ionian Sea, and there are many beautiful beaches and coastal towns to explore in the surrounding area. Some popular spots include the beaches of Lido Gandoli and Castellaneta Marina. Inland you should visit the town of Martina Franca with its beautiful baroque architecture.