What it is and where it is
Reopened entirely in 2016 after a lengthy renovation, Taranto's MarTa is one of Italy's most important archaeological museums, and is housed in a beautiful, functional and modern facility. It is located in the center of the city of Taranto, halfway between the charming Borgo Antico and the shopping streets, in what before 1887 had been the Convent of the Frati Alcantarini, built shortly after the mid-18th century.
Why it is special
The MArTA preserves unique pieces from Magna Graecia (of which Taranto was the capital), and no, we're not just talking about "vases." There are beautiful mosaics of patrician villas and baths, perfectly preserved, and the collection of the Ori, which is truly unique
Not to be missed
The MArTA's Collection of the Ori impresses with its modernity, to the point that you will no longer feel like you are in a museum but in front of the window display of a (beautiful) jewelry store! In fact, you will admire jewelry that seems to have been designed today and instead is thousands of years old.
A bit of history
Taranto was the only Spartan colony in Magna Graecia, and was founded around 706 BC. Its origin was said to be the revolt of the Partheniai (the "sons of virgins"), who were born of illegitimate unions during the wars between Sparta and Messenia and who, eager to acquire full political rights, were sent to the West to found a new center, under the leadership of their leader Phalanthus. The Spartan colony of Taras was named after a river and the hero, son of Poseidon and the nymph Satyria, depicted riding a dolphin on the coins of the city mint.
The Taranto Archaeological Museum's collection of Ori was the inspiration for the Cruise 2021 collection of the Dior fashion house presented in a fashion show in Lecce on July 22, 2020.
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