Gulf of Taranto

The Gulf of Taranto (Italian: Golfo di Taranto; Tarantino: Gurfe de Tarde; Latin: Sinus Tarentinus) is a gulf of the Ionian Sea, in Southern Italy.

Gulf of Taranto
Gulf of Taranto map.png
Map of the Gulf of Taranto.
Coordinates39°53′06″N 17°16′37″E / 39.88500°N 17.27694°E / 39.88500; 17.27694Coordinates: 39°53′06″N 17°16′37″E / 39.88500°N 17.27694°E / 39.88500; 17.27694
Native name
Etymologyafter the city of Taranto
Part ofIonian Sea
Primary inflowsAgri, Basento, Sinni
Primary outflowsMediterranean Sea
Basin countriesItaly
SettlementsTaranto, Gallipoli, Crotone

The Gulf of Taranto is almost square, 140 km (87 mi) long and wide, and is delimited by the capes Santa Maria di Leuca (to the east, in Apulia) and Colonna (the ancient Lacinium, to the west, in Calabria), encompassed by the three regions of Apulia, Basilicata and Calabria. The most important rivers are the Basento, the Sinni, and the Agri.

The main cities on the gulf are Taranto and Gallipoli. Also the Greek colonies (Magna Graecia) of Kroton, Heraclea, Thurii, and Sybaris were founded on the Gulf of Taranto.

Italy claims the whole gulf as national waters, thus closed to international traffic. This position, which is similar to that of Libya on the Gulf of Sidra, is not recognized by some other countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom.[1]


  1. ^ Hattendorf, John B. (2000). Naval Policy and Strategy in the Mediterranean: Past, Present, and Future. Frank Cass Publishers. p. 353.