Bathed by the Mar Grande and the Mar Piccolo, Taranto is an Apulian city that has developed a privileged relationship over the course of history with the marine world. In this sense, the legends linked to the foundation of its inhabited area represent a precious testimony.
In fact, the name of the city evokes the figure of the mythological hero Taras, son of the god Poseidon and the nymph Satyria. According to the legend, Taras landed along the banks of the river Tara, a watercourse which subsequently took his name. Then during the celebration of some rites in honor of the paternal divinity, along the banks of the Ionian Sea, a dolphin appeared. The appearance of the animal was intended as a positive sign and Taras chose to found a city that took the name of Saturo: the original nucleus which
would become the city we know today.
The image of Taras is represented in the first coins minted in the old Taranto, in the act of riding a dolphin. So, already in ancient times, dolphins populated the waters of the Ionian, so much so that they assumed a central role in the legends linked to the foundation of the city.
Currently, we know that dolphins are able to travel more than 100 km per day and have a bio sonar that helps them to orient themselves in the depths of the marine abyss: for this reason, they produce a series of ultrasounds useful for communicating the presence of danger or prey to their companions.
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