Province of Taranto

Apulia, Italy

Country:
Region:
Province:
Province of Taranto
Population:
584 649

About Province of Taranto

The province of Taranto (Italian: Taranto province; Tarantino: provìgne de Tarde; Salentino: ti Tàrantu province), formerly known as the Ionian province, is a province of Puglia. Its capital is the city of Taranto. It has an area of 2,437 square kilometers (941 square miles) and a total population of 581,092 (2017). There are 29 municipalities (singular: comune) in the province, all listed in the municipalities in the province of Taranto. The province coat of arms contains a scorpion, believed to have seen Pyrrhus looking down towards Taranto.

History

When Italy was unified, the province of Lecce was formed; the western part of this later became the current province of Taranto. On September 23, 1923, Taranto became the capital of a new province based on the ancient Terra d'Otranto, in recognition of the important role that the city had played since ancient times. Until 1951, the new province was called the "Ionian Province".

The scorpion on the city coat of arms may have been used as an emblem in ancient times, at the suggestion of Pyrrhus of Epirus, who was an ally of Taranto in a war against Rome: the scorpion is depicted lying on his back with three lilies, which holds the crown of the Principality of Taranto between its claws. Pyrrhus, who was king of Epirus, looked down on the city from the hills that surrounded it and had the idea that its shape was similar to the figure of a scorpion. This emblem was also seen as a psychological deterrent for the enemies of the city, who came to regard Magna Graecia as dangerous as a scorpion. The first verified use of a scorpion on the Taranto coat of arms dates back to 400 AD.

Source: Wikipedia
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Province_of_Taranto