The monument to the Sailor ~ Taranto Capitale di Mare

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The monument to the Sailor

Corso Due Mari, 74123 Taranto TA



Made by Vittorio Di Cobertaldo in 1974, the Monument to the Sailor of Taranto is one of the most iconic places in the City of the Two Seas.

This five meters high (16ft) metal work (without the pedestal) depicts a couple of sailors raising a hat, typical gesture used to symbolically greet the arrival or the departure of the ships passing through the Navigable Canal.

The work, commissioned by Admiral Angelo Iachino (one of the most illustrious and controversial Italian military figures of the Second World War), faces towards the bay of Mar Grande (“The Big Sea”).This bay was the scene of the tragic battle of the “Taranto Night” (11-12 November 1940), during which the Italian Navy suffered serious losses in ships and men due to a massive attack by the British Royal Navy, led by Admiral Andrew Cunningham.

The powerful and well-organized war operation ended up with the victory of the British fleet which dealt an important blow to the Italian team and, above all, to the military reputation of the fascist regime.

The torpedoing started at 11.00 pm when warships, heavy and light cruisers and several destroyers were gathered in the port of Taranto. It lasted about ninety minutes during which were launched several attacks.

Perhaps, the hardest blow (especially from a symbolic point of view) was the gash of the left side of the “Cavour” ship which, the following day, was found lying on one side by the citizens, who came out of the shelters and looked out onto the seafront to see what happened and to gather information on the conditions of the military. +

According to the historiography, the success of the British attack was due to the betrayal of the high ranks of the Royal Navy, but at the moment there is no concrete evidence to support this thesis.

This sad episode that saw Taranto as the protagonist, is probably one of the least famous  of the Second World War, yet it marked a historic change in the way warfare was conducted on the sea, showing the supremacy of aviation. Since then, in fact, aircraft carriers became decisive in outlining the outcome of a military confrontation.

The monument harmonizes well with the beautiful railing installed in the early 1900s along the shore of the Navigable Canal. It has never been replaced over the years and has, at the center of each segment, a star and the coat of arms of the Savoy Navy.

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Disabled access

Parking lot


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Always visitable

The monument to the Sailor is part of the following itineraries

Find out other interesting places by clicking on one of the suggested itineraries


Corso Due Mari, 74123 Taranto TA



Promenade Vittorio Emanuele III

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