Taranto City, Southern Italy

Looking down from the International Space Station on the Italian coastline through a powerful (1150 millimeter) zoom lens, an astronaut shot this detailed photograph of the city of Taranto. It is Italy's major southern port and naval base. These facilities face into the outer bay, locally known as the Mar Grande, where ships are anchored. The Cheradi Islands form a small archipelago that encircles the Mar Grande.

From docks on the north side of Mar Grande, the city exports petroleum and steel products from a nearby industrial zone. The naval yards lie on the east side. The old town, dating from Roman times, occupies the tip of the promontory that separates Taranto's outer bay from the inner bay, Mar Piccolo.

A wider view from 2014 shows Taranto's location in the northern angle of the Gulf of Taranto.

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