The voices of those who worked in the port and those who still work there today.
Different professions and great skills to make a complex organism like the port work.
The transformations described directly by the protagonists
I have seen this port reborn and grow since I was a port officer, so it is my life. When I decided to leave the Navy, the Harbour Offices, I did so because… since I was moving up in rank and had to leave Taranto, I preferred to go and work in the steel industry, I have continued to take care of this entity, this creation. My desire was to see Taranto grow.
(Michele Conte, former president of AdSP Ionian Sea – Port of Taranto)
“I worked in the port for about 40 years, 40 years is a long time.”
I worked in the port for about forty years. Forty years is a long time. Here I have had the opportunity to have many experiences, to grow as a person, but above all I have understood the importance to a city of having a functioning port. We have all made some mistakes in the past, but today I believe that Taranto must reclaim its port and look ahead with confidence, though to do so, it is necessary for everyone to know the port well, both its recent and past history, which teaches us to better manage the challenges of the future.
(Adolfo Melucci, former port worker)
Gianni Puglisi, a long-time captain and president of the Taranto Mooring Cooperative, describes the work of the moorers as “one of the most beautiful jobs in the world”.
Salvatore Eligio, the Chief of the port’s Pilots, describes the work of the pilot who guides ships both in and out of the port. He highlights the importance of his task and the commitment it requires for the safety of seafarers and ships.
THE COAST GUARD
Diego Tomat, Commander of the Taranto Harbour Office, describes the Coast Guard’s role in ensuring safe navigation. Not only supervisory, he also tells us about the great care taken to protect the marine environment and its fauna.
Gianfranco Gisonda, a member of the staff of the Ionian Sea Port System Authority – Port of Taranto, outlines the changes in the “Taranto” dock, the historic core of the port, describing the new “waterfront” project.
THE MARITIME WARNING SYSTEM
Ivon Morello, with his children Fabio and Simona, describe their work monitoring all ship movements in the port. The maritime warning system is a port service available in all major ports.
THE BOATMEN, TAXI DRIVERS OF THE SEA
Cosimo Pignatelli, President of the Boatmen’s Group Cooperative Society, describes the work of the boatman, a sort of taxi driver of the sea.
Gaetano Raguseo, Head of the Taranto Operations Base of Neapolitan Tugboats, describes the complex work of towing large ships within the port area.
THE SHIPPING AGENTS
Giuseppe Melucci, President of the RACCOMAR Association of Taranto, tells us about a very special job: the shipping agent, a complex figure who is vital for linking a ship to the services within the port.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND SAFETY TECHNICIANS
Francesco Argento, Managing Director of Ecotaras Spa, talks about the attention paid to environmental sustainability in all potentially polluting operations of the port.
Domenico D’Erchia, Head of Security at the port company Peyrani Sud, describes the handling of goods in the port, especially wind turbines.
Claudio Di Benedetto, head of port operations at Ecologica Spa, tells us about the remediation, clean-up and industrial waste disposal operations carried out by the company he works for, particularly at the polysectoral quay.
CARGO SAFETY WORKERS
Alfredo Scarci of the port company Triton, which operates within the port area, describes how cargo is transported inside the ships’ holds to ensure the safety of the ship and the goods.
OTHER SECURITY STAFF
Letizia Todaro, Security Guard at VIS Vigilanza, tells us about her enriching experience of working in the port of Taranto.
Arnaldo De Vitis, sole Director of De Vitis Trasporti Sud, with his sons Piergiorgio and Marzio, describes the family business, which from 1920 has dealt with logistics and transportation for customs warehouses, including refrigerated products in cold stores.
MARITIME BORDER POLICE PERSONNEL
Cosima Bernardi, Deputy Commissioner of the Taranto Border Police, tells us how work in the port has changed since Italy joined the Schengen countries (an area in which internal borders have been abolished since 1997) to the present day.
CUSTOMS AND MONOPOLIES OFFICERS
Giuseppe Ciccarelli, Director of the Taranto Customs and Monopolies Office, describes the mission of this state agency and its operations, which are to facilitate the trade in legal goods on the one hand, and to combat the trafficking of illegal goods on the other.
FIREFIGHTING AND SEA RESCUE PERSONNEL
Pierpaolo Patrizietti, commander of the Taranto fire brigade, describes the work of the various units of the fire brigade’s port detachment, which, as well as the land-based fires, deals with fires and rescues at sea , thanks also to the support of a team of divers.
Valentino Gennarini, a man from another era
The former shipping agent Valentino Gennarini, born in 1928, talks about his long career in the port and how he dealt with the crisis in port traffic. Despite the difficulties, he always did his utmost for the common good and for those in need.
Stella Maris, the human face of the port
Marisa Metrangolo, President of the Stella Maris Association of Taranto, describes the efforts of their volunteers on behalf of seafarers, workers who often spend many months away from home, offering them a warm welcome and a friendly ear.