Port Days: Taranto Port-City says goodbye to the 2021 edition
The Port System Authority of the Ionian Sea (promoting body) collaborated with the Taranto Harbour Master’s Office and other Public Administrations operating in the port, which, together with the AFO6 and Jonian Dolphin Conservation Associations, contributed to the success of the initiative. The event was also supported and endorsed by the Municipality of Taranto and the International Associations MEDports and AIVP – Association International Villes et Ports.
This year’s edition of TPD2021 was bathed in sunshine, with Quay 1 in Taranto port providing the natural setting for four days of events dedicated to Taranto port-city. An evocative location that, capitalising on the value of the sea, brought together the port and the city, enchanting citizens, families, organisations and associations from the early morning to the evening.
A Port village was set up for the occasion, an exhibition area with stands dedicated to the culture of the sea and the various public and private organisations working in the port of Taranto, as well as interactive spaces, workshops and tasting sessions for typical local products and wines in the food and wine corner managed by Due Mari WineFest. The Centrale del Latte Puglia milk company was also there with its Ape Car, handing out milk-based drinks. Fully in line with the slogan “opening port life and culture to people”, from 1 to 4 October 2021, the TPD included visits to the port by land – ‘port breaks’ organised also thanks to the collaboration with San Cataldo Container Terminal SpA and the technical-nautical services of the port of Taranto – and by sea, as well as numerous artistic, sporting and cultural events, also with an international flavour – theatrical performances by the CREST Theatre Cooperative, literary reading corners with presentations of sea-themed books, reading promotion initiatives linked to the Bibliobus mobile library, talks, conferences, and sports and music events, such as the “Rock Port”, the first edition of a contest that awarded a prize to the emerging young band The Moonquakes.
In particular, the 2021 edition saw the theme of Gender Equality as the leitmotif of a number of initiatives promoted by national Port System Authorities, including the Port System Authority of the Ionian Sea which, drawing inspiration from the principles underlying the UN Agenda 2030, promoted the Pink Tank round table during which, alongside Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility, Teresa Bellanova, a number of authoritative women in the transport sector and national and international ports led an in-depth discussion, which was also attended by many local students. During the four days of the TPD, the events area also hosted the photographic exhibition “Pink frame: lo sguardo alle donne del porto” (‘Pink frame: a look at the women of the port’), curated by Maurizio Greco and made possible thanks to the support of Taranto Cruise Port between land and sea, beyond gender stereotypes.
Taranto Port Days 2021 also hosted a new edition of the Falanto Awards, an event promoted by the Port System Authority of the Ionian Sea and sponsored this year by CLIA – Cruise Lines International Association. With the Falanto award, the Port System Authority of the Ionian Sea wanted to thank the key players who are helping to relaunch Taranto as a destination. These include the prestigious company MSC Cruises which, made an important announcement for the port city of Taranto in a video message from its Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago: confirming the presence of the Ionian port of call in the MSC routes for the 2022 cruise season.
Some of the initiatives that saw the participation of international stakeholders and associations included the Workshop between the Mediterranean ports held thanks to the support of the MEDports Association – the first in-person event after a long period of digital events due to the pandemic; the launch of the project of the Port System Authority of the Ionian Sea “Open Port“, presented during a talk on the virtual format of the exhibition centre of the port of Taranto and for which the Port System Authority of the Ionian Sea hosted, albeit remotely, the Association International Villes et Ports (AIVP); finally, the talk “A sea of alternatives” presenting the INTERREG – IPA CBC – Italy-Albania-Montenegro project “BioTourS – Biodiversity and Tourism Strategy to protect cetaceans”.
Water sports were the stars of the Taranto Port Days thanks to the “sPORT VILLAGE” – set up at Quay 1 and organised by Jonian Dolphin Conservation, OndaBuena Academy, ASD Salty Skin Taranto, and Circolo Velico Azimuth – and the initiatives that took place at the San Cataldo Pier with windsurfing, catamarans, SUPs and rowing boats, the latter featured in the “Regata in Rosa” initiative promoted by the Palio di Taranto, which this year also saw the participation of a women’s crew from the Port System Authority of the Ionian Sea. The final competition between the rowing associations bade farewell to the Taranto Port Days on 4 October, the last day.
Music, on the other hand, provided musical excitement in the port-city area, with live performances by Little Pieces of Marmelade and Vince Pastano & The Noisebreakers – the proceeds of which were donated to the S.I.M.BA ODV Association – as well as the exciting “Tribute to Franco Battiato”, a tribute by the Fondazione Taranto 25 to the port city of Taranto which, at dawn on 3 October, saw the ICO Magna Grecia Orchestra and singer-songwriter Fabio Cinti – conducted for the occasion by Maestro Marco Battigelli – perform masterfully from a barge moored along Quay 1 of the port Taranto and provided by the Gruppo Sommozzatori.
Finally, the International Propeller Club – Port of Taras closed the series of events of the Taranto Port Days 2021 with a conference on “Puglia’s maritime economy and the new scenarios of the NRRP, the challenge of green ports”, promoted in cooperation with SRM-Studi e Ricerche per il Mezzogiorno and hosted by the Ionian Department of “Mediterranean Legal and Economic Systems: society, environment, cultures” in its prestigious premises in Via Duomo in Taranto.
To relive the main moments of the 2021 edition, see the section – kept up to date – dedicated to “Taranto Port Days 2021” of the institutional website as well as to the social pages of the Port System Authority.