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Open port

The name “Open Port“ already reflects the strategic objective of the AdSP to promote the connection between the port and the city, through the redevelopment and enhancement of the linking zone between the port and the town, by reclaiming areas that are currently abandoned or little used.



Its lines and points are the routes and stages of a journey that will take us far away, towards a new way of experiencing the Port with its past, present and future. The shapes and colours represent the two core aspects of the Exhibition Centre, the view from the sea and the view of the sea, drawing a porthole on the open sea and a sun rising on the horizon. Because this is how Taranto will see its port from now on: open to all and full of new opportunities, every day.

The Ionian Sea Port Authority, in line with the objectives underlying the Three-Year Operational Plan 2020-2022 of the Authority (see action no. 11 of the POT – strategic objective “Port and Territory”) has coordinated the design work for the port centre of Taranto. Called “Open Port – Exhibition center of the Port of Taranto“, it is a hub for the dissemination of maritime-port culture that aims to become the leading port centre in Southern Italy, as well as providing immersive experiences capable of connecting the port with the city of Taranto, acting as an educational, information and interaction centre open to citizens.

Open Port invites citizens, associations, young people, scholars and students, cultural mediators – and more! – to submit original contributions to the virtual network of the exhibition centre, to keep the exhibition layout fresh and up-to-date. The Port Centre is part of the broader program of actions undertaken by the AdSP – in conjunction with Taranto City Council – aimed at opening up the port to new dynamics of development and interaction with the port city, and with the international network of port cities, through projects to raise awareness of and disseminate the port’s heritage, which recognises the resource of the sea as its greatest expression of identity.


Privileged eyewitnesses to the history and current affairs of Taranto and its port.

The voice of men and women who, with great enthusiasm and lively participation, have contributed and continue to promote the propagation of knowledge and port anecdotes, as well as the sharing of documentary and illustrative materials, historical references and direct evidence.


The museological project was set up with the aim of bringing out the characteristics of the port through the direct accounts of the protagonists. The presentation of the port's themes and reality will take into account an ecomuseum context aimed at bringing to life, and appreciating the richness of, the network of connections between places, people, events and projects. A museum that will become an avatar of the local community, a representation that will integrate with and link up to itineraries for discovering Taranto.

The exhibition format will be original and innovative because it will combine the techniques and creativity of artistic craftsmanship – such as ceramics and mosaics – with materials and shapes typical of industry – such as sheet metal, parts of containers, ropes – and the integration of technologies for the production of video installations and multimedia events. The design of the installations will be inspired by objects and accessories such as bollards, columns on which mooring cables are wound, chains and ropes.

It is planned, therefore, to use materials inspired by local traditions and recycled materials, such as plastic tesserae obtained from recovered bottles to make mosaics.

Numerous multidisciplinary and multi-target experiences will be possible: cultural, emotional, recreational and creative, because the museum will be configured not only as an exhibition space, but also as a venue for hosting and sharing the original ideas of its users.



The Open Port will be set up in a portion of the multipurpose “Falanto“ service centre, a symbolic building in the link zone between the port and the city, located along the San Cataldo Quay. The internal installation - which will be followed by subsequent external set-ups - will be constructed in special ``containers`` for playful and educational experiences that can facilitate the description and understanding of port culture in an ecomuseum context, where the aim is not only to tell facts or stories, but also to help users experience, and appreciate the richness of, the network of connections between places, people, cultural institutions, events and projects.

The decision to situate the Open Port in the “Falanto“ building is part of a broader project for the redevelopment of the port area, which aims to restore continuity to the system of public spaces and pedestrian links in the stretch between the wharf and the city. The exhibition space will be conceived as a tool for interpreting, connecting and enhancing the multiple relationships existing between the industrial activities carried out in the port of Taranto and the natural, historical and anthropological elements of the territory. It will be an opportunity to rediscover one’s roots but also a “gym” for young people who want to learn, through their ancestors’ professions, about the resources and opportunities available in this working environment.

These initiatives are part of the wider regeneration scheme of the Waterfront Mar Grande project, drawn up by the Ionian Sea AdSP in collaboration with the Municipality of Taranto, with the aim of reconnecting, through “light” alterations and pedestrian routes, the central areas of the city that are currently separated (railway station, old town, Porta Napoli, etc), and revitalising them through the creation of new recreational, cultural and leisure services. The project also envisages moving back the East Gate of the port, and constructing a scenic promenade with exhibition spaces and furnished green areas which, starting from the San Cataldo quay, will continue as far as the Aragonese Castle.


Sergio Prete, President of the Ionian Sea Port System Authority – Port of Taranto, tells us about the Open Port project.


Live streaming of the talk organised by the AdSP of the Ionian Sea during Taranto Port Days 2021

The launch event of the Open Port project represented, within Port Days 2021, a moment of relating and sharing the path embarked on in 2020 for the participatory construction of the Exhibition Centre of the port of Taranto. The event was attended by the main protagonists of the Ionian port cluster, the team of external designers and all those who, in various ways, had contributed to the success of the initiative. The event was also attended by international representatives of the AIVP Association, academics and experts from other European port cities that already have a port centre, with the aim of offering their experience and sharing good practices, know-how and perspectives on the future.


The Open Port project and the network of international port cities


Former General Manager
AIVP – Association International Villes et Ports


Professor of History of Architecture and Urban Planning
Department of Architecture at the TU Delft


Director at Le Havre Port Center


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