For the American actor, see Dan Castellaneta.
Città di Castellaneta

View of the historical centre.

Location of Castellaneta in Italy

Coordinates: 40°38′N 16°56′E / 40.633°N 16.933°E / 40.633; 16.933Coordinates: 40°38′N 16°56′E / 40.633°N 16.933°E / 40.633; 16.933
Country Italy
Region  Apulia
Province / Metropolitan city Taranto (TA)
Frazioni Marina di Castellaneta, Gaudella
  Mayor Giovanni Gugliotti
  Total 239 km2 (92 sq mi)
Elevation 245 m (804 ft)
Population (31 December 2013)
  Total 17,194
  Density 72/km2 (190/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Castellanetani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 74011
Dialing code 099
Patron saint St. Nicholas and St. Francis of Paola
Saint day December 8
Website Official website

Castellaneta is a city and comune in the province of Taranto, in the Apulia region of Southern Italy, about 40 km (25 mi) from Taranto. Located in a territory spanning from the Murgia to the Ionian Sea, characterized by numerous gravina ravines, it is part of the Comunità Montana della Murgia Tarantina (Tarentine Murgia Mountain Community).


Castellaneta in the 18th century.

Human settlements were present in the area since the Bronze Age (3rd–2nd millennium BC), and it was later probably settled by Sicels, Messapii and Iapyges. According to a theory, a fortified city (Castania in Latin) was founded in 550 and grew in size when the population of neighboring cities fled there from Saracen attacks. Other historians maintain instead that it was a Greek colony which existed until the 8th century. When the Saracens destroyed it, the inhabitants joined in a Castellum Unitum (United Castle) on the hills, whence the current name.

Whatever its origin, Castellaneta was conquered by the Normans in 1064, taken by Duke Robert of Taranto, who expelled its Byzantine inhabitants. At that time, probably, the episcopal see was created. In the 13th century Charles of Anjou turned it first into a fief, and later into a King's city.

In 1503, during the Italian Wars, the citizens pushed back a French occupation force under the Duke of Nemours, in the so-called "Sack of Castellaneta". In 1519 the Spaniards sold it to Flemish feudataries, and thenceforth the city started to decline as secondary center.

In the course of World War II, the withdrawing Germans bombed it, killing 27 people. For this feat the city received a bronze medal to civil valor.

Main sites

The sea in the frazione of Castellaneta Marina.

Famous people

Actor Rudolph Valentino was born in Castellaneta in 1895. The ancestors of Dan Castellaneta, an actor/voice actor best known for his work on The Simpsons, were from the city.


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