Aragonese castle and swing bridge

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The once-mighty Greek-Spartan colony of Taras is, today, a city of two distinct parts – a mildewed centro storico on a small artificial island protecting a lagoon (the Mar Piccolo), and a swankier new city replete with wide avenues laid out in a formal grid. The contrast between the two is sudden and sharp: the diminutive old town with its muscular Aragonese castle harbours a downtrodden, almost derelict air, while the larger new city is busier, plusher and bustling with commerce.

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