Taranto is the second most populous city in Puglia, a region in the south of Italy. The city is located at the confluence of the two seas, and since 1965 has on its doorstep the ILVA, one of the largest iron and steel poles in Europe.
Initially state-owned and state-controlled, then during the 80s the pole passed to the private management. Ilva, previously named Italsider, in a continuous cycle just like its production, continuously day and night covers Tamburi, (the city area immediately next to the pole), on the rest the city, on the countryside and the surrounding waters with fine particles and dioxin. People, plants, waters, air and animals are contaminated.
The poisoning of the environment led to the prohibition of grazing and of the mussels cultivation and to the putting down of hundreds of livestocks. In the city it caused a genotoxic damage. The number of people died because of it increased years by years. As a diseased lung the pole has deeply marked the life of Taranto and its citizens