They say that size isn’t everything, and Ostuni certainly proves that theory. It’s a small city, but offers a lot for tourists and locals alike.
Widely known as ‘The White City’ (‘La Citta Bianca’ in Italian) for its gleaming white buildings in the historic centre and ancient city walls. You can enjoy a full vista of this iconic site as you drive into the city from the coast.
The region has been inhabited since the Stone age. The town is reputed to have been originally established by the Messapii, a pre-classic tribe, and destroyed by Hannibal during the Punic Wars. It was then re-built by the Greeks, the name Ostuni deriving from the Greek Astu néon (‘new town’).
The historic centre (‘centro storico’) is well-known not just in Puglia but across Italy and beyond. One of the must-see sights, and a monument in its own right, is its ornate Baroque cathedral. You’ll also want to check out the Bishop’s Palace and a number of impressive palazzi of local aristocratic families.
Also tucked away in its winding narrow streets lies an abundance of bijou bars and mouth-watering restaurants, just waiting for you to discover them.
Every Saturday Ostuni is bustling and brim full of people all flooding to the local market on the edge of the town. It’s an enjoyable – and essential – Pugliese experience and an awesome place to pick up a bargain or fresh local produce.
Locals affectionately call Villanova di Ostuni ‘Ostuni-on-Sea’. Part of the commune of Ostuni, it boasts a stunning beach which won a Blue Flag award. It also claimed the 5 Sails (a prize given to the most beautiful beaches) of Legambiente (Italian environment protection association).
Villanova also includes a couple of great beach clubs. Many locals go here during the day to catch a bit of sun along the green water shades of the Adriatic Sea and the scents of the Mediterranean scrub.
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