“The White City”
The picturesque white Town, perched on three hills with a wonderful panoramic view, displays its maze of white streets, rich in history, craft shops and traditional restaurants.
Ostuni, perched on three hills, is located inside the Itria Valley, 218 meters above sea level. It is 42 km north-west of Brindisi, 8 km from the Adriatic coast and it was awarded the Blue Flag.
Ostuni, the White Town, is magic thanks to the characteristic whitewashed houses of its historic center, a tradition the inhabitants still keep on. The Fifteenth century Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral dominates mid town, with a façade sporting a 24-rays rose window of rare beauty.
Along the Via Cattedrale, which divides into two parts the medieval heart of town, there is the former Carmelite Monastery, nowadays seat of the Museum of pre-classical civilization of Southern Murgia, which contains the calque of Delia, a pregnant woman who lived 25,000 years ago.
In Piazza Beato Giovanni Paolo II (the Cathedral little square), eighteenth century buildings like the Palazzo Vescovile and the old Seminario are connected by the fascinating Scoppa arch. At the ground floor of Palazzo Episcopio, the Diocesan Museum holds and exhibits the extraordinary historic-artistic heritage of the Ostuni church, with internationally renowned masterpieces.
A series of churches and elegant houses embellish the old town, surrounded by Aragonese walls, where there are the two ancient town gates, Porta Nova and Porta San Demetrio.
Ostuni’s countryside is dotted with masserie (farmsteads), mostly turned into holiday farmhouses (agriturismi) and luxury resorts. Among them, Santa Caterina, with its high octagonal tower, the fortified masseria Lo Spagnulo and the masseria Cappuccini, with its trulli.
Only 7 minutes from the center of Ostuni, the sea is characterized by beaches, but also by places surrounded by nature with cliffs and Mediterranean scrub.
17 kilometres of shore, in which there are both sandy coves and cliffs, pebbles beaches and dunes covered with Mediterranean scrub, have given the White town the possibility to be awarded the Blue Flag in 2014, the twentieth one since 1994. The coast of Ostuni, differs itself from the other places for the cleanness of the water, for the coast, for the services offered, the safety measures and the environmental education. The Dune Costiere Nature Park stretches from Torre San Leonardo as far as Lido Morelli, which includes also a wetland with small lakes of salty water, fossil dunes and a part of the lame (typical gullies of Puglia), which flow into the sea.
Green flag of the pediatricians
Ostuni has been recently included amid the 100 seaside resorts which can boast the green flag of the pediatricians.
Only 40 minutes from Ostuni we have Alberobello.
An expanse of trulli (traditional drystone huts) gives Alberobello its unique, inimitable skyline, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the heart of the Murgia dei Trulli, 50 kilometres (31 miles) away from Bari, a lovely spread of pinnacles announces Alberobello’s characteristic historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The old town centre, which has also been awarded the Touring Club of Italy’s Orange Flag, is entirely composed of trulli, traditional drystone huts whitened with quicklime and capped by conical bare-stone roofs. Crosses, pierced hearts, and zodiac signs decorate the roofs, maintaining the air of mystery that surrounds the trulli.
The Rione Monti, a maze of narrow winding streets with over 1,000 trulli, is the oldest part of the town, along with the Rione Aia Piccola. This area is home to the Casa Pezzolla, a complex of 15 interconnected trulli that today houses the Museo del Territorio, and the Trullo Sovrano, which stages performances and concerts.
Alberobello’s churches are even shaped like trulli. The Church of Sant’Antonio boasts a Greek cross plan and a cupola 21 meters high (69 feet). Another church that is worth a visit is the Basilica Minore dei Santi Medici, where you’ll find images of the Madonna of Loreto and patron saints Cosma and Damiano.
Only 25 minutes from Ostuni, Polignano a mare represents a town with its own historic center surrounded by the sea.
Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, Polignano a Mare is the ideal place to plunge into uncontaminated waters and explore a picturesque historic centre by the sea.
Poligano is the birthplace of the renowned singer Domenico Modugno, who became famous for his song Nel blu dipinto di blu (“In the Sky, Painted Blue”). The fascinating historical centre reveals traces of its Arab, Byzantine, Spanish and Norman past, including the remains of the four watchtowers that once guarded the ancient town.
Head through the Arco della Porta (the Door Arch), once the town’s only entrance, and you’ll find yourself in the magical centre, home to the 13th-century Mother Church dedicated to the Assumption. Another must-see is the town’s former slaughterhouse, which has been renovated and today houses the Pino Pascali Museum Foundation and its collection of works by Puglia’s renowned artist and sculptor.
The high cliffs and jagged coastline between Palazzese Cave and Lama Monachile, make Polignano’s shoreline one of Puglia’s most beautiful coastal stretches, peppered with hidden inlets and charming sandy bays.