Perched on top of a hill and surrounded by strong defensive walls that separate centuries-old olive trees from clusters of whitewashed houses, Ostuni is an extraordinary sight and a must-see on a trip to Puglia.
Ostuni has a very ancient history and, like many Apulian cities, it was a land of conquest by Romans, Ostrogoths, Lombards, Saracens, Byzantines, Normans, Angevins, Aragonese and Bourbons. However, the most distinctive feature of Ostuni is not so much the historical monuments but its white buildings, which also represent the reason why it takes the epithet The White City. Originally the practice of lime wash was used to illuminate the dark and labyrinthine medieval streets but in the seventeenth century it became a matter of life and death as it was used to disinfect the street and limit the depredation of the plague.
Here are our tips on the best things to do absolutely in Ostuni
It may seem trivial but one of the most beautiful things to do in Ostuni is to get lost in the alleys of its historic center and let be guided by the senses. You will feel completely captured by the colors and the gleam of the houses and the shops and the flowered balconies.
The views from Ostuni are themselves worth the trip. Wonderful glimpses come out from all corners. The best of them offer sweeping views of the surrounding countryside and the Adriatic Sea.
At the top of the hill that hosts Ostuni rises the 15th century Gothic Cathedral. It’s really worth a visit inside, so take note of these opening times: Tue-Sun from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Sat-Sun from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
Ostuni is lovely at any time, but at sunset is an experience you will hardly forget. For a fantastic view of the White City, walk along Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and after a few hundred meters on the left you will find a panoramic viewpoint.
Enjoy the beaches near Ostuni. The White City is a stone’s throw from some of the most beautiful beaches in Puglia. Pilone, in the Natural Park of Dune Costiere and the Natural Reserve of Torre Guaceto are a few km away. Read here about the 8 most beautiful beaches close to Ostuni.
Ostuni countryside boasts some of the best accommodation facilities. Villas with modern design, historic farmhouses, charming b&b: there is something for all budgets and all needs.