Even upon arrival, the city looks spectacular. The beautiful city of Ostuni rises on the three hills of the Itria Valley. It is called “La città bianca” (the white city), since the houses of its historical center are covered in white lime.
Besides creating an harmonious cityscape, the bright, light coloring of the houses has a bigger purpose: the direct light from the sun was not enough to light up the small and narrow streets that characterise Ostuni. The white color added the indirect light coming from the reflections of the sunlight, enlightening the walls of the city with a warm glow.
But the city itself is not the only remarkable suggestion while there... The historical center is not directly located at the sea and the commune of Ostuni extends up until the Adriatic sea. Last year the city got the Blue Flag, which is a certification from FEE for the quality of its beaches, as well as the "five sail boats" from Legambiente (an Italian environmentalist association). Those awards declared Ostuni the city with the cleanest beach in Italy. If you visit in the summer months the beautiful coastal section, Ostuni Marina, is definitely a must-visit.
As in every other Apulian town, it is best to start your discovery tour from the historical city center. In this case, the city offers a beautiful white maze of narrow typical Italian streets and impressive architecture. While walking through the historical center you will come across the romanic-gothic style Basilica Minore, placed on the highest hill of the city, which was built in the 14th century. It has a rare and big rose window with 24 rays, rich of carvings, engraves and incisions.
Strolling along the Via Cattedrale, the street which divides the city center in two, you will find museums, unique shops, handcraft ateliers and small cafés and restaurants. Due to its position on the hill, there are many viewpoints in the city overlooking the famous Itria Valley and blue Adriatic Sea – the perfect spot to watch the sunset.
The entire landscape around the city is full of Masserie, which are typical in Apulia, surrounded by olive trees. These ancient former farm houses were transformed into cozy and comfortable farm holiday and luxury resorts. Ostuni is a great spot to start exploring the rest of the Itria Valley, or if you don't feel like it...just enjoy a few relaxing days in this beautiful and picturesque white town.
Title Picture © Credits to iStock/Ladiras
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