for hire in Puglia
Gallery - Otranto, porta d'oriente
Otranto historic centre by night
The Castle of Otranto
Gate into the historic city centre
The main pedestrian street through the historic centre
This is full of shops and restaurants
The cathedral mosaic floor and ceiling are magnificent
View from the Castle walls
Otranto centre has many fine beaches and swimming spots
Beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters are just a few minutes walk
Otranto overlooks a pretty harbour on the blue Adriatic coast. The weather is hot between April and October and the sea is warm and a delight to swim in.
In the historic centre, looming golden walls guard narrow car-free lanes protecting countless pretty little shops selling fantastic local wines and olives alongside touristic odds and ends. In July and August it's one of Puglia's most vibrant towns.
Otranto was Italy's most important port to the East for 1000 years and has suffered a brutal history. There are fanciful tales that King Minos was here and St Peter was supposed to have celebrated the first Western Mass here.
A more definite historic fact is the Sack of Otranto in 1480, when 18,000 Turks, led by Ahmet Pasha, besieged the town. The townsfolk were able to keep the Turks at bay for 15 days before capitulating. 800 survivors were subsequently led up the nearby Minerva Hill and were beheaded for refusing to convert.
Today the activities are rather more sedate and the action is likely to be in the restaurants and bars or on the beaches, though there are many music and religious festivals in the Summer (see video below).
Brindisi airport is an hour's drive away and Bari airport is 2 hours.
Otranto - porta d'oriente. A 4 minute video giving you an idea of Otranto, its seafront, beaches, port, churches, restuarants, alleys, and festivals.
The beautiful Adriatic Sea in Otranto's bay