Learn about a history rife with invasions and war in this town’s historic center. Take a romantic stroll through the port.
Otranto is a port town with a quaint harbor and picturesque sea views. The pace of life slows to a crawl in this historic area, featuring a castle and churches from centuries ago. Visit the town for its picturesque seafront and beaches beside vestiges of the historic medieval center.
Stroll through the pedestrianized alleys of the town center for a sense of its old-world charm. Many quaint shops and restaurants lie within the commune’s high walls. Marvel at the impressive Castello Aragonese, immortalized in The Castle of Otranto, one of the world’s first gothic novels, written by Horace Walpole in 1764. The castle was constructed along with the old town walls.
Another town icon is the Otranto Cathedral. Note the variety of styles of its façade, including Romanesque elements. Dating back to the 11th century, the religious structure has Byzantine frescoes and a crypt beneath the nave. Admire glorious mosaics on the floor depicting Biblical tales.
For a change of scenery, bathe in the clear waters of Alimini Beach. Rent deckchairs and umbrellas for relief from the summer heat. Dine at a restaurant or bar facing the shore. The beach, with shallow water, is ideal for families. Stroll along the Otranto waterfront to see yachts harbored in the port. Capture photos of the town’s skyline, including its tall walls and medieval buildings.
Learn the history of the town, once famous for horse breeding and fertile agricultural grounds. Its intriguing past includes an Ottoman invasion and a role in the Napoleonic Wars.
In the province of Lecce, Otranto is located on the eastern flank of the large Salento Peninsula in southeastern Italy. It is near the Strait of Otranto, where the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea meet between Italy and Albania. This area has an appealing climate with long, hot summer days and mild winters. Arrive at Brindisi-Salento Airport and drive south for 75 minutes to reach the town.
Otranto is typically Italian, with muddled history, marvelous relics and a summer rush to the beach.