What to see in Otranto

Otranto, the most eastern part of Italy, known as the City of Martyrs, is a true treasure trove of history, culture, art and tradition. Spending your holidays in Salento you will not miss a stopover in this wonderful city, bridge between East and West, discovering alleys and charming churches close to the sea.

The town of Otranto also includes fractions such as Porto Badisco, Serra Alimini, Frassanito and Conca Specchiulla, famous for its wonderful tourist destinations crowded every year by tourists around the world looking for crystal clear sea but also interested in artistic, cultural and path itineraries Gourmet food to discover Puglia.


What is immediately affected by the visitors of Otranto is the structure of the city: the ancient village is enclosed between the ancient defensive walls and is accessible through Porta Alfonsina. In ancient times, Otranto enjoyed the benefits of its geographical position that made it the most important shopping center in Salento, but the same location made it also sensitive to the attacks of Lombards, Byzantines, Angioins, Aragones and Turks. Centuries have succeeded the city. Otranto preserves the signs of these domination by preserving invaluable artistic treasures and architectural works.

The first that we encounter by accessing the historic center through the Porta Alfonsina is the Aragonese Castle, a military fortress designed and built by Fernando I D’Aragona between 1485 and 1498 and designed by Ciro Ciri. The pentagonal fortress is surrounded by a moat and has three cylindrical corner towers. Today the castle hosts exhibitions, exhibitions and cultural encounters.


Continuing the walk in the old town, heading eastwards, you can “get lost” in the heart of the old town, between small streets, staircases, courtyards, shops and churches. Always in the ancient village you can admire the Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata dating back to the 11th century. The Cathedral has an immense historical value: the Martyrs Chapel is dedicated to the 800 faithful who during the invasion of the Turks in 1480 tried to resist without wanting to deny their faith.
The Cathedral of Otranto also carries a floor mosaic that depicts the tree of life and the path that man has to do to purify himself from original sin and to attain eternal salvation.


Not far from the Castle stands the Saint Pietro’s Church, considered the oldest church in Otranto. The small church is characterized by a Greek Byzantine architecture and features frescoes of rare beauty.
Minor but not least are the Churches of Santa Maria dei Martiri, Santa Maria del Passo, and the Madonna dell’Altomare.

Continuing the walk in the old town you will finally reach the harbor, landing theater that for centuries has affected and shaped this city with its extraordinary charm, a must-see stop for a trip to the discovery of Salento between history and legend.



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