The Itria Valley with Ostuni and Cisternino. In the Itria Valley beautiful landscapes with many trulli, the towns of Cisternino (known for its wines) and especially
Ostuni, the White City.
In Ostuni you will find a bustling touristic atmosphere.
Not only are there a lot of tourists in Ostuni, but also in the valley nowadays about 800 Englishmen own a property. Some live there permanently, others only during the holidays. They fell in love with the trulli and especially in the years when the British Pound had a very favourable exchange rate against the Euro, a lot Trulli passed into English hands.
Every 2nd Sunday of the month in Ostuni there is a cosy antique- and flee market that is well worth your visit.
Ostuni, the White City, is located near the Adriatic Sea in the province of Brindisi. The town rises on a hill eight kilometres from the Adriatic coast and can be seen from a great distance. At the highest point of the city, the brown-coloured cathedral with its colourful majolica dome. From this point one has a magnificent view over the sloping land and the clear blue Adriatic Sea. The old town is really magnificent. Do not forget to see the dome. The tourist office is on the main square where you can find many hospitality venues.
The town is surrounded by vast olive groves between the characteristic trulli standing with their conical roofs, and many find that Ostuni is the most beautiful place in Apulia. Well, they have not seen the rest yet! But without making jokes, worth your while for sure, especially if you go the 2nd Sunday of the month, when the market is on!
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A tour through the ancient part of town costs 10 euros per person (2015) and takes about half an hour. An extensive multilingual description of the monuments is included.
The place is an important Messapian center ancient people who inhibited the Salento even before the Greeks or the Romans ashore. There still are to be found the specchie and dolmen of the pre-Roman period. After participating in the Messapian League against Taranto the town became Roman and was called Sturninum. Hannibal probably destroyed it in 216 BC.
A nice route to Cisternino could include Noci, Alberobello, Locorotondo and from there to Cisternino. The Itria Valley is always incredibly nice, but if you happen to be Puglia in May it is a festival of blossoms.
Cisternino has a small but very charming old town which for centuries has remained virtually unchanged. The white houses, the narrow shaded streets, old churches and of course the main square. Near the square some panoramic views of the surrounding countryside with rolling hills, stonewalls and trulli that protrude from the green fields.
There is for example a Norman-Swabian tower from the 13th century with a small statue of St. Nicholas on it, the 14th century church of St. Nicholas with an 18th century facade and foundations dating back to the 6th century, the Baroque church of S. Cataldo and the by towers flanked Palazzo Amati. In summer and autumn numerous patron festivities, naturally accompanied by good food and local wines. When the new wines are available in the autumn of course another good reason to celebrate.