We’re coming close to the last foreign trips of 2019 now with a wonderful visit to Puglia – one of the lesser known regions of Italy.
First up we’re exploring one of the many white villages that cling to the hillsides – this one is Ostuni (actually a city)
The region around Ostuni has been inhabited since the Stone Age.
The town is reputed to have been originally established by the Messapii – a pre-classic tribe, and destroyed by Hannibal during the Punic Wars. It was then re-built by the Greeks and the name Ostuni comes from the Greek Astu néon “new town”.
Ostuni is commonly referred to as “the White Town” – La Città Bianca – for its white walls and its typically white-painted architecture. This is blindingly bright in the hot Italian sunshine!
Specialities of the region include olive oil which comes in a wide variety of attractive packaging.
With the sparse white washed walls as a backdrop, everything feels like an outdoor art gallery – even mundane signs.
This doorway to the blue beyond has a more Grecian vibe about it! And the colour of that sky looks photoshopped – but I assure you that it is not!
Lots more whitewashed walls punctuated with splashes of bold colour or refreshing succulent plants.
The town’s largest buildings are Ostuni Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace.
Below you can also see an elegant loggia (a covered exterior gallery or corridor usually on an upper level). It is the Arco Scoppa, connecting the Bishop palace to the Seminary.
As usual I spend more time homing in on the myriad of tiny details rather than the big architectural sights! I think I prefer the minutiae to the big stuff.
For a first stop in Puglia, Ostuni makes a big impact. You could probably spend a day or two here wandering the maze of sprawling alleyways and discovering hidden courtyards that invite you to lounge on brightly coloured cushions!