Ostuni, Puglia, Italy - The White City

Ostuni is a unique town that resembles a bright cap rising up right from the flat plains near the southern coast of Italy. Its whitewashed defensive walls and houses in the old town with many winding streets, steps and beautifully decorated, colorful window frames can make you think you're somewhere in Greece. Although Ostuni is one of the main attractions in Puglia, it's less known than Polignano a Mare or Alberobello famous for its cone-shaped Truli houses. And the whole region of Puglia, in turn, is not as popular as, let's say, Tuscany but it's definitely not less worth a visit - so do include it in your itinerary to Italy - especially in the winter time.

 

How to get to Ostuni

 

It's extremely cheap and convenient to travel to Puglia virtually from all over Europe - low cost airlines offer multiple flights to Bari or Brindisi.

Ostuni lies along the main railway from Bari to Lecce and you can easily reach it from both cities for a low fare. The station is located around 2 km (1.2 miles) from the town center and if you don't feel like walking up the road, you can take a bus that departs right in front of the station.

We like to visit southern Europe in winter when the north is gray, dark and gloomy. In the south, there's still green grass and trees. The weather is also bearable and perfect for visiting towns and cities - it's nice to walk around without the scorching sun. That's why we decided to get to Ostuni on foot.

 

Visiting Ostuni - What to See

 

Ostuni old town is roughly the same size as Polignano a Mare, bigger than the tiny town of Alberobello. In winter, Ostuni seemed to have mostly locals around, it was virtually free from crowds and very pleasant for exploring the narrow streets.

One day in Ostuni is more than enough to stroll around the old town and see the monuments and medieval buildings. In the very center, around the Saint Oronzo's column, Ostuni reminds of the other Italian cities with beautiful, magnificent architecture (the Ostuni town hall or the Ostuni Cathedral).

However when you decide to explore it deeper, up and down the little streets, it turns into a whitewashed village which seems, as I mentioned before, a copy of the Greek, well known towns, like Mykonos for example. 

Just getting lost in this maze of those tiny, steep streets is extremely pleasant, if you like old, medieval towns, you'll love Ostuni - don't miss it during your trip in Puglia!
 

Whitewashed houses seen from the road leading from the train station

Whitewashed houses seen from the road leading from the train station

Defensive walls

Defensive walls

Saint Oronzo's column

Saint Oronzo's column

The main square in Ostuni

The main square in Ostuni

At the main piazza

At the main piazza

Ostuni Town Hall

Ostuni Town Hall

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Narrow street in Ostuni

Narrow street in Ostuni

One of the many arches

One of the many arches

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

The cathedral in Ostuni

The cathedral in Ostuni

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni Old town

Ostuni Old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

Ostuni old town

The newer part of Ostuni

The newer part of Ostuni

One of the beautiful restaurants (with not so beautiful prices)

One of the beautiful restaurants (with not so beautiful prices)

Defensive walls

Defensive walls

View of the entire old town

View of the entire old town

 

Silimar cozy towns to Ostuni


If you love such cozy little villages with medieval, fairy-tale like charm, I would recommend (besides Polignano a Mare and Alberobello in Puglia) that you visit: Pitigliano in Tuscany, Gjirokaster or Berat in Albania - easy to get to from Italy - just across the narrow strip of the Adriatic Sea (these Albanian towns are amazing - so breathtakingly beautiful and authentic, with zero crowds of tourists), Mostar in Bosnia, Ohrid in Macedonia, Tbilisi in Georgia and St. Ives in England. If you'd like to find out more, click on the names of the towns. Soon, I'll make a post about Europe's and world's most beautiful charming towns.

 

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