Of Messapian origin, modern Ostuni is laid out on three hills and provides extraordinary views.The brilliance of its whitewashed houses, set against the pink-tinged brown of its principal monuments, makes the town stand out in the green of the sorrounding country.
A particular mix of charachteristics renders Ostuni the most typical example of Apulian town architecture: its harmony with the various periods of its historical growth; its dominant walled acropolis, built by the Messapii and redesigned in the Aragonese period; and the white terraced houses with their internal courtyards and narrow alleyways winding outside, so clearly indicative of the Oriental modelling of the town.
This happy combination of the natural, represented by the highly cultivated country-side, and the human, represented by the city, has made of Ostuni one of the most attractive towns in the region, and the essential parto of any tour in the South of Italy.
As in any other Apulian town, the Cathedral, surrounded and protected by the old town, is the most eloquent expression of Ostuni's prestige. Built Beetween 1435 and 1495 in the late-Gothic Style, it has an extremely original tripartite facade, divided by two pilaster-strips, the concave skews of its gable corresponding to two convex ones in the lateral naves.
In the smooth stone surface of the slightly splayed central portal, set off by a pointed archivolt, is situated a magnificent rose window, finely carved into 24 beams. The interior of the church is XVIII century and has a level ceiling and a Baroque side chapels.
The Palazzo Vescovile (Bishop's Palace), and an elegant arched loggia (1750), situated on the Piazza in front of the Cathedral, are in perfect harmony with the backdrop it provides. Not far away, incorporated into the Episcope, lie the remains of the castle, built in 1198 and demolished in 1559.
In the sourrounding area, trips can be made along some beautiful roads, providing panoramic views of the Murgia, which lead as far as the Adriatic coast. Just outside the town, near the Pizzicucco Farm, lies the Church of S. Biagio, built around the XII century. Another interesting building is the church of S. Maria La Nova (1561), which lies less than 2 km from the town, moving towards Carovigno. Finally, one can visit the Sanctuary of S. Oronzo (3 km along the road for Fasano), built at the end of the XVII century in a valley between two apurs of the Murgia. All these churches are built over natural caves in which traces of frescoes can still be seen.
Ostuni is roughly 6 kilometres from the sea. where there is Rosa Marina, with its beautiful beaches.
A few kilometers away lies the Valtur Village on the Costa dei Trulli, offers a part from its natural advantages, numerous social and sporting facilities, each part of the well-tried "all in" formula". This area called Marina di Ostuni includes the small town of Villanova, Pilone, S. Sabina, Torre Guaceto Specchiolla and Apani.