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Ostuni: sights and tips for Puglia’s white city

Even the view of Ostuni from afar is breathtaking. “The White City” the white city, it lives up to its name. On beautiful summer days, the whitewashed house facades in Ostuni literally shine.

The old town continues to be just as photogenic: spruced up, snow-white houses, cacti everywhere, sleeping cats – Ostuni exudes Puglia flair to the power of a thousand. But what you also need to know: Ostuni is very touristy. In the high season, the old town can get really crowded.

In this article we tell you everything else you should know for your trip to Ostuni. We show you the most beautiful sights and reveal them our personal tips – including an overnight recommendation from the heart.

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1. Ostuni in Apulia at a glance: what to expect

Worth knowing about Ostuni

  • Ostuni is in Puglia, more precisely in the province of Brindisi, about eight kilometers from the Adriatic Sea.
  • Ostuni is nicknamed “The White City”, in German: the white city. With a few exceptions, the facades of all the houses in the old town are whitewashed. (This is not uncommon in Puglia though – many towns have white houses.)
  • Ostuni is quite touristy. You notice that at the latest when you look at the many souvenir shops that are lined up in the old town. The small tuktuks also roar back and forth through the city. They drive tourists through the old town.
  • The landscape around Ostuni is very picturesque. Luckily they were olive groves here not so much attacked by the aggressive bacterium as a little further south in Salento.

How many days should I plan for Ostuni?

In our eyes, Ostuni is a great one Homebase, to explore some other travel destinations and sights of Puglia from here, above all the Valle d’Itria with the famous towns of Alberobello and Locorotondo. So we did it and thought it was great. In this case we would 2 to 4 nights recommend.

Should you only use Ostuni as part of a day trips want to visit, then a few hours are enough. The old town is quite small and most sights can be explored quickly.

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Arrival, parking & transport on site

The journey to Apulia will probably take you via the Bari Airport. Anyone planning a road trip through Apulia should ideally rent a rental car there. We usually book our rental car through Sunny Cars. From Bari airport you need about 1 hour and 15 minutes to Ostuni.

Important tip: Cars are mostly forbidden in the old town of Ostuni. You must therefore park your car on the edge of the old town. The large (chargeable) parking lot is recommended „Ostuni Al Giardino Parking”. From here it is only a 5 minute walk to Piazza della Libertà.

In Ostuni itself, the motto is: collect steps! In the old town you move on foot away. There is no traditional public transport in the historic center. If you want, you can book a tour with one of the tuktuks that are ubiquitous in Ostuni.

2. Stay overnight in Ostuni: Our accommodation tip

Of course, the perfect trip also requires special accommodation. Here we would like to give you a tip for a very unusual retreat reveal: The dreamlike Masseria Dagilupi.

One historic oil mill was owned by a french couple with special flair for detail renovated. Today, the Masseria Dagilupi houses three dreamlike rooms – each one is completely individually designed.

The minimalist Design runs like a red thread through the entire house. Anyone who likes clear lines and purism will love it here. But you don’t have to do without comfort – quite the opposite. The rooms are furnished to a very high standard (comfortable bed, underfloor heating, etc.)

It is particularly impressive Location of Masseria amid millennia-old ones olive trees. All around is nothing but pure nature. And it gets even better: from the roof of the Masseria you can see Ostuni in one direction and the sea in the other. The stay would be worth it just for a sunset from up here. By the way, you can reach Ostuni itself in about 10 minutes by car.

Last but not least: Das excellent breakfast. When the weather is nice, it is served in the idyllic inner courtyard. New delicacies await you every day – all homemade and prepared with lots of love.

Here you can book the accommodation: Masseria Dagilupi

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3. Sights in Ostuni

old town

Before we introduce you to the individual sights in Ostuni, we would like to mention a few more general words lose to the beautiful old town.

Ostuni enthroned visible from afar on three hills and is impressive to look at from a distance. Arriving in the old town, a labyrinth awaits you narrow, cobbled streets. It’s always uphill and downhill, so we would definitely recommend good footwear.

Ostuni’s old town is quite touristy. Instead of regional (food) retailers, you will find almost exclusively souvenir shops here. Especially during the day it can get quite crowded in the small streets. If you are traveling in high season, we would recommend the morning or evening hours for your tour.

Ostuni Cathedral

The main attraction in the heart of the old town of Ostuni is called the Cathedral Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta. It sits enthroned – tightly packed against neighboring buildings – at the highest point of Ostuni.

With her gigantic Rosenfenster the cathedral is quite an eye-catcher from the outside. The original cathedral on the site fell victim to an earthquake and was eventually rebuilt in the Romanesque-Gothic style in the 15th century.

The church interior can be visited free of charge (donation) during opening hours. It’s rather plain, but it’s worth looking up at the 18th-century frescoed ceiling.

Arco Scoppa

Directly opposite the cathedral is the next important sight of Ostuni: the historic bridge arch called “Arco Scoppa”. It connects two palazzi with each other.

The Arco Scoppa was built originally made of wood. In order to ensure more longevity and stability, a stone construction was later erected. Unfortunately, the beautiful, artistic decorations are only visible from one side.

If when you see the bow you also think of the Bridge of Sighs think in Venice, you are not that wrong. This is said to have actually served as a model for the construction of the Arco Scoppa.

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Liberty Square

The spacious Piazza della Libertà is just outside the narrow labyrinth of streets and marks it, so to speak Transition from old town to new town. For many, the square is one of the first places on their tour of Ostuni, because one of the larger car parks is not far from here.

Several sights are located in the Piazza della Libertà, including:

  • Column of Sant’Oronzo: A 20 meter high obelisk dedicated to Sant’Orenzo, the city’s patron saint.
  • Church of San Francesco d’Assisi: A pretty Franciscan church whose 19th-century facade blends in almost perfectly with the adjoining town hall.
  • Municipal Palace (Rathaus): This neoclassical-style former Franciscan monastery now houses the town hall.

The Piazza della Libertà is a meeting place. On the edge of the piazza (towards the stairs) are many small ones cafes and bars settled.

Viewpoint: The best view of Ostuni

When you this “postcard motif” of Ostuni or want to take a picture, then you have to move a little out of the old town. It’s worth it – believe us.

In our opinion, the best vantage point is along the road Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. There is a small viewing terrace called “Piazzetta Martiri delle Foibe”, which gives you a beautiful panorama of Ostuni. From Piazza della Libertà it takes about 10 minutes on foot.

The small one is also popular (and somewhat closer to the city). Panoramic terrace at the Dish restaurant. In our opinion, however, this view cannot keep up with the others.

4. Eating and drinking: Culinary tips for Ostuni

Ostuni is a Dream for foodies. In and around Ostuni there are some very great restaurants that we would like to introduce to you in this chapter. Right in the historic old town, the culinary offer is comparatively touristy. However, we have always had excellent meals.

First work: The supposedly best pizza in Ostuni is served in this restaurant, which is also very popular with locals. In addition to pizza, there is also pasta as well as fish and meat dishes – classic Italian.

Osteria Ricanatti: If you want to treat yourself to a special evening, this is the place for you. Multi-course menus (also vegetarian) of high quality are served. There are only a few tables, so reservations are advisable.

Gabo Coffee & More: A tucked away restaurant in the center of Ostuni with a very pretty, green courtyard and a great terrace. We stopped in for an aperitivo and some snacks.

Borgo Antico Bistrot: Very popular restaurant in a great location. Perfect for a sundowner, aperitivo or dinner in an uncomplicated atmosphere. Very popular in high season. Unfortunately, reservations are not possible.

Trattoria Fave e Fogghe: Quaint, quite original trattoria in the old town of Ostuni. The menu (classic Italian) is small but fine.

La Scala Creamery: Excellent ice cream, said to be among the best in Puglia. Small but fine selection. We recommend!

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5. Map: All sights and tips at a glance

To give you a better overview, we have marked all the sights and tips for Ostuni on this map. Our tip: It is best to click on the rectangle at the top right to save the map on your smartphone (Google Maps app).

Transparency: Affiliate links

This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

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