THE “WHITE TOWN”
Often referred to as the “Città Bianca” for its candid white walls, Ostuni is a little fortified haven surrounded by ancient walls and perched on an Apulia hill.
Situated in the province of Brindisi and only 8 kilometers away from the Adriatic coast to be discovered with a Ferrari 488 Spider, Ostuni seems to have a double life: with an average population of 32000 inhabitants during the winter, it “explodes” during the summer period, often reaching 100000 inhabitants. This proves how loved and cherished is this little town, by Italian tourists but also by international visitors.
Like the rest of the whole area – the Salento – Ostuni is particularly sought for and esteemed by Germans and British tourists. Therefore, this white haven has become the fifth Italian city by percentage of British residents. Just like Tuscany – equally loved by British visitors – the Salento has been baptized “Salentoshire” in order to stress the importance of this foreign presence.
SINCE THE STONE AGE…
Inhabited since the Stone age, Ostuni was, according to its fabulous story, founded by a mysterious pre-classic tribe, named the Messapians and subsequently destroyed by the ferocious Hannibal’s soldiers during the Punic Wars. Rebuilt by the Greeks, it immediately acquired the peculiar beauty that still survives today and mesmerizes so many culture lovers.
Its medieval heart is due to the Norman conquerors that decided to create an impregnable citadel, dominating the landscape from its elevated location. The Norman castle’s rests can still be seen as well as the city walls enriched by four powerful gates. This structure protected over time Ostuni from possible enemies coming from the sea, such as the Turks.
A RENAISSANCE JEWEL
Ostuni thrived during the Renaissance period also thanks to the intelligent and farsighted Duchess of Bari, Isabella d’Aragona, who created in the little town a sort of protected haven for humanists and artists.
This priceless sensation of protection and of everlasting serenity still lingers today in the town’s heart and, in some way, explains the unfathomable success of Ostuni around the world.