Welcome to Ostuni

City of light, colors and perfumes generated by its territory which, from the last edge of the southern Murgia, extends towards the plain of olive trees to reach the coasts of the Adriatic Sea, and offers to visitors: history, architecture, culture, folklore, healthy air and Mediterranean flavors.

Originally inhabited by the Messapians, Ostuni was influenced by the Greeks and Romans. Ostrogoths, Lombards, Normans, Swabians, Angevins and Aragonese followed one another over the years.

From the year 1000 onwards, the city flourished from an economic, social and architectural point of view. If you are wondering what to see in Ostuni, the first recommended stop is certainly the castle built by the Normans, who contributed to enriching the city with sumptuous palaces and religious buildings.

Between Faith and Worship

What to see in Ostuni from a monumental point of view? Rich in churches, monasteries, Marian icons, paintings, statues of highly skilled local workers, stratified over the centuries, the “matrix church” dedicated to the Madonna Assunta, built in gentle stone between the 1400s and 1500s in Romanesque-Gothic style; it is dominated by a large central 24-spoke rose window depicting God the Father and the twelve apostles, in the center the blessing Christ.

In the act of blessing the city and all its beauties, “Sant’Oronzo protettore”, erected on the eighteenth-century spire, the work of the Ostuni sculptor Giuseppe Greco, located in the center of Piazza Libertà.

The cavalcade of Sant'Oronzo

The historic “Cavalcata di Sant’Oronzo” takes place on August 26, starting at 19:00, in the streets of Ostuni. The party ends with the fireworks display. The event is one of the celebrations in honor of the patron saint of the White City.

The ride dates back to distant times, when the original papier-mâché statue of the Saint, taken from the Sanctuary on Mount Morrone, was transported in procession to the town square. The nobles, to distinguish themselves from the people, went on horseback. Later, the “vaticals”, out of gratitude and veneration to the saint who protected his trafficking, escorted the new silver statue commissioned in Naples by Don Pietro Sansone in the late 1700s and kept in his palace.

The uniform that the knights wear today, and the harness of the white-red horses is similar to the nineteenth-century one of the Southern Army’s Children of Liberty.

Saint Oronzo was declared protector of Ostuni in 1660 for having spared the city from scourges: plague, famine and epidemics.

The panoramas and the coast

Singular is the aspect of the territory seen from afar. Ostuni, 240 meters high above sea level and 6.6 km from the coast, overlooks five hills offering enchanting panoramas and natural beauties among green wooded areas, the “Selva”, and the enchanting olive grove plain, the “Marina”, who kisses the sea.

Kilometers of rugged coastline between rock, dunes and long sandy beaches characterize the Ostuni coast rich in fragrant Mediterranean scrub that mixes with the smell of the waters of our Adriatic sea. Hospitable tourist villages surrounded by greenery, ancient coastal towers, mirrors of spring waters, natural caves and crypts, the small port of Villanova with its Angevin tower-castle, ancient blades, are valuable sites that can be enjoyed by all.

It is no coincidence that the city of Ostuni boasts the “Blue Flag” and the “5 sails” of the Lega Ambiente.

The rural landscape

The landscape is made up of the “selva”, a hilly area exposed to the south, and “Marina”, a plain of olive trees and an Adriatic coast, exposed to the north, it is characterized by buildings called “Masserie” which recall the land masses of the ancient fiefdoms.

The farms, real jewels of the Salento rural architecture with Spanish influence, constituted the residential nucleus of the lord and the “farmer”, with annexes used for the shelters of animals and foodstuffs.

The navy farms are distinguished by the presence of extensive centuries-old olive groves and by the presence of underground mills, also from the Middle Ages, where the olives collected were milled to obtain valuable oil. From those centuries-old trees that nature has designed and sculpted with its master force, excellent oil is still extracted from the distinct and delicate Mediterranean scents and flavors.

The masseria della selva, located on the high ground, have threshing floors and walls with annexed churches; the lands of these ancient fiefdoms were used for sowing and grazing.

All this and much more is part of the vast treasure of what to see in Ostuni.


Ostuni offers a wide range of events and shows not only in the summer, but all year round.
Let’s find them out together!