Ostuni, the white city of Puglia

The white city of Ostuni is the biggest town turned white in the whole Itria Valley. Ostuni like many other towns was painted white during the plague epidemic as a way of disinfecting the town.

We found a parking bay just on the edge of the old town. I had searched on Google and we wanted to see the cathedral and visit an art shop. I had heard about lovely small artworks produced on Ostuni stone. But sadly, the art shop never opened during the promised opening times. Of course, now in November, we are out of season and some places don’t open. 

The artshop that stayed closed.

Italy has unusual opening hours where many shops and restaurants close from 130pm to 430pm (shops) or 5pm (restaurants). We found an incredible difference in the number of people on the streets at 4pm compared to 530pm.

I think our exploration of the town of Ostuni involved the most climbing so far in our time in Italy. There are all these lovely alleyways off the main path. You can’t help but go this way and that, wanting to see what is around a corner, through the labyrinth of the old town’s narrow cobble streets.

We did find the facade to be rather grey and often not painted or cared for. Locorontondo, I thought was a prettier town. But Ostuni is well known in the area as the white city and we wanted to visit.

Piazzetta Cattedrale is, for many, the oldest part of the town. The lovely Cathedral of Ostuni is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The cathedral was damaged by the earthquake in 1456 and then rebuilt between 1469-1495 in a Gothic style. A huge rose window from the 15th century dominates the front of the cathedral. There are meant to be beautiful paintings inside with a very interesting interior and ceiling. Sadly, it is only open in the mornings.

The sandstone colour was beautiful with the setting sun.

Restaurants started to open for the evening trade.

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