What to see in Otranto?
Hi! What a joy to have you here! Otranto was a bridge city between the West and the Middle East, and its beaches are worthy of film and leave nothing to be desired on the Caribbean beaches (no controversy)! Otranto is an Italian commune in the region of Puglia, province of Lecce, with about 5,273 inhabitants and extends over an area of 76 km², with a population density of 69 inhab / km². After all, what to see in Otranto? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
With a population of more than 5,000 inhabitants, the number of people triples in the summer. The city lives almost entirely on tourism, so they know how to win over even the toughest hearts! The region has several villages, some of which are very important, such as Porto Badisco, Fontanelle, Serra Alimini, Frassanito and Conca Specchiulla. To get started, you can download a city map directly from the Comune website, just click right here! In addition, I recommend a 1.5-hour guided walking tour in Otranto, click here to find out more!
1) What to see in Otranto? VISIT PORTA ALFONSINA
The old city is surrounded by great defensive walls, the entrance is through Porta Alfonsina. Otranto’s position was both a blessing and a curse! Blessing because, in commercial terms, it served as a place for negotiations, entry and exit of goods. Curse because, for exactly the same reason, she was exposed to threats, attacks and fighting by other peoples who wanted to dominate it, and some succeeded! The Greeks had colonized it aiming at the expansion of Magna Graecia, then the city was taken by Lombards, later Byzantines, Angevins, Aragonese, Turks and, finally, by the French. All the people who passed through here left their mark in some way. Also read Car itinerary through Puglia?
2) What to see in Otranto? VISIT THE ARAGONESE CASTLE
One of the most beautiful heritages in the city is the Aragonese Castle (Castello Aragonese). It was built between 1485 and 1498, by Fernando I of Aragon, using as a basis the existing works of Swabia and Turkey. With its impressive pentagon shape, it is surrounded by a moat and has 3 towers and a coat of arms that belonged to Carlo V, above the main entrance. Inside the Castle, there is a Chapel with several graves. In the basement are alleys, some environments and galleries. Nowadays, it works as a museum.
3) What to see in Otranto? VISIT CORSO GARIBALDI
At Corso Garibaldi, the city’s main street in ancient times, we will find time-traveling streets and alleys. In Corso Garibaldi is Borgo Antico, which begins to “open” in several other streets and alleys. Heading to Piazza del Popolo (“People’s Square”), you will come across the Torre dell’Orologio (“Clock Tower”), built in 1799. Next to it, on a wall, you can see the Coat of Arms of Otrento, which has a tower with a black snake that surrounds it. Continuing the tour, go to Porta a Mare. From there, through a long wooden staircase, you can reach Porto. The view is breathtaking!
4) What to see in Otranto? VISIT THE HISTORIC CENTER
Right in the center of the old Historic Center is the Church of St Peter. A legend has it that Saint Peter passed here while he was returning from Palestine and going to Rome. It is the oldest church in Otranto. The Cathedral is at the top, in the same region. The Cathedral is dedicated to Santa Maria Annunziata (Our Lady of the Annunciation). The work is from the 11th century and preserves the bodies of martyrs killed in 1480, due to a Turkish invasion. There is also the Chapel of the Martyrs with the bones of the dead in the massacre. The Cathedral’s Mosaic Floor represents the tree of life with several drawings that also tell the story of the Old Testament; it is of an impressive beauty!
5) What to see in Otranto? VISIT THE BEACHES
Do you want to go to the beach? No problems! Go to one of the most beautiful beaches in Otranto, Baia dei Turchi. They say that Turkish soldiers disembarked here when they were going to attack Otranto. True or not, the beach is unmatched in beauty! See also the Alimini Lakes, two lagoons with a very particular detail: one is fresh water and the other sea water. The “sisters” are divided by a strip of sand. Speaking of “sisters”, the Sant’Andrea Tower and Orso Tower were sculpted, over the centuries, by the wind and the seaspray, that was how the mythical rock Two Sisters was born.
Watch this video about Otranto and discover its Historic Center
How to get to Otranto?
1) How to get to Otranto? BY TRAIN AND BUS
From Lecce train station, accessible from almost all of Italy, proceed to Maglie, get off and take another train that takes you to Otranto. The Otranto train station is the last on the Lecce-Otranto route. Also find out “What is the difference between trains in Italy?”. Would you like to save? So buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?“.
2) How to get to Otranto? BY CAR
You can reach Otranto via the main highway in the region, the SS16 Adriatica Lecce-Maglie-Otranto, just follow the signs.
Traveling by car in Italy
How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.
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What to see in Otranto? Otranto has many unique attractions. I could spend the day just talking about it! It is beautiful, pleasant, charming! It is a city that, at least once in your life, you need to visit. Do you want to learn more? Access the official website of the Comune di Otranto (in Italian or English). Just click here!
And if you feel insecure or have no time, and need help to organize your trip, do not hesitate to look for me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy. And how can I do that? Continue reading this post until the end and you will understand how can we make your life and journey easier
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