Set on a rocky spur on Italy's most easterly coastline, Otranto is about 45km away from Lecce on the Salento peninsula's Adriatic coast. Otranto's ancient city centre (“Borgo antico di Otranto”) has been recognized by UNESCO as a “Culture of Peace Messenger Site.”It is certainly one of Puglia’s most charming towns and is well worth a visit. The imposing castle, thick perimeter walls and robust towers (built after the town was liberated from the Turks in the late 15th century) dominate much of the town, giving way to a small port, a series of sea-front promenades with excellent fish restaurants and the town’s very own beautiful white sandy beach and turquoise waters. The delightful Romanesque cathedral, dating back to 1088 and boasting extensive 12th century floor mosaics, is another highlight that should not be missed. A natural bridge between the Mediterranean and the East, Otranto is a magical land where the ancient atmosphere of the historic centre goes hand in hand with fervid devotion, romantic sea reflections, and a lively nightlife.
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