The towns and villages in this part of Puglia are amongst the most
beautiful in southern Italy. The Saracens, Greeks, Byzantines and
Normans, through their conquests and colonisation combined to
influence the local people and produce a unique mix of exuberant
architectural styles and cultures.
The town of Ostuni floats like a vast white ocean liner over-looking
the coastal plain north-west toward the Adriatic. The views are
stunning especially from the top of the old town above the beautiful
baroque cathedral and piazza. White-washed houses wind cheek by jowl
through labyrinthine streets, each sometimes no more than a few feet
apart. Even in the scorching mid-summer mediterranean heat these
streets and houses remain reasonably cool. Restaurants and bars
abound in the old town and the baroque main square. Shops range from
the artisan to the most sophisticated.
Many other beautiful hill top towns are a
particular feature of this part of Puglia. Cisternino, Locorotondo and Ceglie Messapica form a triangle south
and west of Ostuni, all having their own distinct individuality and
charm. These towns, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, are
the epitome of real Italy, as yet unspoiled by tourism.