Ostuni & Itria Valley

Ostuni is known as the white city. The historic centre of town is perched on top of a steep hill and seems like something out of a book of fables with all the simple, geometric buildings completely whitewashed. The town has been inhabited since Palaeolithic times and maintains many traces of the ancient messapian and iapygian civilizations in the museum of Preclassic Civilization. The Aragon people left their mark in the oval floor plan of the antique neighbourhood known as Terra and in the defence walls with turrets surrounding the ancient town. The gothic-romanesque cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption made out of local stone emerges from the white dwellings. Apart from the antique neighbourhood it is possible to visit a series of peasant structures like the medieval olive presses dug out of the rock and ancient masserie - farm houses surrounded by age old olive trees in the seven kilometres that separate the town from the sea. The Itria Valley is an area between the Apulian towns of Cisternino, Alberobello, Ceglie Messapica, Martina Franca, Locorotondo and Ostuni. This extremely fertile area is made up of soft green hills, small farms, olive groves and wine farms, all divided by elegant low walls built entirely out of local stone and scattered with picturesque white trulli. The area used to be a busy route used by migrants and merchants. Through the ages it was used as a meeting point and battle ground for peoples of different civilizations who left traces in the form masserie, fortresses, trulli, antique monasteries and stunning historic centres.