Posted by Pugliabout

The place where the sunrise comes before than in any other part of Italy, a small village of six thousand people that in the summer becomes the destination of a large but composed tourism, the theatre of an ancient history known in the world.

We are talking about Otranto, the pearl of Salento, a gem whose historical centre has been declared a cultural heritage of UNESCO, a place that represents the gateway to the east.

Its geographical position, especially in past eras, has been a major problem for the local populations.

Otranto was conquered and plundered by the Turks in 1480 and became famous in the world for the killing of 813 faithful Christians on the hill of Minerva.

To remember that atrocious historical episode there are the remains of those martyrs kept inside a specific chapel of the martyrs, located on the right nave of the beautiful cathedral and every year the destination of a huge tourist flow.

In addition to the aforementioned cathedral, however, Otranto preserves a magnificent Aragonese Castle dating from the end of 1400, numerous crypts and catacombs of inestimable value (the Crypt of St. Nicholas, the Crypt of Father, the Catacombs of St. John and the Madonna di Serra) and then still towers that served as a lookout (there are 5 scattered along the coastal perimeter) and lost farms in areas close to the town.

Walking through the streets of the magnificent old part, you encounter many small shops that sell typical products Salento and you have the feeling of living a fairy tale.

The sea, then, appears suddenly leaving a glimpse of all its beauty and its candour.

Otranto preserves a monumental and landscape heritage of great importance, a heritage that includes all the bays and beaches that wind along the coast.

The most important is surely the Bay of the Turks, theatre of the enemy landing of 1480, but also the Bay of Porto Badisco (where is located the Cave of the Deer) and the Bay of Santo Stefano.

A further mention must be reserved to the Lakes Alimini, a real ecosystem that develops on four hundred hectares and host numerous animal and plant species

Otranto has all that Salento can offer: history, culture, traditions and nature.

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