Otranto in Italy is a quaint town, with plenty of historic buildings, which lies in the province of Lecce besides the Adriatic coast in the Puglia region of Southern Italy. One can get a good view of the neighboring country of Albania on a clear day.

Otranto-ItalyWikimedia/Freddyballo

The town, a small place with a relaxed holiday atmosphere, is a good destination for those who want to spend a day or two in happiness. Though the town is not well known to the majority of the tourists, who visit Italy from different parts of the world, it is in reality a perfect holiday spot with its picture perfect blue water, white buildings and diving rocks.

History

During the Roman rule it was known as Hydruntum. Later, it came under the Byzantines, the Normans and still later the Aragonese. It was invaded by the Turks in 1480 and a large number of local people were executed by the invaders. Even today you can see the bones and skulls of the local people of Otranto who were executed by the Turks in the local cathedral.

Popular Attractions in Otranto

  • The most popular attraction of the town is the early 12th century mosaic in the local Romanesque Cathedral.
  • You can also find the very old Byzantine Chiesa di San Pietro, a very old church in the old quarters of the town partly hidden by the winding alleys and streets.
  • The castle ‘Castello Aragonese’ (also known as the Castle of Otranto) which dates back to the 15th century is also located nearby.
  • There is also a small museum, known as the Museo Diocesano, which has some local exhibits including fragments of some early 4th or 5th century mosaic from the cathedral site.
  • The town also has a number of pleasant small beaches dotted around the beautiful coastline. North of Otranto you can find the sandy beaches of Baia dei  Turchi and the Laghi Alimini, which are large lakes close to the sea. There are also a number of tourist villages in and around the town, which are ideal places to stay during the vacation period.

Visitors can also simply loaf around the lanes of the old town and come across some very picturesque scenes and views. Otranto gets transformed into a lively holiday mood during summer.

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