12 Things to see in Ostuni and surroundings

Ostuni, the "white city". Located in the province of Brindisi, this beautiful city is known for its characteristic white buildings, which make it seem almost straight out of a fairytale. Yet Ostuni really exists, and every year it gives unforgettable emotions to all those who visit it. In addition to being a notable summer tourist center, which has also obtained several awards for its crystal clear waters, Ostuni has a very ancient history, which dates back to at least the Paleolithic, and then became the destination of Saracens and Byzantines during the Middle Ages. In fact, among the streets of its center you will find churches of unparalleled beauty, squares that in summer come alive with nightlife, made not only by tourists but by the inhabitants of Ostuni themselves, and much more. If you are planning to visit it you must absolutely keep in mind 10 must-see places. Here's what they are!


  1. Old Town
  2. Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta
  3. Piazza della Libertà
  4. Obelisk of Sant'Oronzo
  5. Church of San Francesco
  6. Church of the Holy Spirit
  7. civic Museum
  8. Natural Archaeological Park of Santa Maria di Agnano
  9. Coastal Dunes Park
  10. Church of the Madonna della Grata
  11. Beaches of Ostuni
  12. In the surroundings: Cisternino and Carovigno
  13. User questions and comments

1 - Historic Center

Il Ostuni historic center it is the "old town", famous for its completely white houses thanks to the lime covering. To characterize it, in addition to this, are also the numerous alleys that make their way between the houses, many of which end up in a dead end. The only effective street worthy of the name is the so-called "Via Cattedrale", which cuts the historic center into two parts.

  • from the station take the SP20 for 3 km - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free, free visit

2 - Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is one of the major attractions of the city. Built in 1400 on the highest part of the city, it is made with a fusion of the Gothic style and that of the Venetian school. Its facade features a finely decorated central rose window, which is also the second largest in all of Europe. Inside instead you will find a painted ceiling that overlooks three naves divided by columns, and richly decorated chapels.

  • Piazza Beato Giovanni Paolo II - Get directions
  • mar-dom 10:00-13:00; sab-dom 16:00-29:00
  • € 1,00

3 - Piazza della Libertà

Another important place in the historic center is Piazza della Libertà, one of the main cultural centers of Ostuni. Here in the evening the city comes alive, thanks also to numerous premises that arise on its perimeter. In addition to being one of the centers of the "nightlife" of Ostuni, Piazza della Libertà is also the place where the Palazzo di Città, a former Franciscan monastery, the church of San Francesco and the famous Obelisk of Sant'Oronzo.

  • Piazza della Libertà - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free, free visit

4 - Obelisk of Sant'Oronzo

As we have just mentioned, the Obelisk of Sant'Oronzo is located within the perimeter of Piazza della Libertà. Also known as "the spire", it is almost 21 meters high and dates back to around 1771. On the surface of the column, created as an ex voto after the miraculous protection made by Sant'Oronzo against famine and epidemics, you can admire various representations, among which those of the saints, such as San Biagio and Sant'Agostino, stand out. On the top of the column you can see the statue of Sant'Oronzo, which still protects Ostuni today.

  • Piazza della Libertà - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free, free visit

5 - Church of San Francesco

Built in 1304 in the Gothic style, the Church of San Francesco is one of the most important churches of Ostuni. Both this building and the adjoining convent underwent profound changes in the 1600s and in the second half of the 1700s. Today the original facade of the church is no longer visible since in 1883 it was homologated to that of the former convent, which meanwhile became the Town Hall of the city. . Its single nave interior is rich in stuccoes, as well as a canvas by Luca Giordano, an altar by Sanmartino and wooden statues dating back to the th and th centuries.

  • Piazza della Libertà - Get directions
  • in relation to the times of mass
  • free

6 - Church of the Holy Spirit

The Church of the Holy Spirit is one of the numerous churches in the historic center of Ostuni. To characterize it is the th century portal adorned with bas-reliefs typically late Gothic. Inside, however, you can admire the seventeenth-century statue of Sant'Oronzo and that of Our Lady of Good Counsel. It also seems that some masses are celebrated in English in this church.

  • Piazza della Libertà - Get directions
  • in relation to the times of mass
  • free

7 - Civic Museum

Il Civic Museum of Ostuni it is one of the most important museums in the city. Inaugurated in 1989 inside the former monastery of Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi, it contains artefacts belonging to the Messapian, medieval and modern age, found in the areas adjacent to Ostuni. Inside you can also see the original finds that come directly from Grotto of Agnano, part of the same circuit.

  • From Piazza della Libertà proceed on via Cattedrale for approximately 200 meters - Get directions
  • 1 July-31 December every day 10: 00-13: 00/16: 00-19: 00. Sundays and holidays 9: 30-13: 00. 1 January-30 June from Monday to Friday 10: 00-13: 00. Saturday and Sunday 10: 00-13: 00/16: 00-19: 00
  • full € 5,00. Reduced € 3,00

8 - Natural Archaeological Park of Santa Maria di Agnano

About 2 km from the historic center of Ostuni you will find the Natural Archaeological Park of Santa Maria di Agnano. Connected to the civic museum, this park focuses on the cave of the same name, home to 3.000-year-old cults and rites, dedicated to a female figure. In this cave, which in the past was a real sanctuary, researches have brought to light two burials called "Ostuni 1" and "Ostuni 2", complete with funeral equipment. Already used in the Paleolithic, the cave has also returned finds dating back to the Middle Ages.

  • from Ostuni take the SS16 towards Fasano (distance 3,7 km, about 12 minutes) - Get directions
  • Sun and holidays 9: 30-13: 00
  • full € 5,00. Reduced € 3,00

9 - Coastal Dunes Park

The Coastal Dunes Park is without a doubt a must for nature lovers. Large 1.100 hectares, it contains various habitats that follow one another along the 8 km of coastline and agricultural areas that compose it. Walking through the paths that cross it you will also be able to see secular olive groves and ancient farms, typical of these areas. The park is relatively young, since it was established in 2006 to conserve and recover animal and plant species that would otherwise be in danger of being lost forever.

  • From Ostuni take the SP19 or the SS16 (distance 13,3 km, about 18 minutes) - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • Free, free visit

10 - Church of the Madonna della Grata

Far from the historic center you will find the Church of Madonna della Grata. Located downstream of Ostuni, this church is linked to a miraculous event that took place in 1700. It is said that a man, forced to walk hunched due to severe back pain, went to the sanctuary to pray to the Madonna, and miraculously recovered.
Just to remember this fact, every first Sunday of August the Madonna della Grata is celebrated with a spectacular procession, which attracts all the inhabitants of Ostuni. It should be noted that the church is considered more a sanctuary than anything else, in memory of the ancient image of the Madonna that stood right here, promoter of the miracle.

  • From Piazza della Libertà, turn right and continue on Via Presidente Cucci - Get directions
  • in relation to the times of mass
  • free, free visit

11 - Beaches of Ostuni

Let's face it ... you can dedicate half a day, at most one to visiting the city ... but for the rest, Ostuni is synonymous with sea and beaches! It is in fact one of the most popular summer resorts in Italy, with ideal beaches for children, for families, for relaxation and for fun! Torre Guaceto, Torre Pozzelle, Rosa Marina and Creta Rossa are just some of the beaches that you can find in Ostuni and its surroundings. To find out more, here you will find the 10 most beautiful beaches in Ostuni.

12 - Nearby: Cisternino and Carovigno

Ideal as a day trip, but also for half a day, Cisternino and Carovigno are two pearls a few kilometers from Ostuni.
Cisternino was awarded the orange flag, recognition reserved for inland villages for the quality of tourist services. It is only 15 km from Ostuni and is located in the heart of a unique territory in Italy: the Itria Valley and the Murgia with its characteristic Trulli.
To see in Cisternino the historic buildings and towers, churches and the Capuchin convent.

Carovigno is even closer, just 8 km from Ostuni, and is also a little gem.
From very ancient origins, do not miss the small but delightful historic center and the Dentice Castle with its towers, located on top of the town and from which to enjoy a breathtaking view!

  • to Cisternino via SP17 in 20 minutes - Get directions / To Carovigno via SS116 in 15 minutes - Get directions

Plan your stay in Ostuni: info on flights and hotels

Reaching Ostuni is very simple. The city indeed is reachable by train or thanks to the plane, since the Salento airport is only 31 minutes by car from Ostuni. As for the accommodation you will have no problems. The city center is full of hotels and B & Bs, but if you want to make the most of your experience, the best solution is undoubtedly the stay in a Tourist Village.

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