Ostuni, defined as one of the most beautiful towns in the world, shines white in a plain of centuries-old emerald green olive trees, as if it were a tower of whipped cream. It doesn’t matter how you get there, you will be able to see it from miles off, because Ostuni awaits its visitors. Poking out from behind the trees, it welcomes them from far away with its beautiful purity and, like a lighthouse, it shows them the path to take to arrive at its heart.
And if, from far off, the old town strikes every passer-by, on the inside, its tiny streets and the story that they hide never fails to amaze even those who have lived there for many years: it is a very narrow network of completely white streets that go up and down, which branch off from the Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell’Assunzione, and characterise the whole historic centre. The coloured doors contrast to this white, almost as if it were indicating strategic points which help you to orientate yourself. The majestic Cathedral imposes itself in all its beauty on top of the town’s highest hill and has been the central focus of town life for hundreds of years.
In these streets, amongst these special passageways, the town takes form: bakers, tailors, shoemakers, woodworkers, watchmakers and artisans and artists of all kinds once had their workshops here. The women would be sat on the steps to their houses, working the dough to make pasta; the farmers would arrive with their carts from the countryside to sell fruit and vegetables; the smalls of fried meatballs and tomato passata enshroud every inch of the town.
The experience in this corner of the earth can even last an entire day, because there is an infinite amount of wonders here, and there are just as many stories hidden down every alleyway. Thanks to Maria Franca, you will need about three hours to fully immerse yourselves, and she will explain to you all the town’s secrets, the legends about its inhabitants, and she will transport you using your imagination on a timeless journey to discover the whitest town in the world.
Further info: In spring and summer, the journey is best during the early hours of the morning or in the late afternoon, so it is not too hot.