“O” in #AtoZChallenge
Our next destination in this challenge is Ostuni, the land of White House.
Bienvenuti a La Città Bianca.
Ostuni, a place with white houses, is one of Puglia’s most beautiful cities with white-washed buildings on top of the hill. The nearest airport to reach here is Bari and Brindisi.
It has nice views of the endless olive trees in the countryside. This place dates before the Medival period and the city has been built without a plan.
The maze of streets and the stairs played a perfect place for confusing the enemies just in case they come into the city.
In olden days around the 17th century, there was some epidemics which took lives of many in this area. And localities found that the impact was less in places with these whitewashed homes. Probably the reason could be attributed to the antibacterial effect of the calcium carbonate. And then it became a practice to have the houses whitewashed.
In these days, this whitewashed home became a brand by itself for attracting the tourists, and the government is encouraging the locals to paint the house once in 2 years – of course, they pay half of the cost.
Roaming in the narrow streets
If you are driving in here, do not worry. There are nice parking available when you enter the city. Of course, at a nominal cost.
The visit will mostly begin from the Piazza San Oronzo.
From here you can walk into the city. You will be invited by the signs pointing towards all major cities of the world. But remember, this is not to follow by walking. Just in case you are tempted!!!
And you will automatically turn into those streets with shops. The shops are selling the local famous Olive oils. And then the excitement starts.
The arches and steps around will surely remind you that this city was constructed without any plans.
It’s a small town, and the best way to explore this place is to get lost. Yes, I mean it.
Not much traffic except the localities due to the extremely narrow roads.
If you get a dead end, just take a different turn, and you will get a mesmerizing view of the Adriatic sea. If bored, make another turn, and you can view the Olive groves down the hills.
And the top is still accessible for the small cars.
From the top, after enjoying the beautiful view, you can start continuing to walk through the Cathedral of the city.
You will first pass through the Bishop’s Palace with an ornate bridge connecting the palace to the Cathedral cloisters.
The spokes like structure, 24 of them, you notice on the window denote the 24 hours of the day.
And continue your walk a bit further, and you will be back to square one. I mean to the same Piazza you started your trip from. Just a bit before the Municipal House building.
We stayed in Lecce and did a one day drive to here. But next time, I am planning to stay in one of the Masseria next to this town. Masseria is kind of farmhouse, and famous around this region.
So, please do consider this option when you plan to Ostuni.
When you drive through those Olive groves to reach Ostuni, I am sure you will not miss noticing a special type of house called Trulli.
Yes, this is a special house found mainly (Or only) in these region called Alberobello. It would be advisable to combine the visit to Alberobello too along with the Ostuni.
Here is a teaser of Alberobello
My theme for the April 2018 #AtoZChallenge is blogging about the places I have been to. Let me see if I can make it through all alphabets. You can find all my #AtoZChallenge posts here. Interested to know my next destination starting with letter P? Try commenting your guess, let’s see.
Are you participating too? Comment your themes here. Good luck.