PWk: Prod, Tlk: GS2, Datacash: Live
Holidays in Otranto will take you right to the bottom of Italy's heel, across the Adriatic Sea from Albania. A former capital of the Lecce province, Otranto lies in the rich olive and wine growing region of Puglia. The town itself is in a beautiful coastal location protected by a natural harbour in its bay. The harbour area is the heart of the town and is watched over by the huge fortifications of Otranto castle, made famous in Horace Walpole's novel The Castle of Otranto. This is where you will find the majority of the town's restaurants and cafés, which overlook the scenic harbour and promenade.
Otranto is a place where couples, families and those looking for relaxation will feel equally well catered for. The town has two beaches for a spot of sunbathing and relaxation, while the old heart of the town is full of restaurants, cafés, bars and shops where you can enjoy some souvenir shopping and good food and wine. There are historical sites to visit, beautiful coastal scenery and good connections to the larger towns of Lecce and Brindisi nearby.
Citalia knows Italy like no other specialist and we can ensure you get the very best from your holiday in Otranto.
Discover some out of the way places that you'll love to visit. For example, try an agriturismo restaurant such as Masseria L'Uliveto on the outskirts of town. This farmhouse restaurant serves vegetables, cheeses and meat which are all produced and cooked onsite by the owners for the most authentic taste of delicious Puglian food.
Or you can try a sumptuous, dairy free granita in Gelateria La Granita, oozing with the delicious flavours of real fruits. This is the only place to get a granita in Otranto and compares with the best granitas to be found in their Sicilian homeland.
Book a tour and spend the day being shown around Otranto on foot by a local who knows the place like the back of their hand. Discover the local history, the scandals and the comical stories, as well as the hidden nooks and crannies of this ancient town.
Otranto has no shortage of historic sites to visit and plenty of other activities and attractions if your interests are wide and varied. The castle is one of the main attractions and is well worth a visit, as is the 11th Century cathedral with its Old Testament mosaic from almost 800 years ago, designed by a local monk. There is also the Byzantine church of San Pietro to see, complete with beautiful frescoes.
The town is also fringed by plenty of beaches where you can while away the hours taking a dip in the blue waters of the Adriatic Sea and picking up a cold drink or a snack from the nearby bars and restaurants.
It's always a good idea to visit some of the sights which can be found within easy travelling distance. In Otranto, you are near to the city of Lecce, which is famous for its baroque architecture and great food. Lecce's history dates back to the time of the Greek colonists in southern Italy and in some of the small villages in this province you can still hear Greek spoken as the everyday language. All along the coast in either direction there are beautiful views and tiny rustic villages, all within easy reach for a day trip.
One of the delicious specialities of the Puglia region, which can be found in Otranto, is Burrata. This cheese is similar to Mozzarella, but made from cows' milk instead of buffalo, and when you cut into it, the gooey and sumptuous inside oozes out. Burrata has a mild but rich, creamy flavour and is heavenly with nothing more than some locally baked bread and a healthy dash of olive oil.
Tiella is a hearty peasant dish which, some say, dates back to the time of Spanish influence in the area in the 16th Century. It has superficial similarities to paella, with rice, vegetables and seafoods forming the base, although tiella is very much a unique dish. Typical ingredients include rice, potatoes, onions and mussels with optional additions including tomatoes, artichokes, courgettes, garlic and even cheese. Usually, tiella is baked in the oven in a terracotta dish with the mussels added on the half shell before baking. It’s a filling, rustic dish very typical of Puglian cuisine.