The Internet's most comprehensive Travel website for Italy
Use quote marks to search for exact names eg "Hotel Florence"


View of Otranto

The small boat harbour in Otranto

Castello in Otranto

Welcome to Otranto
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population:  5,273 (2001)
Official site: Otranto
Wikipedia: Otranto
Map: Mapquest

Otranto is the eastern most point on the Italian peninsula and therefore is the closest point in Italy to the Balkan countries. In fact, the city is only 60  kilometers from Albania across the Straight of Otranto.  The port here also serves as a terminus for the car-ferry to Corfu, Greece

Because of its geographical position, throughout history Otranto has often borne the brunt of foreign invasions into Puglia.  The town has been a flourishing port from ancient Greek times; and used for trade with Asia minor.  It is generally thought that the old Roman road, the Via Traiana, was extended to Otranto to handle this traffic. 

Otranto takes its name from the stream nearby (the Idro) that runs into the sea here; and the townspeople still refer to themselves as the Idruntini.  After fall of the western Roman empire, Otranto has had a history similar to much of the rest of southern Italy, with centuries of Byzantine rule interspersed with Saracen incursions, followed by the arrival of the Normans. 

The historic city centre of Otranto, is still nestled within the impressive old stone walls and bastions.  The famous Castello, which is attributed to the Spanish of the 16th century, dominates the entire town.  From this vantage point, on clear days, you can see straight across the Ionian sea to Albania

This town, during the summer is a lively epicenter for summering Italians, who visit in droves and fill the sandy beaches around the city.  The nightlife in Otranto is lively and there are several modern and very busy Italian fashion stores.

Many people however, come to Otranto for the Cattedrale (Cathedral), originally begun by the Normans.  Conserved within the cathedral's walls is 12th-century mosaic pavement in the nave and aisles.  The Cathedral is open in the morning until noon and in the evening from 5PM until 7:30PM.  There is no entrance fee.

Puglia Region



Lecce - 46 km;
Brindisi - 86 km;
Foggia -  155 km;
Bari - 200 km;
Taranto - 331 km;
Pescara - 509 km


Otranto street

Floral display in Otranto