On the easternmost part of Italy lies the city of Otranto, just 22 kilometres away from San Foca. In Salento Otranto is considered one of the most important political, cultural and commercial centre.
It has Greek and roman origins, but it has been ruled for centuries by the Byzantine, the Normans and the Ottomans. The remains of this different dominations can still be admired throughout the city.
Otranto, a melting pot of cultures and people, a crossroad between the eastern and the western world, lies on a spur above the sea. Its most ancient part, with the typical white houses, is nestled inside the Aragonese walls, which in the past protected the city and its castle.
- The Cathedral: it’s a remarkable example of the Romanesque art and it is particularly famous for the wonderful floor mosaic representing “The Tree of Life”. In the right apsis of the church there are the remains of the “Martyrs of Otranto”, killed by the Ottomans in 1480.
- The Aragonese Castle: the castle dates back to the time of the Aragonese dynasty from Naples, that ruled the city after the Ottomans. It has a pentagonal and irregular map and a moat that once had a drawbridge. It is now house to a lot of art expositions.