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Ostuni Travel Guide: Travel Tips for the White City of Puglia

Seeing Ostuni from a distance is just stunning. It’s called “La città bianca” or the white city, and it’s easy to see why. On sunny summer days, the white walls of Ostuni’s buildings shine bright, almost like they’re trying to outshine each other.

The charm doesn’t stop when you get to the old town. You’ll see spotless white houses, loads of cacti, and lazy cats lounging around. Ostuni is the perfect example of what makes Puglia special. But, keep in mind, it’s a popular spot. The old town can get pretty packed, especially during the busy season.

In this travel guide, we’re going to tell you all you need to know for your visit to Ostuni. We’ll point out the coolest places to see and give you some of our own favorite tips. We’ll even suggest a place to stay that we absolutely love.

Ostuni Travel Guide

1. Ostuni in Puglia at a Glance: What to Expect

Interesting Facts About Ostuni

  • Ostuni is located in Puglia, more precisely in the province of Brindisi, about eight kilometers from the Adriatic Sea.
  • “La città bianca” – or white city in English – is how Ostuni has been nicknamed. With few exceptions, the facades of all houses in the old town are made of white limestone. (However, this is not unusual in Puglia – many cities have white houses.)
  • Ostuni is quite touristy. This becomes evident with the many souvenir shops lining the old town streets. Additionally, little Tuktuks zoom around the city, shuttling tourists through the old town.
  • Thanks to the olive groves here, the landscape around Ostuni is very photogenic. Luckily, they haven’t been as severely affected by the aggressive bacteria as they have been further south in Salento.

How Many Days Should I Plan for Ostuni?

We consider Ostuni a great base for exploring more of Puglia’s travel destinations and attractions, particularly the Valle d’Itria with famous places like Alberobello and Locorotondo. That’s what we ended up doing and it worked really well for us. In this case, we recommend 2 to 4 nights.

If you’re planning to visit Ostuni as part of a day trip, a few hours are enough. The old town is quite small and most attractions can be explored fairly quickly.

Arrival, Parking & Local Transport

The journey to Puglia likely takes you through Bari Airport. If you’re planning a road trip through Puglia, ideally rent a car directly at the airport. We usually book our rental car through Sunny Cars. It takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get from Bari Airport to Ostuni.

You can search for cheap rental cars here: Sunny Cars

Important tip: Cars are mostly forbidden in Ostuni’s old town. Therefore, you’ll need to park your car at the outskirts of the old town. A recommended option is the large (paid) parking lot “Parcheggio Ostuni Al Giardino”. From here, it’s only about a 5-minute walk to Piazza della Libertà.

When you’re in Ostuni, be prepared to walk a lot! In the old town, you’ll be getting around on foot because there aren’t any regular public transport options in the historical area. But if you want, you can take a tour in one of the many Tuktuks you’ll see around the city.

2. Staying in Ostuni: Our Accommodation Tip

To make your trip perfect, you definitely need the right place to stay. We want to recommend an amazing spot: the beautiful Masseria Dagilupi.

A historic oil mill that has been renovated by a French couple with an exceptional eye for detail. Today, Masseria Dagilupi houses three gorgeous rooms – each completely unique.

Minimalistic design can be found all throughout the house. If you’re into clean lines and minimalism, you’ll love it here. But you won’t have to skimp on comfort either – quite the opposite. The rooms are extremely well-equipped, including a comfortable bed, heated floor, and more.

The location of the Masseria amidst millennia-old olive trees is particularly impressive. Surrounding you is nothing but pure nature. And it gets even better: from the roof of the Masseria, you have a view of Ostuni in one direction and the sea in the other. Just for a sunset from up here, the stay would be worth it. By the way, Ostuni itself is about a 10-minute drive away.

Last but not least: the excellent breakfast. In good weather, it’s served in the idyllic courtyard. Every day, new delicacies await – all homemade and lovingly prepared.

You can book the accommodation here: Masseria Dagilupi

Masseria Dagi Lupi

3. Ostuni Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ostuni

Old Town

Before we delve into the individual attractions in Ostuni, we’d like to say a few words about the beautiful old town.

Perched on three hills, Ostuni is visibly impressive from afar. Once you arrive in the old town, a labyrinth of narrow, paved alleys awaits you. The streets undulate up and down, so we definitely recommend wearing comfortable footwear.

Ostuni’s old town is quite touristy. Instead of local (food) merchants, you’ll mostly find souvenir shops here. Especially during the day, the small alleys can get quite crowded. If you’re travelling in the peak season, we’d suggest exploring during the morning or evening hours to avoid the busiest times.

Ostuni Instagram Spots
Ostuni Old Town

Cathedral of Ostuni

The most important attraction in the heart of Ostuni’s old town is the Cathedral, known as the Basilica concattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta. It sits, tightly squeezed among neighbouring buildings, at the highest point of Ostuni.

With its gigantic rose window, the cathedral is quite a sight from the outside. The original cathedral on this site was destroyed by an earthquake and was eventually rebuilt in the Romanesque-Gothic style in the 15th century.

You can visit the church’s interior during opening hours for free though donations are appreciated. The interior is rather plain, but it’s worth looking up to admire the ceiling frescoes from the 18th century.

Arco Scoppa

Directly opposite the cathedral sits another important landmark of Ostuni: the historic bridge arch known as “Arco Scoppa”. It connects two palaces together.

Originally, the Arco Scoppa was built from wood. For greater longevity and stability, a stone structure was later erected though. Unfortunately, the beautiful, intricate decorations are only visible from one side.

If the sight of the arch reminds you of the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, you’re not far off. Indeed, it is said that the Bridge of Sighs served as an inspiration for the construction of the Arco Scoppa.

Arco Scoppa Ostuni

Piazza della Libertà

The spacious Piazza della Libertà is located just outside the maze of narrow lanes, marking the transition from the old town to the new town. For many, this square is one of the first stops on their tour of Ostuni, as one of the larger car parks is not far from here.

Several attractions are located around Piazza della Libertà, including:

  • Colonna di Sant’Oronzo: A 20-meter-high obelisk dedicated to Sant’Oronzo, the patron saint of the city.
  • Chiesa di San Francesco d’Assisi: A lovely Franciscan church, whose 19th-century facade blends in almost perfectly with the adjacent town hall.
  • Palazzo Municipale (Town Hall): This former Franciscan monastery in the Neoclassical style now houses the town hall.

Piazza della Libertà is a hub of activity. Along the edge of the square (towards the stairs), there are many small cafes and bars.

Ostuni Piazza della Liberta

Viewpoint: The Best View of Ostuni

If you want to see or photograph the “postcard view” of Ostuni, you’ll need to venture a bit outside the old town. Trust us, it’s worth it.

In our opinion, the best viewpoint is along “Corso Vittorio Emanuele II”. Here, there’s a small viewing terrace named “Piazzetta Martiri delle Foibe”, offering a stunning panorama of Ostuni. It’s about a 10-minute walk from Piazza della Libertà.

Another popular spot (and slightly closer to the town) is the small panorama terrace near the Dish restaurant. However, in our opinion, this view can’t quite compete with the other.

Ostuni View point

Top tours in Ostuni

Are you looking for unique experiences in Ostuni? We can recommend these tours.

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4. Food and Drink: Culinary Travel Guide for Ostuni

Ostuni is a dream for foodies. There are some fantastic restaurants in and around Ostuni that we’d love to introduce you below. The culinary offerings in the historic old town are comparatively tourist-oriented, but we’ve always had exceptional meals.

Operaprima: This restaurant, popular with locals, is said to serve the best pizza in Ostuni. Alongside pizza, they offer pasta, fish, and meat dishes – very much classic Italian.

Osteria Ricanatti: Ideal for those seeking a special evening. They serve multi-course menus, including vegetarian options, of high quality. The place has only a few tables, so we would recommend making a reservation in advance.

Gabo Coffee & More: A somewhat hidden gem in the centre of Ostuni with a beautiful green courtyard and a great terrace. We enjoyed an aperitif and some snacks here.

Borgo Antico Bistrot: A very popular spot in a great location. Perfect for a sundowner, aperitif, or even a casual dinner. Extremely popular in high season. Unfortunately, reservations are not possible.

Trattoria Fave e Fogghje: A quaint, quite original trattoria in the old town of Ostuni. The menu, classic Italian, is small but exquisite.

Cremeria La Scala: Exceptional ice cream, reputedly among the best in Puglia. The selection is small but excellent. Highly recommended!

5. Map: All Tips of our Ostuni Travel Guide at a Glance

To help you get a better overview, we’ve marked all the attractions and tips of our Ostuni Travel Guide on this map. Our tip: Click on the rectangle at the top right to save the map to your smartphone (Google Maps app).

Disclaimer: Affiliate Links

This travel guide contains our personal recommendations in the form of affiliate links. Which means if you book or purchase something via these links, you still pay the same (nothing changes for you) — while we receive a small commission for sharing! So it really means a lot to us and we want to say a massive thank you from us both!

Have you ever visited the stunning Ostuni? Did you also fall in love with the “White City”? Maybe you’d like to share your tips for attractions or restaurants with us? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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