Posted by: Debra Kolkka | July 28, 2019

Cisternino, Puglia

The territory of Cisternino was already inhabited during the middle Palaeolithic period by humans. Traces of their presence have been found. The old town appeared around the 8th century thanks to the Basilian monks who called it Cis-sturnium, on this side of Sturnium ( (Ostuni). The official birth of the town dates from the 11th century.

The Centro Storico is quite compact and easy to navigate. We entered through the Porta Piccene.

A good place to begin exploring Cisternino is the 17th century Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, the heart of the town.

Look for the Torre del’Orologio, clock tower, built in 1850.

We sat under that umbrella and enjoyed a coffee and pasticciotto.

The narrow streets are lined with pretty whitewashed houses, shops and restaurants with neat gardens.

I would love to copy this seat.


The Palace of the Bishop was built in 1560. On the last column there is an engraving of a rider and on the right, a horse.

If you squint you might just see them.

The church of St Nicholas was built on the older church from the 10th and 11th century by Basilian monks.

The interior is relatively plain.

There is a sculpture from 1517, Virgin Mary with baby by Stefano da Putignano.


In front of the church is a lovely park with views over the countryside. There is an excellent view of Locorotondo and some trulli houses below.


We found another interesting  church nearby.

It is quite small inside and has a pretty domed ceiling.

A small Presepe collection was to one side.

Further on we came to a lovely wide street lined with shops. Most were not open…waiting for the season.

Cisternino is pretty, but much like Locorotondo, it was empty when we were there and little was open. Someone needs to drag some of the crowds from Alberobello and share them around.



  1. I am fascinated with the unique architecture in Puglia. Your pictures are excellent – love the conical roof of the Trulli houses. More on this please. Are they still inhabited?

    • Some trulli are inhabited, but there many ruins dotted around. The largest group of trulli is in Alberobello where they are used as houses, shops and restaurants.

  2. A beautiful town. Puglia’s architecture is stunning.

    • The whitewashed buildings in Puglia are lovely.

  3. Lovely!

    • Cisternino was a pretty town, empty but pretty.

      • Rather as I remember Locorotondo….

  4. Another beautiful town….Italy certainly does have a lot of them.

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