Posted by: Debra Kolkka | August 12, 2019

Ostuni, a white town in Puglia

Ostuni is white and sparkles in the sunshine near the Puglia coast. There was a howling gale, it was cold and rain came in waves, so it was not sparkling the day we visited.

Here is a photo taken by Orna O’Rielly on a better day. She lives near Ostuni and writes a fabulous blog…Orna O’Reilly: Travelling Italy.

The region of Ostuni has been inhabited since the Stone Age. The town is reputed to have been originally established by the Messapii, a pre-classic tribe. It was destroyed by Hannibal during the Punic Wars and rebuilt by the Greeks. The name comes from Greek, Astu neon, new town.

The houses were originally whitewashed to help lighten up the dark, narrow medieval streets, but later, in the 17th century the whitewash was used to limit the devastation of the plague.

Ostuni is 8 kilometres from the coast in the province of Brindisi. It has a population of 32,000 in the winter,  but it can swell to 100,000 in the summer. It is one of the main tourist towns in Puglia. There were a few people out and about on a cold, windy day in May.

We began our walk through Ostuni at the huge piazza at the bottom of the town.

From there a pretty street lined with shops and restaurants winds up the hill where the Ostuni Cathedral and Archbishop’s Palace sit at the top of the town.

There are lots of shops filled with colourful local ceramics. A couple of pieces have found there way to Casa Debbio and Australia.

We passed an old church which is now an excellent museum. We ducked in to escape an approaching squall.


The cathedral looms large as we approach from the side.

The facade is impressive.


The interior is too.

The sculptures both inside and out are stunning.


There is a lovely area in front of the cathedral that must look fabulous on a summer evening.

We would have stayed longer to explore some of the smaller side streets, but the awful weather drove us out. I don’t mind cold, but the wind was ferocious making things most unpleasant.

Ostuni probably has more to offer than we saw.



  1. The door with cactus either side is adorable!

    • I remember that door.

  2. I tried twice to commwnt but WordPress knocked me out.

    • I’m sorry. I don’t know why.

  3. Love that it is such a ‘white’ town, and liked the relief of the colourful ceramics and the very pretty frescoes on the chapel ceiling.

    • The brightly coloured ceramics are popular in the area.

  4. Even on a miserable day the photos make the town look very nice….and I love the colourful ceramics.

    • It is a well presented town, pity about the weather. It was awful for much of our Puglia trip.

  5. Whitewashed buildings are beautiful and typically Mediterranean. Lime whitewash was already used by the Egyptians and no commercial paint can match that wonderful color. Also, the wash allows walls to breathe, it is ecological and fights mound and bacteria.

    • I love the whitewashed buildings!

  6. Lovely town…shame the weather did not cooperate. Funny thing I was watching a show called Escape to the Continent and they had some Brits looking for houses in Puglia. When they mentioned Bagni di Lucca I had to smile as I knew of your area a bit because of your lovely posts 😍

    • Puglia seems quite popular at the moment. Someone must have done a good marketing campaign.

  7. I enjoy your blog because I get to know these cities that look so remarkable but I’ve often never heard of before.

    • There are thousands of towns and villages to be visited in Italy. More than one lifetime would be needed.

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: