Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by Laura Teso
What to see in Ostuni? Ostuni is very famous as the città bianca, the white city. Its centro storico has a peculiar name, la Terra, which in Italian means the land, the ground but also the Earth. La Terra goes all around the core of the city, the Cathedral, that stands in the highest point. The center is a maze of narrow streets, stairs, small courtyards, full of shops and restaurants.
What to see in Ostuni
The panoramic view of the city from a distance
I suggest you the view from via Vittorio Emanuele II. Set Google Maps at the house number 161 and you will see. We parked the car quite close that number, in order to take some pics and enjoy the wonderful view: the white city perched on a hill, the countryside full of thousand-years-old olive trees and the Adriatic sea a little further.
We started out visit from this big, elegant square. On one site you can see the beautiful Town Hall. The building was once a convent. Next to it the church of San Francesco d’Assisi. On the other you can admire the 20 meters high obelisk of San Oronzo, Saint Patron of the town.
From piazza Libertà take via Cattedrale, snaking its way up to the Cathedral. It’s the main street, so of course it’s full or shops, cafés, delis, restaurants and tourists. At least during high season. Along the street you will spot on the left the rococo Church of San Vito.
Dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, it has a lovely facade, which sums Gothic, Romanesque and Byzantine elements. As for the interior, it’s nice but not to die for. You know I’m not crazy about baroque style.
In front of the Cathedral you will immediately notice an elegant Loggia. It is the Arco Scoppa, connecting the Bishop palace to the Seminary.
If you walk towards the north west extremities of the town, you can admire the white city walls. Two doors remain, Porta San Demetrio and Porta Nova.
A yummy panino
We stopped at Sapori d’Eccellenza for lunch for a quick and rich panino, filled with mozzarella and a local cold cut called capocollo di Martina Franca. The place is close to the cathedral and the owners are the same of the café gelateria in the opposite side of the street (where you can also find the toilet).
Where to have aperitivo
There are many lovely places in Ostuni. My friends told me big things about two places in particular. Sadly, I went to Ostuni for lunch and they were both closed. We could not come back in the evening and that’s one of the regrets of my trip.
La Mela Bacata and Caffé Riccardo
Anyway, you can look for La Mela bacata or Caffè Riccardo. They both place lovely cushions along the outside stairs, where to sit and have a drink. The cushions of Mela Bacata are green, while those of Caffé Riccardo are blue.
I suggest you to explore the area of these two cafés. It is full of small food places, lovely piazzette, balconies full of flowers.
At the parking lot (via Giosué Pinto) we saw the Ape Calessini, the three wheelers that were so convenient in Polignano a Mare. I had a problem with my ankle and I was worried about the climb. So I asked for the price and I was surprised: €15 just to reach the Cathedral. It wasn’t worth it. By foot it took us just 10 minutes.
Plus I couldn’t but compare the fee to that in Polignano, where another company charged us a total of €10 to take us from Polignano to the harbour, which was 10’ away (by car). And they also picked us up at the end of our boat tour 2 hours later to bring us back in Polignano.
You can compare the two fees and draw conclusions. Honestly, I thought that the ones in Ostuni were trying to take advantage of tourists and I exclaimed to my husband, but in a way that they could hear: Unbelievable, that’s more than double the prices of Polignano!
Anyways, it is a nice little town, very lively. I hope to go back one day and see the beauty of Ostuni also at dusk. Must be incredible.