When you stroll through Otranto you cannot help but notice how everything around us expresses the sense of Mediterranean culture: the white of the houses, the blue of the doors, the flowered balconies and the alleys that offer breathtaking views make us immediately understand the deep bond that exists between this city of Salento and the sea.
Famous for being the most eastern city of Italy, with the lighthouse of Punta Palascìa that fixes the exact place, Otranto has inherited the habits, customs and linguistic model of Greek culture, thanks to the influence exercised by the Hellenic civilization since the 4th century BC. With the arrival of the Byzantines, Ydrentòs becomes the outpost of the Eastern Empire in Italy. From this point of view, St. Peter's Basilica represents a splendid artistic as well as religious testimony.
In fact, walking through the streets of Otranto one feels suspended
in time. Passing through the Alfonsina Tower, which marks the boundaries of the medieval citadel, we enter Corso Garibaldi where the souvenir shops bring us back to the present. By the way, among the hundreds of typical objects, the terracotta bells depicting suggestive sunsets stand out. We continue with the inevitable stop at the Cathedral of the Annunciation, with its sophisticated rose window and the majestic 12th century mosaic, through which the monk Pantaleone wanted to depict the tree of life drawing on sacred and profane characters (such as the mermaid with a double fish tail placed at the altar).
The walk resumes to admire the imposing Aragonese castle
of ‘400, now home to numerous exhibitions, and the promenade, thanks to which we can admire a crystalline blue. If during our walk we come across a gecko, do not worry! In addition to being harmless, in Salento the gecko is considered a symbol of luck. Finally, once seated at the table on the menu we will find typical dishes such as linguine with cuttlefish, soups with seafood or baked potatoes with artichokes.