Visit Ostuni: Top 10 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions


Best Things to Do in Ostuni and the Itria Valley (Puglia)

You want to visit Ostuni during your next trip and you’re looking for the best things to do?

You’re at the right place!

Perched on 3 hills, the Citta Bianca is visible from afar and is one of the must-visit places during a stay in Puglia. It marks the starting point of the Itria Valley, known for its beautiful villages, it’s traditional Masserias (farms) and its numerous olive groves.

In order to help you plan your stay, I have written this guide of the best things to do in Ostuni, with all must-see attractions and points of interest.

At the end of the article, you will also find itineraries to visit Ostuni in a day as well as my suggestions of the best accommodations depending on your budget.

So, what are the best places to visit in Ostuni and the Itria Valley? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!

Visiting Ostuni: All Must-See attractions

1. The Historic Center

In Ostuni, just like in most of Italy‘s cities and villages, the main points of interests are concentrated in the historic center.

However, the old town of Ostuni is particularly charming: you will fo sure love its whitewashed houses, which owed the city its nicknamed “The White City”.

In the Middle Ages, the practice of covering the facades with lime became popular, the aim being to bring a little brightness to the narrow streets. Today, this tradition is somewhat lost but the city has retained all its charm.

In the historic center of Ostuni, you can wander through narrow streets, passages, and stairways, leading to the main monuments worth seeing, such as the cathedral or the palace  (I will tell you more about them a bit below).

Everywhere you’ll find lovely souvenirs and craft shops or small restaurants and cafes where you can stop for a drink. There are also many viewpoints that will allow you to admire Ostuni surroundings, the countryside, and the Adriatic Sea, just 8 km away.

Voyage Tips - Advice

To visit Ostuni, park your car just before entering the city, in one of the paid parking lots.

The city, and especially the tourist center, is a maze of narrow or one-way streets when car access isn’t simply prohibited — in short, a nightmare to park (assuming you find a spot)!


2. Ostuni Cathedral

Ostuni Cathedral is the main tourist attraction in the village.

Located at the top of the highest hill, it requires a bit of a climb through the alleys to reach.

Built starting in the 15th century and dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, it took nearly a century to complete. The exterior facade is quite original, with a Romanesque-Gothic style, mixing concave and convex curves.

You can also admire a beautiful stone rose window at the center of which Christ is enthroned, surrounded by 7 cherubs. Its 24 rays represent the 24 hours of the day.

The interior is worth seeing for its painted ceiling and beautiful frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Christ.

Ostuni Cathedral
Ostuni Cathedral

3. The Episcopal Palace

Right next to the cathedral, you will find the second key building in Ostuni, the Episcopal Palace or Palazzo Vescovile in Italian.

Built in the 16th century, its distinctive feature is the loggia used to connect the palace to the cathedral cloister.

An unusual construction that one might not expect to find in Puglia. In any case, with the cathedral backdrop or the white alleys, the place is perfect for a photo break.

The interior of the palace houses the Diocesan Museum, a very modern museum that has only been open since the summer of 2017. Divided into 6 sections, you can admire archaeological relics from the Messapian era, a collection of church-used objects, paintings, and a collection of books and documents depicting historical local events.

At the end of your visit, don’t forget to stop by the Bishop’s Garden, a small garden adjacent to the palace offering a stunning view over the entire Itria Valley.

You can find information for opening hours and prices on the official website.

Episcopal Palace Ostuni
Episcopal Palace Ostuni

4. The Preclassical Civilizations Museum of the Southern Murgia

During your day trip to Ostuni, you should definitely visit the Preclassical Civilizations Museum of the Southern Murgia.

Despite its lengthy and somewhat intimidating name, this museum offers one of the most fascinating visits in Ostuni. Located in the center of the old town, within the walls of the former Carmelite monastery, the museum is truly unique.

It is home to an astonishing and unparalleled discovery: the skeleton of a young woman who died in childbirth at the age of 20, and her fetus, dating back 25,000 years!

Nicknamed Delia, the young woman and the fetus, named Ostuni 1, were found in the Santa Maria di Agnano cave, about ten minutes by car from Ostuni.

You can observe the body, found in a contracted position, with the head adorned with a cap made of hundreds of small shells. Further proof of Delia’s membership in a group of hunters, flints and horse teeth were also found nearby.

Besides this, you can also see some archaeological relics found in the caves around Ostuni.

The museum is quite small and can be visited quickly, but note that most of the explanations are in Italian.

For prices, hours, and access, check out the official website.

Preclassical Civilizations Museum of the Southern Murgia
Preclassical Civilizations Museum of the Southern Murgia

5. Piazza della Liberta

Piazza della Liberta is the main square of Ostuni and marks the entrance to the historic center.

You will particularly enjoy admiring:

  • The municipal palace, built in the 18th century
  • Sant’Oronzo’s column, the patron saint of the city
  • The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, which dates back to the Middle Ages

In the evening, Piazza della Liberta becomes the perfect spot in Ostuni for a drink at one of its many café terraces, to enjoy an ice cream, or dine at one of the region’s typical Puglian restaurants.

Voyage Tips - Advice

While you’re on the square, make sure to stop by Ostuni Tourist Office, located next to the municipal palace. Here, you can pick up a map of the old town and get recommendations about things to see in the area and the Itria Valley.

Sant'Oronzo Column in Ostuni
Sant’Oronzo Column in Ostuni

6. The Churches of Ostuni

During your visit to Ostuni, as you meander through the alleys, in addition to the cathedral, you will come across numerous churches.

Churches to see in Ostuni:

  • the Church of Saint Vitalis Martyr, which houses the museum and was constructed in the pure baroque style of Lecce
  • the Church of Saint James of Compostela, the oldest in Ostuni
  • the Church of the Holy Spirit
  • the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, built in 1304 and redesigned in 1883, notable for its magnificent altar and stained glass window.
  • the Church of Saint Mary of the Star, located on top of the city walls and offering a beautiful panorama over Ostuni’s surroundings
  • La Chiesa del Carmine, with its lovely neoclassical façade, in the lower part of the city.
Voyage Tips - Advice

You’re going to Ostuni?

You probably know it: the hardest part of planning your trip is to find an hotel offering a good value for money!

The closer you get to your travel dates, the harder it will be to get a good deal. Lots of people will be visiting Ostuni on the same dates as you, so you can be sure that the best deals are booked extremely quickly!

Hopefully, there is a pretty simple solution to this problem: do like me and book your hotel as early as possible!

So, my best advice is to take 5 minutes (now) to have a look at the list of travelers’ favorite hotels in Ostuni.

And if you see a good offer, book it!

Most hotels offer free cancellation, so it’s quick, easy, and you will avoid the the inconvenience of finding nothing but mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.

To check the current best deals for your hotel in Ostuni, simply click on the green button below 😎:

Once you’ve booked your hotel, it will be time to continue reading this guide and find out more about the best things to do in Ostuni!

Church of Saint Francis of Assisi Ostuni
Church of Saint Francis of Assisi Ostuni

Best Things to Do Around Ostuni (Itria Valley)

Now that you know all the best things to do in Ostuni, let me tell you more about the best places to visit in the surroundings.

To help you plan your trip to Puglia, here are the top 4 things to do around Ostuni:

7. Alberobello

Alberobello is the most famous and definitely the most touristic village in the Itria Valley and Puglia.

From Ostuni, it will take you about 45 minutes by car to get there.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Alberobello is known worldwide for its Trulli, typical dwellings of this region of Puglia. You will probably catch a glimpse of them even before arriving in Alberobello, as you can see numerous Trulli in the surrounding countryside and the entire Itria Valley.

But what’s a Trullo? It’s simply a small house with a conical roof built with limestone blocks and then whitewashed.

And Alberobello is very unique as it regroups hundreds of Trulli, creating a charming village that’s unrivaled anywhere in the world.

The main thing to do in this village is to simply wander the streets to admire the Trulli. Today, most of them have been converted into souvenir shops and touristy restaurants.

To learn more about the best things to do in Alberobello, you should read my dedicated article: How to visit Alberobello?

Voyage Tips - Advice

You should visit Alberobello early in the morning or late in the day if you want to avoid the crowds and tour buses. Hundreds of tourists in such narrow streets can quickly take away some of the charm!

Alberobello Trulli Puglia
Alberobello Trulli Puglia

8. Cisternino / Locorotondo

Between Ostuni and Alberobello, you should stop in 2 villages ranked among the most beautiful towns in Italy: Cisternino and Locorotondo.

  • Cisternino is the closest to Ostuni, about 20 minutes away by car. Located in the Itria Valley, its medieval center is reminiscent of an oriental village, with narrow streets, small staircases, whitewashed houses and squares perfect for enjoying a coffee or an aperitif.
  • Locorotondo, on the other hand, is about 35 minutes’ drive from Ostuni. Built in a circular layout, it features several Cummerse, rectangular houses with sloping stone-tiled roofs. It also offers several gorgeous viewpoints overlooking the Itria Valley.

That’s 2 very nice places to visit around Ostuni!

Locorotondo church
Locorotondo church

9. Torre Canne and Torre San Leonardo Coastal Dune Regional Park

Near Ostuni, don’t miss the Torre Canne and Torre San Leonardo Coastal Dune Regional Park.

Spanning over 1000 hectares between the territory of Ostuni and Fasano, in the province of Brindisi, the park stretches along about 8 km of coastline and allows you to pass through diverse landscapes: agricultural areas with pastures, olive groves, dunes, and wetlands.

You can choose to visit the park on foot, but also on horseback, by bike or in an electric car. You will be able to opt for one of the 3 routes suggested.

10. Torre Guaceto

Finally, to wrap up this top 10 things to do and see in and around Ostuni, let’s head to the Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve, located just 30 minutes away by car from Ostuni and at an equal distance from Brindisi.

Torre Guaceto is both a protected marine area and a nature reserve featuring 8 km of coastline with landscapes alternating between coves, wetlands, scrubland, and 15-meter-high dunes.

There, you can enjoy numerous activities: hiking, biking, scuba diving or sailing lessons.

You can also take the time to relax on a beautiful sandy beach with clear, clean water. Alongside Torre Pozzella Beach (surrounded by wild vegetation) and Lido Morelli (the most famous beach near Ostuni), it’s one of the best beaches for swimming around Ostuni.

For more information, you should visit the reserve’s official website.

Visiting Ostuni in 1 Day

To visit Ostuni in 1 day, I recommend following this itinerary:

  • Stroll through the narrow streets of the historic center
  • Visit the cathedral
  • Explore the Bishop’s Palace and the diocesan museum
  • Climb up to St. Mary’s Church to admire the panorama of the Itria Valley
  • Take a tour of the Civilizations Museum
  • Lunch break around Piazza della Liberta
  • Afternoon at the beach, in Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve
Chiesa del Carmine Ostuni
Chiesa del Carmine Ostuni

2 Days in Ostuni and Its Surroundings

One day is enough to visit Ostuni, but with 2 days you can venture into the surroundings of Ostuni:

  • Stroll through two of the most beautiful villages in Italy: Cisternino and Locorotondo
  • Visit the must-see village in the Itria Valley: Alberobello and its trulli
  • Lunch break
  • Spend the Afternoon in Torre Canno and Torre San Leonardo Coastal Dunes Regional Nature Park

Where to Stay in Ostuni

  • Hotel Tropical: Located 5 minutes by car from Ostuni and 10 minutes from the beach. Comfortable and colorful double rooms starting at 75€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the location for visiting Ostuni, the very friendly staff, private parking.
  • Grand Hotel Masseria Santa Lucia: The hotel is situated approximately 10 minutes by car from the center of Ostuni. It’s located in the quiet countryside close to the seaside (direct foot access from the hotel). Comfortable double rooms that are bright and include a private terrace starting at 150€ (low season) up to 250€ in high season, breakfast included. Strong points: the superb pool, Spa, beachfront solarium, the tranquility. It’s my favorite for a relaxing stay in Ostuni!
  • Masseria Salinola: This masseria is just a 5-minute drive from Ostuni, nestled in the quiet countryside. The rooms and apartments are set in a beautifully typical building that has been fully renovated while keeping the original style. Cozy double rooms with meticulous decor from 300€ per night in high season, breakfast included. Strong points: the decor, the rustic charm and warm atmosphere of the place, the generous breakfast (and I’m not exaggerating!), the outdoor pool, the very welcoming staff. It’s my recommendation for a romantic luxury stay in Ostuni!

Where to Eat in Ostuni

  • Impasto Napoletano: Located 200 meters from Piazza della Liberta, via Antonio Specchia. A wide variety of pizzas, hearty and delicious ranging from 5.50€ to 8.50€. Fast service and super friendly owner, we recommend it for a good pizza. Open in the evenings only.
  • Vicolo 43 Bistrot: Located at via Arciduca Francesco Antonio Zaccaria. They serve excellent regional and Italian cuisine in a beautiful setting. Friendly and attentive service with French-speaking waitstaff. It’s all for an excellent quality/price ratio. Reservation recommended.
  • Il Fienile: Located at contrada Rosara in a beautiful old building, slightly off the beaten path. The restaurant offers quality cuisine serving traditional dishes with a touch of originality. A warm welcome from a dynamic and friendly team. Excellent value for money.

Tourist Map of Ostuni

To help you get a better picture of the city, I have created a tourist map of Ostuni listing the places to visit that I talk about in this top 10 things to do in Ostuni. You can display the map’s legend by clicking on the button at the top left with a small arrow.

And you, what are you going to visit in Ostuni and the Itria Valley?

Book your trip now and save money!

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best places to visit in Ostuni
best places to visit in Ostuni

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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