Otranto, the ancient Hydrontus (from the small river Idro - Hydruntum flowing into the dock), is the most eastern part of Italy; and the fact of being a bond between different people is explicited in the use of dialects, in the architecture and in the landscapes. That is to say in the essence itself of this splendid town.
Touched by a prolific and generous sea, it provides our visitors with enchanting views, from the bay of Alimini to Porto Badisco, important destination of Enea.
Amongst Byzantine crypts and Moorish palaces, between impregnable fortresses and cannon balls (become by now ornamental articles for ancient buildings courtyards), the memories of ancient remnants and unforgettable ruins come up; but all of it happens within a nice frame of a cobalt blue sea and the warm wind, that genltly erodes the towers and spread its perfume on the paths. Comprising several churches and monuments, the town is divided between the old part, surrounded by fortified walls, and the new town.
The falcons on the "pagliari"
This land does not just distinguished for its sea places. Otranto is also nature: amongst the thyme and the ginepro we discover the orchids and the garrigue as well as other typical plants that designate the whole coastal section between Alimini and Badisco. Besides, the fauna is the queen of this places. Several are the species of animals that can be found in thi area: from the peregrine falcon to the falcon of the queen or the buzzard that lays here; but also herons, the garzetta and the coot, the alzavola and the fischione or some reptiles and amphibians like the cervone, the colubro or the tortoises.
Otranto, the city of Martyrs
Otranto has very old origins. In the third century b.C. the city was already a Roman port, used for Eastern trade. Subsequently, during the centuries, due to the important and strategic position of the city, Otranto was subjected to several different dominations that left their unique signs in the culture and dialects: Normans, Byzantine, Saracen, Aragons succeded one another throughout the centuries. The monuments that characterise the town are many: The Cathedral of the Annunciation in a gothic-romanic style testimonial, sacred in 1088, enshrines the spectacular mosaic floor, real treasure of the Cathedral representing the “tree of life” held by two elephants and engaging the whole central nave. It is also very important to notice the Byzantine tabernacle of Saint Peter, outcome of the italian-greek monks activities who also left their espressions in many underground crypts finely frescoed (San Giovanni or Monte Sant’Angelo).