160 km – 1 hour 45 minute drive)
Otranto is a historic seaside town located in the area of Salento (Puglia), the heel of Italy’s boot. Otranto is the most eastern part of Italy and from its coast you can see Albania. The town is well-known for its blue waters, white buildings, and diving rocks.
Otranto played an important role as a Greek and then Roman port, called Hydruntum. Later it was ruled by the Byzantines, the Normans, and then the Aragonese. In 1480 the town was invaded by Turks, and 800 locals were executed for refusing to convert to Islam. The bones and skulls of the martyrs of Otranto have since been kept in the cathedral.
One of the must-see buildings of Otranto is its castle, the Castello Aragonese. It is a majestic construction, which forms part of the formidable defense system of Otranto. The current building was built in the 15th century atop one of Frederick II’s earlier fortresses.