Next day, having moved our base to Polignano a Mare, we visited Ostuni, otherwise known as the White City, so called because of it’s striking whitewashed buildings.
This jewel, set high on a hill, stands in stark contrast to the green of the surrounding countryside. Once inside the city, we bought a couple of paninis in a lovely little deli on our walk up into its white labyrinthine heart.
As lunchtime approached, there were very few people about and we were able to lose ourselves in the narrow streets unimpeded. At times it felt as if we were the only ones there and our footsteps echoed off the large stones beneath our feet, occasionally bringing someone to their window.
As is often the case, we would see an old woman sweeping the step in front of her house, men chatting and smoking in the street, black cats prowling, but otherwise there was silence. I couldn’t help but feel like an intruder here and at times found myself tip-toeing around so as not to disturb the city’s invisible inhabitants.
Ostuni’s 15th century cathedral dominates a high-walled piazza with the Palazzo Vescovile and Palazzo del Seminario standing to either side and connected by an arched loggia, built around 1750. While admiring the cathedral’s impressive, three-part façade, the eye is drawn to a lovely, central rose window, which has 24 delicately carved ribs.
Here’s a photo of the cathedral’s 18th century interior.
We made an impressive attempt to see all the city’s streets, getting lost on several occasions. By the end of the day, we were exhausted and headed home for good night’s sleep.