Otranto - the most easterly point of Italy
The cape of Otranto is the eastern-most point of Italy, a once thriving Roman port with fortified walls in the historic old town overlooking the bay. Its strategic position looking out to Greece and the Balkans has therefore influenced its history, often coming under attack from the its neighbours across the Adriatic.
The picture-perfect blue waters, white buildings and diving rocks often makes this town the cover image of many maps, books and articles about Puglia. The beaches within the town are very small but the coastline outside the town is renowned for its beauty, and there are more stretches of popular beach to both the north and south. To the north is the sandy beaches of Baia dei Turchi and the Laghi Alimini. To the south is Porto Badisco, a picturesque rocky cove.
Otranto is still an active port with a fishing fleet serving up fresh produce for the many excellent sea food restaurants along the sea front promenades. Visitors can simply waste the day away roaming the lanes of the historic town, coming across picturesque scenes and views. The busiest lanes are lined with decent souvenir shops (ceramics, sandals, that sort of thing) and with restaurants and bars.
In the summer Otranto is lively at night, soaking up the atmospheric alleys where many people sit in the perfectly placed bars allowing you to sit, eat and drink whilst people watching and with a backdrop of the harbour and bay.
With one of the warmest climates in Italy, Otranto is great place to visit for early or late breaks, and the location, close to Gallipoli, Santa Maria di Leuca and Lecce, ensures that there's plenty to do no matter when you visit.