Cameras at the ready on a holiday to Ostuni – this whitewashed Italian city is seriously good-looking, from its old town to its nearby coastline.

All eyes on Ostuni

A skeleton-white old town and bags of A-star architecture make up a winning hand for the city of Ostuni. It’s like this place was made with Instagram in mind. A clutch of lime-bleached houses roll their way down the side of a hill, above a landscape carpeted with olive trees. And at the top, reached by a maze of Medieval passages and steps, is a cathedral known worldwide for its rose-shaped windows carved into the stone.

Hills and history

Its hillside postcode makes Ostuni a great work-out to explore. Lose yourself in a network of originally black paths and passageways that were bleached with lime in the 17th century to stop the spread of the plague. While there’s a fair amount of walking involved to get to the top of the city, it’s definitely worth it for the cathedral – and the epic views over Puglia – when you get there. Just take lots of water to drink.

Food o’clock in Ostuni

Its position in the region of Puglia means some seriously good grub’s on the cards when it comes to mealtimes in Ostuni. Veggie-inspired dishes as well as seafood from the Puglia coast mean the menus here are pretty varied. Must-try dishes include mushroom fonduta – a cheese and mushroom fondue that comes in a clay pot – and barchiglia, a chocolate-glazed tart made with shortcrust pastry, almonds, dried fruits, and pear preserve.

A beach a day

You’re a 20-minute drive from beaches big and small when you stay in Ostuni. Marina di Ostuni – the 20-kilometre stretch of coastline that neighbours the city – is peppered with coves and beaches. So it’s easy to break up time in the city with flake-out sessions on the sand. Lido Morelli is the closest beach, flaunting soft sand and shallow waters.

At a Glance

  • Ogle at the cathedral
  • Eat ice-cream on the piazza
  • Pop into some age-old gift shops