Grand Hotel Rosa Marina, Ostuni ****
The Grand Hotel Rosa Marina is a large modern hotel complex near Ostuni, in southern Italy's Puglia region. Pleasantly situated on one of the most attractive stretches of southern Italian coastline, the hotel lies just outside the pretty hilltop town. View hotel
Double rooms from €0
Hotel Masseria Tutosa, Ostuni ****
Just 7km from the beautiful town of Ostuni and near to the airport in Brindisi, the four-star Hotel Masseria Tutosa is tranquil without being isolated. The building is an ancient fortified farm dating from the 17th century. View hotel
Double rooms from €50
A small town, but an absolutely stunning one, Ostuni is known as La Citta Bianca, 'the white city', with its gleaming whitewashed houses providing a dazzling vision from the valley below. The town sits on three hills at the southernmost extent of Le Murge in Puglia's Brindisi region, between the towns of Monopoli and Brindisi on Italy's southern Adriatic coast. As well as being very lovely it's very old. Inhabited since the Stone Age, myth has it that it was founded by the Messapii tribe, and sacked by Hannibal during the Punic Wars. In fact, the world 'Ostuni' derives from the Greek for 'new town' (from the city being rebuilt after being razed at the fall of the Roman Empire). In Puglia, old really means old.
Its beautiful old centre sits on the highest of the trio of hills, the white buildings along cobbled streets. Sights include the Chiesa della Monacelle (the cathedral), the Bishop's Palace, and palazzi belonging to the historically powerful families of the region, among them Falghieri, Ghionda and Giovine. There are also a few of the towers built in the 16th century reign of Bona Sforza to protect the shoreline from invading Turks. Around the town is fertile grape and olive country, and large estate farms (or 'masserie') fan out from Ostuni. The patron saint of the town is St Oronzo, whose three-day festa is held each 25-27 August.