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Puglia, round Italy's heel, has always been more popular with Italian families with their buckets and spades than jet setting holidaymakers. But this wonderfully earthy countryside has plenty of treasures. The beautiful white-painted hilltop town of Ostuni being one. If you thought white towns were only found in Spain and Greece, you're wrong. The city's white houses gleam in the bright sunlight, highlighting the pale stone of the great Gothic cathedral, which is the town's crown and around which you can find some of the best places to stay in Ostuni.
Originally the walls were lime washed to lighten up the narrow, winding alleyways of the town's medieval centre. But apparently the practice was thought to help prevent the spread of plague and it became compulsory.
As well as beauty, Ostuni also has a fascinating history - mostly of being fought over by everyone who saw it. And it's only 8kms from the coast where there are some lovely long, sandy beaches. Several of which have Blue Flags.
Ostuni has style as well as charm, and there are some excellent restaurants and bars, and plenty of chic, boutique-y places to stay. This old lady is very busy in summer, so if you definitely need to book the best places to stay in Ostuni in advance.
If you're dashing away to Ostuni try and plan your arrival into town so that it's drenched in sunlight. That's when its at its most glorious. Ostuni was established in the 1st Century, but most of its architecture dates from the 14th-17th Centuries. The town's architectural centrepiece, the Gothic-Romanesque cathedral, was built in the 15th. Explore the many passages and stairways and little alleys and find your own beauty spots.
Then maybe make time to explore the wonderful rustic region around the town. As well as the beautiful town you're staying in, the region around Ostuni has many romantic oddities. Including the trulli - conical stone buildings originally built so that they could be easy disassembled as a 16th Century tax dodge. Some of the best gatherings of trulli can be seen around Alberobello.
During the summer there are festivals and festivities happening all the time, so there's always something fresh and lively to entertain your family with. The beaches are clean and well managed, and if your family is at all adventurous they'll enjoy an opportunity to explore the ancient cave system at Castellana. For those who like to be active you'll find plenty more opportunities to explore in the Natural Reserve of Torre Guaceto.
For central location
- If you want to stay in the very heart of town we'd recommend you book the Ostuni Palace Hotel. Refined yet modern, the Ostuni Palace has really thought of everything - even though they're not on the coast they still have their own private beach, which they run shuttle buses to and from all day. So definitely one of the best places to stay in Ostuni if you're here for the sun and sea. The rooftop terrace has spectacular views, and with only 34 rooms it's small enough to feel romantic and intimate.
Agriculture has always been more important than tourism here, and if you have time it's a wonderful bit of country to explore. This is a place where there are strict rules about moving olive trees - even on your own property. There are colourful markets, small towns and plenty of unique dishes to sample.
- Masseria Salinola is a 16th century salt warehouse turned boutique hotel just outside Ostuni. The ten bedrooms are simply yet beautifully finished with lime washed walls, and rustic chic interiors. Tradition Puglian dishes are served in the highly regarded restaurant and there's a large pool to relax round after a day exploring the area.
- If you're looking for a totally unique experience, the traditional trulli of Masseria Cervarolo are amongst the best places to stay in Ostuni. Originally peasant's workshops, these trulli have been converted to sleep up to six in total comfort - and there are 12 other rooms in the main building. All painted traditional white, and arranged around a lovely pool, this is the ideal choice if you want to relax, maybe take some local cooking lessons and see the highlights of the region at your own pace.
Ostuni for Foodies
- Rustic, rambling mansion, Il Frantoio is one of the best places to stay in Ostuni for foodies. The owners gave up their stressful lives to come out here and grow food, and cook, and eat well under the sun. The result is slightly eccentric, but very personal, and staying in one of the 13 rooms is more like being a personal guest than a paying one.
- Alternatively book a room at La Sommita Relais Culti. You'll find a Michelin star restaurant which will satisfy the fussiest of palates.
Still not sure where to book? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay in Ostuni, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice. Alternatively check our recommendations for the whole of Puglia.
Best Hotels in Ostuni
Masseria Salinola 10 rooms from $104Ostuni
This boutique hotel is set in a refurbished sixteenth century farmhouse in beautiful Apulian countryside. Antique furnishings in simple but luxurious rooms add even more charm, and it has its own olive groves producing extra virgin oil. The perfect place to unwind.Sitting RoomFull of characterGreat walks - Good for walkers.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Ostuni Palace Hotel 34 rooms from $125Ostuni, Puglia
A romantic, stylish and refined hotel that features modern comforts and excellent personal service. Beautiful airy bedrooms in whites and pastels with ethereal drapes. Wonderful restaurant, roof top terrace and private beach just a few kilometeres away. The perfect romantic getaway.Romantic Break - A romantic boutique in the White City of Ostuni, boasting chic piano bar, spa, hot tub, Hammam and elegant Italian cuisine.Great walks - A 15 minute drive brings you to the beautiful sandy beaches of Pugila.Sights nearby - Visit the nearby cathedral, built in late gothic style.Spa
La Sommità Relais Culti 15 rooms from $146Ostuni
Minimalist luxury in an ancient white town. Stunning views from the terraces and a lovely restaurant serving fantastic food with immaculate presentation. Large comfortable beds in airy bedrooms. A small plunge pool perfect for cooling off. A gem of a hotel.Foodies - A fantastic little restaurant with Michelin Starred chef and great wine list.Sights nearby - Nearby towns of Cisternino and Martina FrancaCooking classes - Cookery classes on offer at the hotel.Birdwatching - Torre Guaceto nature reserveRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet
Masseria Cervarolo 18 rooms from $162Ostuni Brindisi, Puglia
Gorgeous traditional Ostuni farmhouse. Traditional trulli (conical peasants' houses) act as rooms and suites, immaculately painted in white. Stunning grounds, terraces, and enormous swimming pool. A fabulous choice for romantic breaks, family holidays, and friends.TraditionalGroupsFamiliesCooking classes - Learn traditional Puglian recipesRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Sawdays
Il Frantoio 14 rooms from $188Ostuni, Puglia
Justly famous masseria with wonderful food and a vaguely eccentric air. Pretty bedrooms with white washed walls surround a bougainvillea-filled courtyard. Organic produce from the farm and olive grove is used in fabulous multi-course meals. A divine gourmet rustic retreat close to the beach.Foodies - Members of the slow food movement the kitchen, under Rosalba, create extraordianry cuisine from simple home grown ingrediants.Romantic Break - Chic rooms with wisteria swathed stairways, enchanting interiors and antique furnishings are the epitome of fairytale romance.Great walks - Meander through olive trees on walking trials from the hotel.Full of characterRecommended by - Sawdays