The town of Ostuni rises up on three hills at the height of 218 metres asl. Its unmistakeable historic centre is a concentric maze of alleyways, stairways and whitewashed houses, whose origins are attributable to the Messapians who founded the city around the 7th century BC. The history of Ostuni however is a lot older, various archeological finds bear witness to the fact that this area was already populated in the Paleolithic era. The Romans called it Sturninum, from the messapian ‘Astu Neon’ (Astu – fortified town, Neon – New). From the Renaissance onwards the town has passed through various dramatic moments: after its golden period under the Spanish domination of the Duchy of Bari of Isabella d’Aragona and the Sforza family, Ostuni was struck by the plague and went into decline, under the feudal control of the Zevallos family. The city revived thanks to the Bourbons who made Ostuni flourish again, moving its centre from piazza del Moro to piazza Libertà where it is today.





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