“Otranto’s houses, surrounded by gardens, stretched in an orderly way from the hills to the sea (…); my house was on the hill, in the old town, were only lowly people lived, fishermen and warehouse men, but from there the view reached beyond Rocamatura, an arm of land that pointed into the sea in the West, with a cove, small landings and sand dunes”

Maria Corti, L’Ora di Tutti

This is Otranto out of season, a town of twisted streets, with steps and rises and thick walls and paving stones worn out by generations of men and women. If you were so lucky, or privileged, to visit the Salento far from the madding crowd of summer, you will be enchanted by breathing in Otranto’s atmosphere. There is nothing better than walking to the sea-front promenade from the historic centre, secluded within its imposing walls, and, through the Alfonsina Gate, get lost in the narrow lanes that lead to the Cathedral, the Aragonese Castle or the Pelasgi ramparts and have you breath taken away in front of the sea by a view which, on particularly clear days or just after a storm, can stretch to the mountains of Albania. Otranto out of season is very beautiful, quiet, calm, perhaps a little boring, but boring in a healthy and pleasant way that makes us enjoy a “pasticciotto” (a cream cake) and a coffee sitting at a table in a bar or an aperitif in the evening. Just to taste life, with no rush…

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