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Otranto enchants from the very first moment: situated on a rocky spur high above the sea, it fascinates with the colours of the Adriatic and the events that run through its history. Here, in Porto Badisco, Aeneas is said to have landed while fleeing from Troy, here UNESCO has awarded the ancient town the title of cultural heritage as a 'messenger site of peace'. But there is one story that, more than others, represents Otranto and its past: Otranto is the city of the 800 Martyrs. In 1480, the Turks besieged the city and its inhabitants were beheaded on Minerva Hill guilty of not having denied the Christian faith. The remains of the martyrs are kept in the Cathedral, in the Martyrs' Chapel commissioned by Ferdinand I of Naples: in this chapel, seven large cases enclose what remains of the Otrantine martyrs, while behind the altar is the stone where, according to tradition, the beheading took place. However, the sea has not only been the bearer of misfortune: it has always been intertwined with the city and its destiny, also bringing culture, new looks, trade and inspiration... a very close bond, without which Otranto would not have become the city it is.


73028 Otranto LE, Italia

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