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Otranto Tours and Day Trips

Sightseeing in Otranto

The construction of the Cathedral of Otranto coincides with the gold period of the history of Otranto; it is a synthesis of various styles from the Greek to the Byzantine and the Norman. Inside the Cathedral you can admire the unique mosaic that covers all the pavement of the church. Its symbolic representation of the "tree of the life" represents the history of human life.
 Was constructed in 1537 in Otranto as a coastal fortification after the disembarkment of the Turks. At the entrance of the castle you will find the coat of arms of Carl V. The castle is encircled by a moat, while the structure derived from Francisco of George Martini contributes to this majestic public square. The Castle is a pentagonal shape with cylindrical towers.
Constructed around to the V-VII century and restored towards the XII. The church seems to want to raise itself from earth and its inner frescoes that completely cover the walls donate a supernatural vision, thanks also at the light that seems to have been imprisoned in these paintings. The entrance is preceded by a porch, a symbol of the passage from the profane world to the sacred one, from sin to the state of grace.
Until Concilio of Florence (1439), the monastery of S.Nicholas of Casole was a cultural centre of reading and art. Today remains only the multiple columns of the huge monument that had to support a great arc and a sink, can still be admired. The profound and sacred texts are conserved in the greatest and the most important libraries of the world.
Constructed on the hill of Minerva, it served as an old convent of the parlotti and was erected when Alfonso II from Aragona freed Otranto from the Turks in 1481. It was dedicated to Saint Francisco from Paola who had foretold the destruction of Otranto 6 months prior to its downfall. In the little church there is an epigraph in memory of the 800 Martyrdoms. (In name of the Native land and the Religion).
The tower is located not far from the hill of Minerva and today it is represented on the coat of arms of Otranto. Today you will find only the remains of the common towers of coast that were constructed, above all by Carl V. These towers served as look-out points for enemy invaders.
From Otranto continuing north, along the road that leads to St. Cataldo, the lakes of Alimini are found. Constituted by two mirrors of water, Alimini Fontanelle, of sweet water and Alimini the "BIG". The latter flows into the sea through a small passage connecting with the Adriatic, which produces its most brackish waters. The grounds that surround the lake are variedly cultivated. Alimini Fontanelle, is instead the centre of a type of flora and fauna completely different, because of the sweetness of the water: here rare types of vegetable are found along with various plant life such as the orchid of swamp, the chestnut of water and the grass bladder (only carnivorous plant of the pugliese flora). As for fauna you will find varieties of aquatic birds such as coots, moriglioni, real Germans, sea crows, herons and gulls.
The Aliminis, once marshes, take their name from the Greek Limne = pond, hunting's reserve.
It is highly recommended to explore this beautiful region by bike.

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