Wandering Otranto in the Rain

Adriatic Sea

Wandering Otranto in the Rain

A few weeks ago, my family and I were in Italy for a wedding. While I had previously spent time in Rome and Venice, this was my first time in Puglia, a region in the south of Italy. I immediately fell in love with the region and the province of Lecce where, aside from our day in Milan, we spent all of our time.

On our first full day, we took a bus ride to explore the area, and even though it was a rainy day, it was still as beautiful and charming as ever. Otranto was our first stop, and the city easily made its way into my heart.

Adriatic Sea in Otranto

Wandering around, I didn’t realize the history that was buried within the walls of the city. In the late 1400’s, Otranto was invaded by the Ottoman Empire, and over eight hundred people were beheaded, in what sounds like an episode of Game of Thrones. Looking back, it’s almost hard to imagine such violence happening in such a picturesque location, one that I strolled around with no realization of the history.

Steps up to the city

Instead, for me, it brought back happy memories of the towns and cities I visited while in Croatia. It was special in its own way, but in my mind, it was funny to be on the other side of the Adriatic Sea in a place that didn’t feel all that far from Croatia and my family’s roots.

A family photo

The streets of Otranto

We didn’t have much time to wander the city streets, but we made the best of it by shopping and making time for gelato. With gelato in hand, I happily continued soaking up as much beauty as I could; there was so much to see and take in.

Gelato in Otranto


Adriatic Sea

One more family photo in front of the Adriatic

A little posing in Otranto

Too quickly, it was time to head back to the bus, but since we were visiting for a special occasion, we decided to stop for some prosecco and toasted our new friends and our time in Italy. I knew from that moment that the weekend was going to be a memorable one.

Family and wedding guests making a toast

Our time in Otranto may have been short, and not ideal in the rain, but it did leave me wanting more, I wanted to wander down each street, exploring the city further. But, what we did see left a big enough impression that I know one day I will make my way back.

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Comments (12)

  1. Eileen

    Can we go now?

  2. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    I’ve never been to this part of Italy and sounds like some fascinating history behind it. Love the gelato picture 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      It was my first time, and I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time there. Definitely recommend it! Thanks! It was SO delicious.

  3. Leah

    There’s always time to stop for gelato and prosecco, if you ask me. I love discovering little-known foreign cities. And 800 people beheaded? OMG!!!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Always! 🙂 I have multiple gelato stops a day while in Italy. I know, right? The Ottoman Empire was no joke!

  4. Fiona

    This post reminds me how much I love Italy. And that gelato – wow!

  5. Traveling Ted

    Gelato, prosecco, walking down ancient streets, and time with family can make any rainy day shine.

  6. Lance | Trips By Lance

    A rainy travel day can be great or bad, and it sounds like you made the most of it. I haven’t been to this region of Italy. I do recall from our only visit to Italy nearly 10 years ago that we stopped for gelato so many times every day. It was so good.

  7. Craig Zabransky

    sometimes I really like wandering places in the rain, especially walkable cities…it tends to put me “in” the moment more… and definitely allows for some time for cocktails. it seems you made a good time of it too,
    stay wandering in the rain, Craig

  8. Valerie

    Amazing! Otranto looks like a charming town. 🙂

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