Piazza della Libertà
Perhaps one of the first sites you should see in Ostuni is the Piazza della Libertà. It's just like any old plaza you'd see in other places in Italy. However, that is the charm of it. Plazas are great places to start looking into Italian culture because it's where the people are. There are cafés, bars, chapels, boutiques, and more that abound this beautiful area. You'll see how locals live out their lives here, even with the influx of many tourists. Once you've experienced this plaza for what it is, it's time to go to other places.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Once you've gotten a feel of the "city life" here in Ostuni, you'd probably want a change of pace. If so, heading on over to Parco Dune Costiere will be a great idea. More than just beach, it's actually a national park made up of sand dunes, olive groves, and a few wildlife sanctuaries. It's here where you'll get to see a part of Italian culture that's rarely seen in movies: nature. This makes it a perfect vacation destination in Europe! See how well the Italian take care of Mother Earth here. A different side of the country that's well beyond the overused tropes you see in pop culture!
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Don't let Ostuni fool you! Just because this place is a provincial town in Puglia, it doesn't mean there's no modern culture here. In fact, they even have one gallery here that showcases some of the best modern works of art from the country's finest contemporary artists. In recent years, the Orizzonti Arte Contemporanea has become a go-to haven for those who want to learn more about the modern Italian art scene. It's usually here where tourists get introduced to young creatives not named 'Leonardo Da Vinci' and 'Michaelangelo.' The artists here are the likes of Ariana Matta, Gianluca Capozzi, Paolo Loschi, and more!
Source: Orizzonti Arte Contemporanea Facebook Page
You can't attempt to really see Italian culture without going inside a couple of churches. The Italians worship their grand sanctuaries because it shows the best of their past. The stunning architecture, the baroque art, and the fine craftsmanship. These have long defined Italian culture to foreigners, and seeing them in person is quite the experience. And here at Ostuni, the town's cathedral is a place you just have to see. Its gothic exterior already makes it a high point of interest. But when you go inside, the stunning frescos that render the interior will leave you speechless!
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Just near the cathedral is a museum that talks about the diocese of Ostuni. In the past few years, the Museo Diocesano di Ostuni has gained a lot of traction simply because of what many have discovered here. Set in the Episcopal Hall, it used to be the grand home of the town's bishops. Now, it houses many authentic displays of Italian art and culture, as well as artifacts from the country's long and rich past. It practically rivals the Vatican in many ways. And the best part is, even if your first time going here, it won't feel so confusing. The museum is laid out neatly and in a rather contemporary way so you can go about it smoothly.
Source: Museo Diocesano di Ostuni Facebook Page
Another museum worth looking into is the Museum of Preclassic Civilizations of the Southern Murgia. All of what you want to know about the earliest and most ancient years of this part of the world are laid out here. A particular highlight is the "La Donna di Ostuni," or more affectionally referred to as "Delia.' It's the remains of a woman who lived 25,000 years ago and died while she was eight months pregnant. You can see from her bones that the people of thousands of years ago were completely different beings from today.
Source: Museum of Preclassic Civilizations of the Southern Murgia
They say that if you didn't go to Masseria Brancati, then you really haven't been to Ostuni at all. This farm is perhaps the most famous spot in this list, and with good reason! Many have said that this is where you could get the best olive oil in Italy, a strong fixture in many Italian dishes. So this means means their olive oil is also the best in the world. But more than just that, you could actually learn more about how to plant and farm olive trees the right way. How you can make the oil properly and so on. It's another peek into genuine Italian culture.
Source: Masseria Brancati
Now that you've learned how to plant and farm olive trees, and have gotten a peek into how to make olive oil, you can also see "olive art." Yes, you read that right! At L'Ulivo Che Canta, you'll get to see a whole lot of works of art made out of the wood from that famous tree. From abstract sculptures to cute little trinkets, you'll discover that there's no end to what you can do with olive wood. Suddenly, the "best olive oil in the world" doesn't seem that impressive anymore. Among other things, this gallery is a testament to the Italians' boundless creativity.
Source: L'Ulivo Che Canta Facebook Page
Don't let Ostuni fool you. It might seem like just a quaint little town in the Puglia region, but in reality, there are so many places here where you can learn about true Italian culture. It's a more genuine peek into the Mediterranean country, its culture, and history!