January 20, 2018

3249 ITALY (Apulia) - Ostuni

Located about 8km from the coast, Ostuni is among the main towns attracting tourists in Apulia, in southern Italy, known also for its high quality olive oil and wine. It is commonly referred to as "the White Town" (La Città Bianca) for its white walls and its typically white-painted architecture. Monuments in their own right, the town's largest buildings are the Ostuni Cathedral and the Bishop's Palace, together with a number of palazzi of local aristocratic families.

The town is reputed to have been originally established by the Messapii, and destroyed by Hannibal during the Punic Wars. It was then re-built by the Greeks, the name Ostuni deriving from the Greek Astu néon (New Town). Sacked after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, then occupied by the Ostrogoths and the Longobards, in 996 the town became part of the Norman County of Lecce. The Normans built their medieval town around the summit of the hill (229 m), with a castle (only remains can be seen) and city walls with four gates.

From 1300 to 1463 it was part of the Principality of Taranto and from 1507 passed to Isabella, Duchess of Bari, wife of Gian Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan. Under Isabella's rule, Ostuni thrived during the Italian Renaissance. She died in 1524 and Ostuni passed as a dowry to her daughter Bona Sforza, wife-to-be of Sigismund I of Poland. In 1539 she had towers built along all the shoreline as protection against anticipated attacks from Turks who controlled the Balkans. These towers (still extant), were garrisoned and communicated using fiery beacons.

About the stamps 
The stamp is part of the series Italian Squares, about which I wrote here.

Ostuni - Wikipedia

Sender: Dana Volosevici
Sent from Ostuni (Apulia / Italy), on 08.01.2018
Photo: Salvatore Valente

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