Italy's Eastern Door - Otranto

Italy's Eastern Door - Otranto

Experience a fascinating guided walking tour at the Easternmost point of Italy's "boot". While exploring Otranto you visit the inside of the mysterious Skull Cathedral and pay your respects to the Martyrs of Otranto.

Otranto was one of ancient Rome’s leading ports for its trade with Asia Minor and Greece. Under the Byzantines it was an important toehold of the Eastern Empire in Italy. In 1070 it fell under the Normans. Turks attacked and destroyed the city in 1480.

The Cathedral which rises at the top of the small town, was built to be one of the most outstanding churches in Apulia. Its crypt was erected in 1088, and the Church was completed maybe a century later. Those were years of full splendor for the small town. Inside the Cathedral you will admire the magnificent mosaic floor, which is one of the largest in Europe and created by Priest Pantaleone between 1163 and 1165. When the attacking Ottomans mercilessly sacked all of Otranto and knocked down the walls of the cathedral, they left this floor intact. See the Chapel of “Beati Martiri” and the crypt; housing the mortal remains of the 800 “martyrs” murdered in 1480. These martyrs were beatified in 1771 and then canonized by Pope Francis in May 2013.

Continue walking, as your guide shares stories about the rich history of the Aragonese Castle. This imposing fortress of Otranto has a pentagonal plan, surrounded by a large moat, and punctuated by four towers, three circular and one with the tip directed toward the sea. On the fifth side, opens the drawbridge. Dating back to the IX-XI centuries, you will be awestruck at the beauty within and learn the history. Afterwards you will pause for a moment to enjoy a local favorite pastry, or cool gelato, before returning to the yacht.

Notes: There are stairs to negotiate on this tour; good walking shoes are recommended. As you will be visiting a cathedral, modest dress is requested; please do not wear shoulder less tops or short shorts, as you might be refused entry.

A minimum participation is required to operate all Yachting Land Adventures and some have limited capacity. All adventures in the SeaDream Yachting Land Adventures program are subject to change. Final departures times will be published onboard.

Port: Otranto

Duration: 3 hours

Current Price: 89 USD