My adopted hometown of Ostuni, La Città Bianca (the White City), overlooks an incomparable 18 km stretch of the Adriatic coastline of Puglia on Italy’s stiletto heel. Smack dab in the middle of countless blue flag-rated beaches, intimate coves, rocky outcrops, rolling dunes and centuries-old Mediterranean vegetation lies the port village of Villanova.
Originally called Petrolla, when it was a station along the old Roman Via Traiana, the port of Villanova was built by Charles I of Anjou back in the late 13th century. The centerpiece of the port is a castle-lighthouse commissioned by the Duchess Bona Sforza in the 16th century.
On any given day, especially in summertime, Ostunese and tourists alike meander around the quaint little harbor to take in the sights, have a long leisurely lunch, or enjoy an aperitivo as the sun goes down. And, me? I like it best in wintertime, when Villanova is as quiet as a mouse and I have her pretty much all to myself.