Along the nearly 20 km (12 mi.) of Adriatic coastline that lies just below Ostuni, La Città Bianca (The White City), a game of color plays out as sand, sea, sky and rocky cliffs embrace.
The prestigious Blue Flag rating, synonymous with sun-drenched Puglia of southeastern Italy, waves proudly in the breeze along the beaches, intimate coves and rocky decks of Lido Morelli, Rosa Marina, Monticelli, Villanova, Gorgognolo, Costa Merlata, Santa Lucia, Torre Pozzelle, Lamaforca and Pilone, our latest stop along the Marina di Ostuni.
Protected by a continuous wall of high dunes covered in centuries-old Mediterranean junipers, Pilone is part of a protected regional nature reserve, Parco delle Dune Costiere. A family-friendly summertime playground for sun worshipping locals and tourists alike, Pilone easily transforms itself into a quiet retreat during wintertime when a daily handful of souls can be seen strolling up and down the water’s edge, fishing, or braving the frigid Adriatic for a swim.
And, smack dab in the middle of the golden sands of Pilone is Torre di San Leonardo, a 16th century Aragonese watchtower that still stands intact, keeping a watchful eye out to sea.