Otranto The Essential
Otranto lies at the end of the "heel" of Italy. Greek influence was so strong here that even today inhabitants speak a dialect which is similar to Greek. The town was once the capital of the last remaining Byzantine stronghold, the "Terra d'Otranto", which held out against the Lombards, and then the Normans, before being vanquished by Mohammed II in the 15C. During this siege, the town's inhabitants were killed on a hill, the Colle della Minerva, where a sanctuary was later built in their memory.
There is an attractive view from the