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Otranto is a town and comune in the province of Lecce (Apulia, Italy), in a fertile region once famous for its breed of horses.It is located on the east coast of the Salento peninsula. The Strait of Otranto, to which the city gives its name, connects the Adriatic Sea with the Ionian Sea and separates Italy from Albania. The harbour is small and has little trade.The lighthouse Faro della Palascìa, at approximately 5km southeast of Otranto, marks the most easterly point of the Italian mainland.About 50km south lies the promontory of Santa Maria di Leuca (so called since ancient times from its white cliffs, leukos being Greek for white), the southeastern extremity of Italy, the ancient Promontorium lapygium or Sallentinum. The district between this promontory and Otranto is thickly populated and very fertile.HistoryOtranto occupies the site of the ancient Hydrus or Hydruntum, also known as Hydrunton, Hydronton, or Hydruntu. Otranto was a town of Greek origin, which, in the wars of Pyrrhus and of Hannibal sided against Rome.In Roman times it was a city. As it is the nearest port to the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, it was perhaps more important than Brundisium, under the Roman emperors as a point of embarkation for the East, as the distance to Apollonia was less than from Brundisium.Plan your holiday in Otranto and other destinations, from the rural, to the urban, and everything in between, using our Italy day trip site.
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