Byzantine Otranto & the textiles of Salento
Exploring Otranto: history, mosaics, and textile traditions

Otranto is a picture-postcard seaside port on the most eastern point of Italy’s Adriatic coast. Occasionally your phone will pick up the Greek phone networks here. For centuries the town has been a strategic entry-point to the country. Our guide will lead you through the charming little streets, along the sea walls and past the imposing Aragonese Castle. Visit the astonishing mosaic floor of the cathedral with an eclectic mix of motifs including religious stories like Noah’s ark, but also depictions of historical, mythical and even pagan figures, such as Alexander the Great and King Arthur. For the more morbid at heart there is the option to see the bones and skulls of the 800 martyrs who refused to convert to Islam when the town was invaded by the Turks in 1480.

Next we will visit the textile factory of Le Costantine, in the village of Casamassella. Here, from the beginning of the XIX century, women have been working in this tradition. A social project that ultimately boosted their emancipation. Today, the workers of Le Costantine preserve the old ways of textile production made by the embroidery loom. The precious fabrics produced here have been chosen also by the fashion house Dior, that finance the foundation, and showcased their wares in the launch of the 2022 Dior Cruise Collection, held in Lecce.

What's included

  • Visit to Byzantine Otranto
  • Expert local guide
  • Visit to an artisanal textile maker
  • Private transportation

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