Otranto Castle

Holiday Travel Guide
Otranto Castle featuring heritage architecture and a castle

Gripping Gothic fiction and centuries of fascinating history meet in the formidable walls and towers of Otranto’s impressive medieval castle.

Many people know of the Otranto Castle (Castello Aragonese) as the setting of the first novel written in the Gothic genre. The real history of this venerable fortress, however, is just as fascinating as the fiction that made the castle famous. Learn about the sieges and sackings that have shaped the story of this centuries-old castle.

A fortress has stood on this site for far longer than its current iteration has been here. Otranto’s position as the easternmost city in Italy has made it susceptible to attack. In 1067, invaders laid siege to it and ruined the fortress. Although it was rebuilt in the 1200s, the city’s defenses were further destroyed in 1480 during the Sack of Otranto. Visit the castle today to see how it has looked since it was rebuilt after that calamitous defeat.

Wander around the edge of the castle and marvel at its seemingly impenetrable walls. Look for three different towers at the corners of the walls and spot the lawns where the moat used to be. A coat of arms located above the entrance represents Emperor Charles V.

Cross the drawbridge and head inside to explore inside the fortifications. Stride around the ramparts for views of the Mediterranean. On a clear day you can see the mountains of Albania from the curtain wall.

Read about the massacre of over 800 locals who refused to convert from Christianity to Islam during the Sack of Otranto. Step inside the Triangular Hall, a celebrated example of military architecture. Remnants from the castle’s past, including murals on the walls and ancient cannonballs, can also be found inside.

As you explore, imagine yourself in a work of Gothic fiction. Horace Walpole wrote The Castle of Otranto in 1764, a work that is now widely regarded as the first Gothic novel. Interestingly, he never visited the castle itself despite making it famous.

Otranto Castle is open every day except Sundays. The courtyard occasionally hosts exhibitions and events that come with an extra admission fee. Find the castle on the waterfront, just a 3-minute walk from Otranto Cathedral.

Top Trending Hotels Near Otranto Castle

La Terrazza Sul Mare
La Terrazza Sul Mare
Via Madonna Del Passo, 6, Otranto
The price is £51 per night from 3 Nov to 3 Nov
Situated near the beach, this bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Otranto Waterfront, Otranto Castle and Otranto Cathedral. Torre Pinta and Alimini ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (35 reviews)
"Nice location friendly host"

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2021

La Terrazza Sul Mare
Hotel Palazzo Papaleo
Hotel Palazzo Papaleo
5 out of 5
Via Rondachi 1, Otranto, LE
The price is £109 per night from 29 Oct to 29 Oct
Located in Otranto Historic Centre, this luxury hotel is steps away from Otranto Waterfront, Otranto Cathedral and Otranto Castle. Alimini Lakes and Baia Dei ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (79 reviews)
"Great hotel , very friendly staff and in a perfect location , we really enjoyed our short stay in Otranto and would return to this hotel"

Reviewed on 21 Oct 2021

Hotel Palazzo Papaleo
CDSHotels Basiliani
CDSHotels Basiliani
4 out of 5
Via Renis, Otranto, LE
The price is £93 per night from 27 Nov to 27 Nov
Situated in Otranto, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Torre Pinta, Otranto Castle and Port of Otranto. Otranto Cathedral and Spiaggia degli scaloni ...
4/5 Very Good! (94 reviews)
Holiday hotel
"We stayed just one night, but waa worth it. City of monopoli is close by.."

Reviewed on 2 Jul 2019

CDSHotels Basiliani
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Otranto Castle

Otranto Castle

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Top Hotel Deals

La Terrazza Sul Mare
La Terrazza Sul Mare
Via Madonna Del Passo, 6, Otranto
The price is £51 per night from 3 Nov to 3 Nov
La Terrazza Sul Mare
Hotel Palazzo Papaleo
Hotel Palazzo Papaleo
5 out of 5
Via Rondachi 1, Otranto, LE
The price is £109 per night from 29 Oct to 29 Oct
Hotel Palazzo Papaleo
CDSHotels Basiliani
CDSHotels Basiliani
4 out of 5
Via Renis, Otranto, LE
The price is £93 per night from 27 Nov to 27 Nov
CDSHotels Basiliani
Hotel Vittoria Resort Pool & Spa
Hotel Vittoria Resort Pool & Spa
4 out of 5
via Catona, Otranto, LE
The price is £56 per night from 29 Oct to 29 Oct
Hotel Vittoria Resort Pool & Spa
Palazzo De Mori
Palazzo De Mori
The price is £67 per night from 7 Nov to 7 Nov
Palazzo De Mori
Prestigious house in the old town of Otranto, opposite the castle, overlooking the sea.
Prestigious house in the old town of Otranto, opposite the castle, overlooking the sea.
via castello, 14, Otranto, Puglia
Prestigious house in the old town of Otranto, opposite the castle, overlooking the sea.
Cathedral Suite | Otranto with private rooftop JACUZZI<br><br>Luxury aparthotel
Cathedral Suite | Otranto with private rooftop JACUZZI<br><br>Luxury aparthotel
Via Duomo, Angolo Via Lopez, Otranto, Puglia
Cathedral Suite | Otranto with private rooftop JACUZZI<br><br>Luxury aparthotel
B&B Centro Storico
B&B Centro Storico
The price is £57 per night from 30 Oct to 30 Oct
B&B Centro Storico
Relais Valle dell'Idro
Relais Valle dell'Idro
4 out of 5
Via G.Grasso 4, Otranto, LE
Relais Valle dell'Idro
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.