Castello Aragonese


Primarily the work of the Aragonese who ruled southern Italy in the 16th century, this sturdy redoubt retains elements built by the Angevins in previous centuries, on earlier Byzantine foundations. Partly ruinous by the 18th century, it's been thoroughly restored, and now houses the small Antonio Lazzari Civic Museum, exhibiting Messapian, Greek and Roman archaeology uncovered in Castro and the surrounding area. Its prize piece is a torso of the goddess Minerva (Athena), buried at the ancient city gates.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Salento attractions

1. Grotta Zinzulusa

0.48 MILES

An aperture on the Ionian coast below Castro leads into the magnificent stalactite-festooned Cave of Zinzulusa, one of the most significant coastal…

2. Castello Aragonese Otranto

10.18 MILES

Built in the late 15th century, when Otranto was more populous and important than today, and not long after the Ottoman raid that resulted in the…

3. L’Approdo

10.25 MILES

Dubbed L’Approdo (The Landing) and located in Otranto's new port area, this striking installation by the Greek artist Costas Varostos was erected in 2012…

4. Cathedral

10.25 MILES

Mosaics, skulls, crypts and biblical-meets-tropical imagery: Otranto's cathedral is like no other in Italy. It was built by the Normans in the 11th…

5. Chiesa di San Pietro

10.26 MILES

The origins of this cross-shaped Byzantine church are uncertain, but some think they may be as remote as the 5th century. The present structure seems to…

7. Farmacia Provenzana

24.07 MILES

Now housing a cosmetics and fragrance shop, this beautifully decorated pharmacy dates to 1814.

8. Cattedrale di Sant'Agata

24.14 MILES

On the island, Gallipoli's 17th-century cathedral is a baroque beauty that could compete with anything in Lecce. Not surprisingly, Giuseppe Zimbalo, who…