Otranto

Otranto ô´träntō [key], town (1991 pop. 5,114), in Apulia, extreme S Italy, on the Strait of Otranto, which links the Adriatic and Ionian seas. It is a small fishing port and a seaside resort. Originally a Greek settlement, Otranto became an important port under the Romans. Later ruled by the Byzantines and the Normans, it never recovered from its devastation (1480) by the Turks. Of note are an 11th-century cathedral (restored 17th–18th cent.), with a fine mosaic floor (12th cent.), and the ruins of an imposing Aragonese castle (15th cent.) that provided the setting of Horace Walpole's Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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