A beautiful resort overlooking the Ionian Sea, that was a Messapi settlement (an ancient Italic population). Known with the name of "Ozan", the settlement was protected by cyclopean fortified walls and the inhabitants were dedicated to the worship of the divine Zeus, as evidenced by the numerous discoveries of temples and religious statues. The decline of the city is recorded with the escalation of rivalries with nearby Taranto and was finally destroyed by the Romans, who forgave the residents that gave support to Hannibal and his army, favouring the landing and supplies.
During the Middle Ages, the city submitted continuous raids by Turks and Saracens.
Ugento is a city that jealously guards the remains of its brilliant past in the Museum of Archeology and Paleontology "Salvatore Zecca, founded in 1968 and located in a former Franciscan convent of the XV century. Inside are preserved finds from the VII century b.C. to the I century A.D. and a rich section dedicated to the Messapi period.
The Cathedral has relatively recent origin and rises on the ruins of a previous Gothic style building, destroyed by the Saracens in 1537. The façade is Neoclassical and inside preserves a great Rococo-style wooden choir, a superb altar and balustrade in polychrome marble.
The Castle has a trapezoidal plan, with corner towers, and probably dates from the XI-XII century. The construction was extensively remodeled in the XVIII century and is today in perfect conditions.
Interesting are also the Church of San Antonio of the XV century with its ten altars, the Church of Our Lady of Light, the Clock Tower and the coastal Norman guard towers, such as the one of St. John, the oldest of Salento, now used as a lighthouse.