City of art and capital of the Itria Valley
Martina Franca rises up on the east low hills of the Murgia, at equal from both the Adriatic and the Ionic seas; indeed, it benefits from a privileged position, as it is central to the most important cultural sites and landscapes of Apulia. Martina Franca is a melting pot of history and art.
For more than 40 years it has been hosting the Festival of the Itria Valley, among the most important opera festivals in Italy. Its historical center with dominant white tones is made precious by the magnificent portals and balconies of the old elegant mansions in Rococo style, among which it’s worth mentioning the sumptuous Palazzo Ducale, but also Palazzo Martucci, Palazzo dell’Università, Palazzo Motolese, Palazzo Maggi, Palazzo Ancona and, still within the medieval city walls, the imposing Basilica of San Martino, which preserves sculptures by Stefano da Putignano and by Giuseppe Sammartino. If you wish to discover the rural soul of this territory, you should explore the countryside, where characteristic Trulli, beautiful masserie and plantations framed by dry stone walls and by wild scents stand out.
Various products from the agri-food and wine industry are noteworthy: among them the Capocollo of Martina Franca (Slow Food product), the podolic caciocavallo cheese, and wines of two local varieties, Verdeca and Bianca d’Alessano. On the 11th of November the inhabitants of Martina Franca celebrate their patron saint, San Martino, to whom the city partly owes its name, as he saved Martina’s residents from the Saracen invasions.
• Palazzo Ducale
• Basilica of San Martino
• Nobel palaces
• The Carmine church
• The regional nature reserve “Bosco delle Pianelle”