Martina Franca - architecture dominated by Baroque & Rococo style

Martina Franca - architecture dominated by Baroque & Rococo style

Things to do - general

Martina Franca – architecture dominated by Baroque & Rococo style

Martina Franca is a charming, cozy town and a baroque gem set on a hillside with panoramic views across the Itria Valley. Its magnificent architecture dominated by Baroque and Rococo style makes it a must-see stop if you are taking a tour of Puglia.

Strolling around the old town, enjoying its magnificent and impressive buildings and Churches, getting lost in the narrow winding alleys lined with houses painted in the classic white colour and discovering the details of a sumptuous door, a window or a balcony, is a great pleasure for each visitor.

Apart from roaming the streets and sightseeing, you will be happy to wander through shops, because Martina Franca is also a commercial centre and the largest town in the Itria Valley area.

And if you are a foodie, don’t miss the chance to try a bocconotto in one of the many cafés (a pastry filled with sweetened fresh cream) or the famous capocollo (a cold cut made from dry-cured pork shoulder or neck) which is famous all over Italy!

In Martina Franca, do not miss:

• S. Martin Basilique, a UNESCO World Heritage site, an example of Baroque and Rococò architecture;
• Ducal Palace, built above the Castello degli Orsini, now the town hall;
• Stabile Palace;
• Piazza XX Settembre that overlooks the town through the Arch of Santo Stefano;
• The Church of S. Anthony of Padova (XV century);
• The ancient doors of the old town (Door of Saint Stephan, Door of Saint Mary del Carmine, Door of Saint Peter, better known as Tattered Door);
• Several noble palaces that fill the old town;
• The international music festival “Festival della Valle d’Itria” that attracts artists from all over the world and takes place in August.

Country Martina Franca is 430 metres above sea level with a strong agricultural economy, producing wines, olive oil and farm animals inclusive of the famous Martina Franca donkey.
Nearest Airport

There are two airports in the Puglia region. The main being Bari and roughly 50 minutes drive to Martina Franca, Brindisi, the smaller of the two is about the same distance.

Languages spokenItalian but a lot of people are now using English on menus in restaurants.
Currency usedEuro
Area (km2)295km2

Sports & nature

Agricultural fields surround the prominent town of Martina Franca producing white sparkling wines from mainly the Verdeca grape. Despite its undisputable Baroque beauty, Martina Franca is also notable for its specific breed of donkeys.

The asino of Martina Franca was bred to produce mules, a beast of burden in the First World War. Donkeys for war fell in to decline, with their use turning to the generation of milk and meat until the numbers fell so far that they made the list of endangered species in 2007 with only 400 donkeys still alive.

Walking and cycling are activities both the locals and visitors can enjoy in the country lanes of Martina Franca but there are also sports and fitness centres for those wishing to stay trim on holiday.

Sports and nature image

Nightlife info

Martina Franca is home to nearly 50,000 people and thus provides the locals and visitors with theatrical events and cinema nights out. Bars and restaurants sprawl on to the main piazza and narrow streets at night to get a glimpse of a light summer breeze; where you can enjoy people watching with your favourite night cap.

Various events take place throughout the year with the main music festival "Festival delle Valle d'Itria" attracting visitors from the world around at the end of July, beginning of August.

Numerous events can be seen and experienced involving food, wines, poetry, art, film making and photography during the year but best to consult the Tourist Office or ask your local manager for information.

Nightlife image

Culture and history info

Martina Franca is otherwise known as a Joyous Town, a name which it has earned and merits as it is truly a veritable exhibition of monuments and ornaments; representative of the town's expressive tastes and refined culture.

There are two representives of the town worth mentioning "The Palazzo Ducale" and the "Collegiata". But these two opposing and monumental buildings are not necessarily reflected in the remainder of the town. In fact the rythym of the town is in its lack of harmony forming a complex musical which accelerates and slows down as the observation point varies.

In this resides the magic of the variable space of Martina Franca.

Culture and history image
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