Perched on the hills of the Murgia area of Puglia, Martina Franca offers some fine views over the Valley of Itria, dotted with the characteristic cone-roofed stone houses harking back to the old peasant culture (the trulli) as well as some fine examples of Baroque architecture. The Archway of Sant’Antonio, one of the four ancient gateways into the town, leads visitors into the beauties of the historic centre of Martina Franca, which until the Unification of Italy was enclosed in thick curtain walls. Narrow, winding streets and alleys ideal for a leisurely stroll will reveal the wonders of the Basilica of San Martino, a true Baroque gem, the Palazzo Ducale, Piazza del Plebiscito with its Clock Tower, and a host of houses with strong local imprint, with flat roofs in Greek style. The town’s peaceful atmosphere and tasty local food are accompanied by music and art, which enliven Martina Franca’s with regular events, such as the Festival della Valle D’Itria, a renowned opera festival held every summer since 1975.
Not to be missed at Martina Franca
The streets of its historic centre
The four Gateways
The Basilica of San Martino
Its historic Palaces
The trulli of the Valle d’Itria
Where to sleep over at Martina Franca
The Valle d’Itria is dotted with ancient farmhouses now modernised and refurbished to create accommodation structures which blend good taste and excellent services. The peaceful nature of this hill area forms the ideal backdrop for a truly relaxing vacation.
When to visit Martina Franca
The climate of Puglia is characteristically mild and fresh, with moderate rainfall during the year. In spring when the countryside is in full bloom, Martina Franca awakes from its winter slumber and comes alive with colours and scents which last until autumn.