Martina Franca is a jewel in Puglia’s Valle d’Itria located just 30 kilometers from the Adriatic coast, 500 m above sea level and offering beautiful views of the valley, composed of forest and Mediterranean vegetation alternating with olive groves and vineyards including the Verdeca, the Bianco D’Alessano and Primitivo Tarantino.
Martina Franca, commonly known as “Martina” is mainly known for its Baroque architecture and for the music festival of the Itria Valley; because of its stunning architecture, it should be included in every tour of Puglia. The old town is a maze of narrow streets, the squares look like living rooms, enlivened by the colors of the flowers and of the washing lines at the balconies that contrast well with the white of the houses. Walking through the streets you always discover new views, elegant buildings and sumptuous monuments.
From narrow, twisting alleyways in the antique town center to Slow Food-selected cured meats, Martina Franca has it all.
Plan to arrive in Martina Franca on a Wednesday so you can visit the area’s most complete outdoor market located in Piazza d’Angio and its surrounding streets from Via Taranto. Puglia supplies much of Italy and northern Europe with an extraordinary array of fruit, vegetables, cheeses, meats, fish and just about anything else you can imagine, so the weekly market is the best place to appreciate the bounty.
Martina Franca is famous all over Italy for its delicious capocollo, a traditional Italian salume (cold cut) made from dry-cured whole pork shoulder or neck. It is cured with white wine, garlic and herbs, smoked over oak wood and it’s found on every antipasto menu in this region.