Martina Franca is in the eastern hills of the Murge plateau, equidistant from the Ionian and Adriatic seas. Its name is derived in part from its devotion to Saint Martin, who saved the townspeople from enemy invasions, and in part from the time when Philip of Anjou offered the local inhabitants a tax exemption (“franchigia” in Italian). The town, one of the most densely populated in the Taranto province, is a melting pot of history and art.
Highlights of the historic centre include the characteristic white houses that wind their way up the small, twisting streets, and the sumptuous baroque architecture of the Ducal Palace, Palazzo Martucci, Palazzo dell’Università, Palazzo Motolese, Palazzo Maggi, and Palazzo Ancona. The important Basilica of san Martino, with sculptures by Stefano da Putignano and Giuseppe Sammartino, is also inside the town’s medieval walls.
To discover the town’s simple, rural soul, take a walk out into the countryside to visit its characteristic trulli and cultivated fields enclosed by drystone walls.
Information of the website www.viaggiareinpuglia.it