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Martina Franca city of art and capital of Itria Valley

Martina Franca rises on the eastern hills of the Murgia, at equal distance from the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic; it enjoys in fact a privileged position, since it is barycentric with respect to the most important cultural and landscape sites of Puglia.

The town is a melting pot of history and art. For over 40 years Martina Franca has been the stage of the Festival della Valle d'Itria, one of the most important opera festivals in Italy. Its old town, with dominant white tones, is enriched by the magnificent portals and balconies of the historical palaces in rococo style, among which it is worth remembering the sumptuous Palazzo Ducale, then Palazzo Martucci, Palazzo dell'Università, Palazzo Motolese, Palazzo Maggi, Palazzo Ancona and, still inside the medieval city walls, the imposing Basilica of San Martino which houses the sculptures of Stefano da Putignano and Giuseppe Sammartino.

To discover instead its rural soul you have to take the streets of the countryside where there are the characteristic trulli, wonderful farms and crops framed by dry stone walls and wild scents. Worthy of note are several agro-food productions in the area, including the Capocollo di Martina Franca, Presidio Slow Food, the caciocavallo podolico and wines based on two indigenous varieties, Verdeca and Bianco d'Alessano. The city meets every 11 November on the occasion of the celebration of its patron saint, Saint Martin, who saved its inhabitants from the Saracen invasions and to which Martina owes in part his name.