Martina Franca is located in the heart of Puglia in the Itria Valley.

The real jewel of the city is its pretty historic center, a memorable labyrinth of winding alleys, where whitewashed simplicity is combined with baroque extravagance. The village is built on a hill in the green Valle d’Itria, the area of ​​the Apulian trulli, and makes for a good day trip if you are exploring the region or a pleasant stop on a tour.

Martina Franca is an incredibly photogenic city, so gear up to take lots of photos.

Martina Franca is the seat of the annual Festival della Valle d’Itria, a summer opera festival. Opera and classical music concerts are performed in the historic center The event takes place between the end of July and the beginning of August

The tour will start from the main entrance to the historic center where we will pass through a grand historic gate, Porto Santo Stefano. Just inside the door is the pretty little square Rome, one side of which is dominated by the Palazzo Ducale, the most grandiose civic building in Martina Franca. Built in 1668, it was once the palace of the Caracciolos, the dukes who presided over the glory days of the town.

The patron saint of Martina Franca is San Martino, represented on horseback sharing a cloak with a beggar. You will notice the image a few times around the city, including a large bas-relief on the facade of the Basilica of San Martino, the main church of Martina Franca. The basilica is located right in the heart of the historic center in Piazza Plebiscito. The grandiose Baroque building dates from the eighteenth century, although it was only awarded the status of “basilica” in 1998.

During the tour we will visit another nearby church: the Church of San Domenico, also from the 18th century and richly decorated.

The center of Martina Franca is charming and worth wandering around for an hour or two.

The oldest part of the village is called Lama, where you can still see the buildings with a pointed arch, a local tradition. Strolling through the alleys you pass in front of eighteenth-century buildings, some of which are in bad shape due to age, and more humble houses. The buildings are tall and narrow in this small area within the old city walls. Ornate balconies and arches adorn the most elegant buildings, along with fanciful Baroque windows and the ubiquitous cherubs.

The tour lasts 1-2 hours.

At the end of the tour, upon request, it is possible to taste typical delicacies in a Masseria near Martina Franca

Cattedrale San MartinoPalazzo Ducale