Martina Franca is a town in the Province of Taranto with a great number of inhabitants second after the capital city, located right in the middle of the Valle d'Itria, on the south-eastern hills of the Murgia.
The city takes the first part of its name, Martina, from the devotion of the local population, since the year one thousand, for St. Martin of Tours, the adjective Franca, however, was added to the name in 1310 by Filippo I d ' Angiò, to whom we owe even the municipal coat of arms depicting a white horse that trots freely without bridles, a symbol of the perpetual state property of the place recognized by the Prince.
Martina Franca is today one of the most dynamic cities of Taranto, with an economy that ranges in the various fields; primary, secondary and tertiary.
Agriculture, in particular, is practiced mainly in the fertile valley. Among the main crops, grapes and olives. Farming is very well developed, especially herds of sheep, cattle and goats, as well as horses of the murgese specie and the famous donkey of Martina Franca.
What to see
The urban structure of Martina Franca is divided into three key areas: the old town, the urban extension beyond the ancient walls and the new area.
The Historical Center is enclosed within the ancient city walls, with several doors. Among all, the Door of Santo Stefano, on which are clearly visible signs of the Martina baroque style and on the top, the equestrian statue of San Martino, patron saint of the city and the Door of Santa Maria, obviously in Renaissance style, it holds the oldest coat of arms of Martina.
Among the various religious structures scattered around the old town, of particular interest is the Basilica of San Martino, built in the year 700, the pearl of the Martina Baroque style with a majestic façade where at the center is placed the image of the Patron Saint.
Impressive is also Chiesa del Carmine, built between 1727 and 1758 in an elegant baroque style, and treasurer of a fine polychrome statue of Santa Maria della Misericordia.
The Church of San Giovanni dei Greci with a baroque façade, and interiors in medieval style , on the contrary, the Church of San Vito is medieval on the outside and remodeled in Baroque style inside.
Several palaces, among which stands out for its beauty Palazzo Barnaba, with two balconies in stone; Palazzo Cavalier Semeraro, with a portal entrance with a double molded frame; Palazzo Blasi, with wrought iron balconies; the eighteenth-century Palazzo Stabile.
Airy and particularly cared for is the Villa Comunale, a green spot in the heart of the city, rich of many different and important species of vegetation.
Events• February - Feast of Candlemas
• November – Feast of San Martino
• July – Patron Holiday l of San Martino