Visiting Puglia also means discovering the Itria Valley , the area to the east of the region which is characterized by the trulli, the typical rural buildings in stone, and the suggestive expanses of olive groves. A natural landscape that instills serenity and includes many centers that deserve to be visited, including Martina Franca.
A walk to Martina always starts from the eighteenth-century Porta di Santo Stefano, which leads to Via Vittorio Emanuele. Thus begins a journey through the architectural beauties of a city renowned for the elegance of its ancient palaces, adorned with coats of arms and aprotope masks. The first of these is Palazzo Ducale, currently the town hall. The building includes 300 rooms and houses the refined frescoes of the royal apartment, made by Domenico
Carella at the end of the 18th century.
Continuing along via Vittorio Emanuele, after having crossed a stretch that may appear very narrow, the spectacle of Piazza Plebiscito opens up before our eyes, which includes the Basilica of San Martino, the old Palazzo del Comune with the civic tower and, finally, the arcades of Piazza Maria Immacolata, once reserved for commercial exchanges. The scenographic effect made by the splendor of the Baroque architecture is remarkable. Also beautiful is the high relief of San Martino, which we find on the
facade of the basilica in the act of giving a piece of his cloak to a beggar.
Getting lost in the alleys that develop around Piazza Plebiscito is an experience to try to admire the stately buildings that alternate with simple and modest houses, in the past inhabited by the poorest families. What strikes about Martina is the way in which the magnificence of some buildings coexists with the simplicity of others, such as the church of San Nicola in Montedoro, which with its sober style represents the building oldest sacred place in the city.
While admiring the wrought iron balconies decorated with colorful flowers, do not forget to pay the right attention to your stomach: enjoy the capocollo, the typical salami of the city with an unmistakable flavor.