Posted by: Debra Kolkka | August 7, 2019

Martina Franca

Martina Franca is the second largest town (after Taranto) in the province of Taranto in Puglia. It has a population of around 50,000. It was pleasant to find a town with a bit of life in it! Many of the small towns we visited in Puglia were deserted. There are only so many whitewashed houses you can look at.

Piazza XX Settembre sits just outside one of the old entrances to the town, Porta Santo Stefano.

Just inside the historical centre is Piazza Roma with its triangular garden in front of the 17th century Palazzo Ducale.

Further along is the heart of the town, Piazza Plebicito.

The magnificent Basilica di San Martino is an excellent backdrop for the Piazza Plebicito.

Martina Franca has its share of narrow, winding streets lined with interesting buildings.

…a seriously narrow street.

Someone has a sense of humour!

The street flower pots are lovely.

We had lunch at Four Seasons in Via Giuseppe Garibaldi. (39 080 4301599)The restaurant was stylish, the food was great and there was a large wine cellar. The charming owner proudly told us about the wonderful local wines.

I would go back for the bread basket alone.

I ordered a typical dish from the area, broad bean pure with chicory and raisins And caramelised onions.

Because I love broad beans I then had the whole wheat fusilli with broad beans and bacon.

Jim had gnocchi with caciocavallo cheese and rosemary pesto.

Everything was delicious, simple food beautifully prepared.

If I was to return to the area I would stay in Martina Franca rather than one of the smaller towns, many of which are deserted before the summer season. The town is well presented and there are dozens of great looking restaurants and cafes, interesting shops and galleries…well worth a visit.



  1. You had an interesting day there and a wonderful lunch. Loved the church – Italian churches are very special.

    • Lunch was great! The food in Puglia is excellent.

  2. Thanks for the tip – it looks like a very cared for town.

    • It is well presented. We were happy to find a bit of life.

  3. Looks like a town worth visiting in any season.

    • Yes, big enough to be alive all year.

  4. This is a town that I surely would never have thought of visiting had you not shared it – thank you. And ‘hello!” To Jim.

    • We nearly didn’t go because we had seen enough deserted towns, but we were pleased we visited Martina Franca.

  5. Great find!

  6. Beautiful place and i especially liked the little church, but the lunch! That looks fabulous, and i would join you in the bread basket

    • Lunch was excellent!

  7. … and who would have thought plastic washing baskets could be attractive.

    • We often see colourful umbrellas suspended over streets, but this is the first time I have seen washing baskets.

  8. Martina Franca is a lovely town, famous for its “capocollo”. As it’s the highest town of the Valle d’Itria, it is where most of the meat available in the area comes from. Great blog and photos Debra.

    • Thank you. We really enjoyed Martina Franca. We even managed to get a few hours of sunshine that day.

  9. You have found another very pretty town. I do love the hanging pots filled with colourful flowers…so cheerful on the street walls.

    • Flowers make a huge difference to the atmosphere of a town, I love to see them.

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