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Martina Franca

The historical origins of Martina Franca go back to the X century, when refugees from the Saracen devastation of Taranto built a village on Monte Saint Martin. In 1300, the village was extended by Philip of Anjoum the Prince of Taranto, who offered privileges and "franchigie" (tax exemption) to whoever chose to live here: from the latter is derived the original name of the town, "Franca".

 
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Situated on a highlying slope of the Trulli Murgia, in a favourable position, Martina Franca is famous above all for its old town which is dominated by masterly Baroque buildings. Of particular interest is the Collegiata of S. Martino (1747-75) whose facade is overpowering and contains a portal decorated by a high-relief sculpture of St. Martin and the poor.
The interior houses some rich multi.coloured marble altars, a "pulpi" carved by Domenico Semeraro and a precious 1804 " Last Supper" by Carella, The church of San Domenico, contains the lovely"Madonna of the Rosary", also by Domenico Cazrella (1776).
Otherr churches of note include: S. Antonio, a XV century Gothic building with a Baroque superstructure; the XV century S. Vito dei Greci, with a rusticated facade; the Del Carmine Church (1739), topped off by a cupola; and the 1685 church of St. Francis of Assisi.
One should also visit the many BAroque buildings (the Palazzo Fanelli, Blasi and Motolese), all enhanced by loggias decorates in wrought iron.
In the triangular Piazza Roma, brought alive by its gardens and Dolphin Fountain, stands the Ducal Palace. This structure was built by Petraccone V Caracciolo in 1669 on the site of the ancient castle constructed in 1338 by Raimondello Orsini. Today, the Palazzo houses the town Council and the technologically equipped "Isidoro Chirulli", town library.
The most Outstanding of the magnificent internal chambers is the "Sala dell'Arcadia", in which one can admire the fabolous paintings of Domenico Carella.
Outside the town, on the road for Locorotondo stands the Capuchin Church (1590-1690), containing some superb carvings and inland work, maybe by Semeraro.
Moving south, past picturesque villas and lowlying vineyards, whose architectural richness and intense green create a vivid contrast with the redness of the earth, one reaches the Orimini crossroads (443m) and the southern limit of the Murgua. Here one can visit the church of the Madonna del Pozzo and the San Paolo Health Resort.

Basilica of San Martino The Basilica of San Martino represents the apex of the...
The Palazzo Ducale The Palazzo Ducale, as well as representing the symbol of...
The arch of Santo Stefano It is the triumph arch as well as the symbol of the...
The palace of university Since 1478 Martina had a Università, i.e. the town...
Rome Square The square is the elegant entertainment area which opens...
The Church of S. Antonio da Padova The origin of the church of Sant’Antonio da Padova...
The Church of Carmine The ordine Carmelitano arrived in Martina during the 17th...
The Lama Set against the old layout of the defensive walls,...
The San Nicola in Montedoro church The church is one of the oldest at Martina and presumably...
The Santa Maria della PuritÓ church On 16 June 1653 Monsignor Tommaso Caracciolo carried out...
The Santa Maria della Misericordia church The monastic complex came into being in 1725 at the...
U'ring The present day corso Vittorio Emanuele, which crosses...
The church of san Francesco d'Assisi The Franciscans, in order to erect their church and its...
The Church of San Domenico The  present church dedicated to San Domenico was...
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