Martina Franca

Martina Franca
Città di Martina Franca

Piazza Plebiscito

Coat of arms
Martina Franca

Location of Martina Franca in Italy

Coordinates: 40°38′N 17°02′E / 40.633°N 17.033°E / 40.633; 17.033Coordinates: 40°38′N 17°02′E / 40.633°N 17.033°E / 40.633; 17.033
Country Italy
Region Apulia
Province / Metropolitan city Taranto
Founded 1300 AD [1]
  Mayor Francesco Ancona (PD)
  Total 295 km2 (114 sq mi)
Elevation 431 m (1,414 ft)
Population (December 2013)
  Total 49,429
  Density 170/km2 (430/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 74015
Dialing code 080
Patron saint San Martino
Website Official website

Martina Franca or only Martina is a municipality in the province of Taranto, Apulia (Puglia), Italy. It is the second most populated town of the province after Taranto.[2] Since 1975, the town has hosted the annual summer opera festival, the Festival della Valle d'Itria.[3]

The town has a particularly beautiful old town surrounded by stone walls with prominent Baroque gates leading to piazzas and narrow, winding streets. Piazza Roma is the largest square in the old town, with a greenspace in the center of a largely triangular grass pattern, facing the 17th century Palazzo Ducale.[4]

Jewish presence

Jews in Martina Franca In 1495 one third of the population of Martina was made of practising Jews or Jews converted to Christianity. The escape involved one third of the population: 150 to 200 families (at least one thousand people). Among the privileges granted the city council of Martina in 1495, King Frederick of Aragon forbade Jews and Crypto-Jews and Neofiti to press charges against those who robbed them (probably during the riots of 1494–1495 during the French invasion of the Kingdom of Naples) and prohibited their coming to live in that city. Also in 1495, the Jews Martina Franca were massacred.

At the 2001 census the comune had a population of 48,756 inhabitants and a land area of 295.49 square kilometres (114.09 sq mi). It is one of the larger comunes in the geographical area, ranking 39th out of 8,101.

Martina Franca DOC

The commune of Martina Franca produces a white Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) Italian wine that can be made in a still or sparkling Spumante style. The wine has a tendency not to age well, often turning from a light white color to a darker amber color and losing its fresh fruit flavors after only 3 to 4 years in the bottle. All grapes destined for DOC wine production needing to be harvested to a yield no greater than 13 tonnes/ha. The wine is made predominantly (50-65%) from Verdeca and Bianco d'Alessano which can make between 45-40% of the blend. Additional grapes are permitted up to a maximum of 5% including Bombino bianco, Fiano and Malvasia Toscana. The finished wine must attain a minimum alcohol level of 11% in order to be labelled with the Martina Franca DOC designation.[5]


The football team in the town is called A.S. Martina Franca 1947 and they are currently placed in Lega Pro.


The opera Festival della Valle d'Itria is held annually in July/August. It presents a variety of rather unusual operas.


Agriculture is concentrated in the fertile lands in small valleys. The Viticulture is mainly based on white grape wine. There are also many olive trees growing, in fact olive oil is also one of the main product of the area. The most common livestocks are sheep and goats, to which is added the breeding of thoroughbred "murgese" horses and the famous donkey of Martina Franca. The most developed industry is the textile manufacturing, that made Martina famous also in the movie industry for a big international film in the 80's. The services sector is characterized by banks, insurances and tourism, especially eno-gastronomic one. It is very common for tourists to visit oil mills, wine-making facilities and cellars to taste amazing local products. One of the most important culinary excellence is the "Capocollo Di Martina Franca" [6] a DOP quality product.

In the novel Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, Martina Franca is the setting of a troll attack.




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