Exploring the historical center, of whichever town we happen to be in, is something I love doing. To simply let your heart and feet guide you is the best way to see a new place.
In Piazza del Plebiscito, you will find the Torre dell’Orologio, and the adjoining Palazzo dell’Università. The Torre dell’Orologio dates from 1734. The palazzo next to it was once home to the city parliament, but is now the base of the Artisan Society, founded in 1888.
In the same piazza, you will find the Basilica di San Martino, the main church of Martina Franca. Built on the site of two earlier churches, the one we see today dates from 1747.
The main altar of the basilica was designed by Gennaro Sammartino, and made by the sculptor Giuseppe Varriale, in 1773. In the niche, above the altar, stands a statue of San Martino, by Stefano da Putignano, which dates from 1518. The statue is clothed in the vestments of a bishop.
The Altare di Cristo alla Colonna, or the Altar of Christ at the Column, was designed by Gennaro Sammartino and, once again, the work was carried out by Giuseppe Varriale.
The Cappella del Santissimo Sacramento contains a beautiful Last Supper, painted by Dominic Carella in 1804.
The Church of the Annunciation dates from the sixteenth century. Inside the small, rectangular building is the Arch-Museo del Carmine, which was not open at the time of our visit.
We stumbled upon a small park area, the Giardini Villa Madonna del Carmine, and spent a few minutes soaking up the greenery!
We had our first dinner in Martina Franca at the Ristorante Four Seasons. This is a lovely restaurant that serves delicious, traditional food, with a slightly creative twist. We loved it!
The raw, red shrimp, over a farro salad, was one of the highlights of the meal for me!
And, how can anyone say “no” to fresh, black truffles?
Next up: We visit more of the Historical Center of Martina Franca, including the Chiesa di San Francesco d’Assisi, and the Palazzo Ducale!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Martina Franca, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!