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Discover Martina Franca, Cisternino, and Locorotondo: Hidden Gems of Puglia

Introduction: Puglia, a region located in the southernmost part of Italy, is known for its beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine, and unique culture. While many tourists flock to popular destinations like Bari and Lecce, there are several charming towns just waiting to be explored. In this article, we’ll be highlighting the towns of Martina Franca, Cisternino, and Locorotondo, each with its distinct charm and traditions.

Martina Franca – A town of Baroque splendor Martina Franca, located in the heart of the Valle d’Itria, is a town of stunning beauty and Baroque splendor. With its white-washed buildings, narrow streets, and ornate facades, it’s no wonder this town has been dubbed the “jewel of the Valle d’Itria”. One of the most impressive sights is the Basilica di San Martino, a grand Baroque church that dominates the town’s skyline. Visitors can also explore the Palazzo Ducale, a former residence of the dukes of Martina Franca that is now home to an art gallery and museum.

Cisternino – A town frozen in time Cisternino, located in the southeastern corner of Puglia, is a town frozen in time. With its winding streets, stone houses, and ancient architecture, visitors can step back in time and experience life in rural Italy as it used to be. Take a stroll through the historic center and you’ll discover churches, piazzas, and even an ancient clock tower. One of the town’s most unique attractions is its butcher shops, known as “norcinerie”, that serve up some of the best meat in the region.

Locorotondo – A town surrounded by vineyards Locorotondo, nestled in the hills of the Itria Valley, is a town surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. With its picturesque streets, whitewashed houses, and colorful flowers, it’s no wonder this town has been awarded the title of one of the “most beautiful villages in Italy”. Visitors can explore the Chiesa Madre, a beautiful church that dates back to the 18th century, or simply take a stroll through the winding streets and admire the town’s unique architecture.

Where to eat in Martina Franca, Cisternino, and Locorotondo Puglia is known for its delicious cuisine, and these towns are no exception. Visitors can indulge in local specialties like “orecchiette”, a pasta made from semolina flour, and “bombette”, a type of grilled meat roll. There are several restaurants in each town that serve up these tasty dishes, as well as fresh seafood and locally-produced wine.

Hidden gems and unknown facts Did you know that Martina Franca is home to the oldest music festival in Puglia, the Festival della Valle d’Itria? Or that Cisternino is recognized as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy? Locorotondo is also known for its delicious white wine, made from the Verdeca grape. These towns are full of hidden gems and unique traditions, just waiting to be discovered.

Martina Franca, Cisternino, and Locorotondo are truly hidden gems of Puglia, offering visitors a glimpse into the region’s rich culture and history. Whether you’re interested in Baroque architecture, rural charm, or delicious cuisine, these towns have something to offer everyone. So why not add them to your itinerary and experience the best of what Puglia has to offer?