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Martina Franca

(4.5/5 based on 850+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: religious sites, nature, museums
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. Since 1975, the town has hosted the annual summer opera festival, the Festival della Valle d'Itria.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.Jewish presenceJews 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 295.49km2. It is one of the larger comunes in the geographical area, ranking 39th out of 8,101.
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