The Queen of Valle D’Itria, this beautiful town is clearly a lot bigger and wealthier than its neighbouring towns. It being our first outing in Puglia, we were not sure what to expect, and Martina Franca certainly exceeded expectations. On a Sunday it’s a hive of activity, locals going for early evening strolls, eating gelato, attending mass. We watched the sun set and the light turn the sandstone buildings a warm yellow.
There is plenty going on it Martina Franca. Gelato seems to be especially popular here. And wine bars. It is far more buzzing than its neighbouring Locorotondo and Cisternino but still retains that charming, local feel. Tourism has not really hit yet.
We found a newly opened wine bar, Cibando, on Piazza Roma and enjoyed trying the various types of Puglian wine (Nero di Troia was our favourite). The staff were exceptionally friendly and enthusiastic, telling us about their home brewed beer, their favourite wines and advising which aperitivo to go for (their selection of local meats and cheeses were delicious).
They seem to be part of a group of other cool bars/restaurants in Martina France: L’Aperitivo, which serves fantastic cocktails, and Terra Terra, which is a well regarded Bistro (with a nice terrace and reasonable prices). If they’re as good as Cibando, I recommend trying them too.