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lodging in Martina Franca

troy,oh
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lodging in Martina Franca

First time to this part of Italy. Looking for accomadations for 4 adults basing in Martina Franca for 5 nights. Love the idea of a trulli but they all seem to be on the outskirts of the town. Although we will rent a car to explore, we would like to know what are the best places to stay within walking distance to food, wine and shops? thank you so much!!

London, England
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1. Re: lodging in Martina Franca

Good choice. I'd strongly recommend staying in the 'centro storico' for atmosphere and access to bars, restaurants and shops. There are several bureaux offering B&B (nor Bed and Breakfast as we English know it, but independent self-catering apartments for 2, 4, 6 or more people with coffee and milk thrown in)

One we've used is www.villaggioin.it

Most of their apartments are in well-converted old buildings in the mediaeval alleys of the 'historic centre', within the ring of the former old town walls, long gone apart from a few gates, but clearly visible on maps of the town (an oval ring of small roads)

look at the town hall website's English pages at

comunemartinafranca.gov.it/martina/turismo/i…

This has pictures and also a list of other Bed and Breakfasts in the 'where to sleep' pages. Again- make sure you are in town, the outskirts are modern and nothing special, and the country, while pretty, means you miss out on atmosphere - especially the evening passegiata from 6pm when the alleys are thronged with locals, especially a weekends.

And another 'distributed hotel' we have used- agin, self-catering apartments, cheaper than Vilaggio-Inn - is Maison Rococo- but as you'll see from the reviews here, it doesn't really seem to advertise for guests and we were always suspicious about its business model- and where the millions of euros which it must have cost to convert the main building and 20-30 apartments could have come from? And why its rooms and its excellent restaurant seem to be mostly empty! They even seem to have closed down their website, which was hard to find anyway after tthey changed the name from albergo Rococo- as if they didn't want you to find it. (but the conversion was done brilliantly and only a few years ago, so seek it out in the back streets)

In fact you should generally seek out the back-street restaurants from the town hall website and Tripadvisor reviews. These are much more fun than the few tourist ones on the main piazzas- although those are good too! Remember that you'll be eating alone or with only other Americans if you eat dinner before 9pm; later, at 10,11pm or even midnight, locals' restaurants like Alla panca (amazingly cheap pizzeria- rough and ready) Sagittario (five minutes south of the town hall and our old favourite) or Ricci (in the back of a butcher's shop in the circular, galleried piazza right in the centre by the cathedral) will be full of Italian families- much more fun. Look at my restaurant reviews but these may be a little out of date as we sold our holiday apartment there 2 years ago.

the only downside (especially for US visitors) is that the roads are narrow and parking tricky- don't even try to drive in centro storico as locals do! But there is free on-street parking in the streets just outside the centre so at worst, you'll have to carry your bags a couple of hundred yards. And the car will not be needed in town but is handy for trips to neighbouring Alberobello, the Roman ruins at Egnazia on the coast near Savalettri to the north, and the wonderful seafood resaturants south-east along the coast from there to, and beyond Torre Canne

Edited: 5:14 am, April 11, 2013
troy,oh
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2. Re: lodging in Martina Franca

Great info! Thank you so much, Alexmac!! Any other tips you would like to add will be appreciated. We head there the 1st of Oct. Will keep up my research.

Napa, California
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3. Re: lodging in Martina Franca

A year ago, I booked three nights through Booking.com for the hotel mentioned in the previous response - Rococo Albergo Diffuso. The hotel is located right in the center of the old town and was beautiful, but we

were taken to a room off the hotel site which was actually perfectly located behind the Duomo, but was not as nice as the hotel appeared to be. As far as tourist sites, there are none in Martina Franca, and it seemed we were the only tourists in town for those three nights which were over the weekend. There was a TI but it was closed over the weekend.

Martina Franca...
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4. Re: lodging in Martina Franca

Just an update to your excellent response, Alexmac. It appears that Villaggio In has gone out of business. We live around the corner from their reception office, and it has been closed for some weeks now with a realtor's sign taped to the door. It is unfortunate because their apartments were lovely and well-located in the centro storico.

Also, Pizzeria La Panca is no longer in the historic center but has relocated to the outskirts of town, which is fine if you have a car. However, a wonderful new pizzeria called Posillipo has opened recently on the centro storico side of Via Bellini. It's adorable and has great pizza. Another local favorite for pizza is Da Roberto near Piazza Mario Pagano. Delicious pizza and very friendly service. For exquisite grilled meats, La Braceria on Via Pietro Micca is another local favorite, for good reason.

As for things of interest for tourists in Martina Franca, the splendid Basilica di San Martino is surely top of the list. Wander through the streets of the centro storico and look at the beautiful baroque architectural features of the houses. Sit outside one of the cafes in the atmospheric Piazza XX Settembre (I like Caffe Derna) and have a cappuccino or a glass of wine and watch the world go by. Take part in the evening passeggiata from Piazza XX Settembre to the Basilica. Have a gelato, anywhere! Also, don't miss the huge Wednesday market at Piazza F. d'Angio. Martina Franca also makes a good base to visit the "white towns" of Cisternino, Locorotondo, and Ostuni, as well as Alberobello and the two seas (Adriatic and Ionian).

Nearby wineries include Cantine DiMarco (just outside of Martina Franca) and Cantina Sociale di Locorotondo. Both welcome visitors and are happy to let you taste their wines.

By the way, the Martina Franca Tourist Office in Piazza XX Settembre is open every day now, including Sundays. I hope you have a wonderful visit to Puglia!

New York
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5. Re: lodging in Martina Franca

We stayed at Masseria Fumarola.

It is about 7-8 minutes out of town, but it is fabulous. It's been in the same family for hundreds of years and the most recent owner, an architect, has given amazing attention to detail. Everything is perfect.

We found that after visiting another village, like Alberobello, Ostuni or Matera (all of which we highly recommend) in the morning and having lunch there, it was wonderful to be able to return to Fumarola and relax by the pool before going out to dinner.

Contact us if you have any other questions.

Robb High

New York City

robbhigh@gmail.com

Cisternino, Italy
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6. Re: lodging in Martina Franca

Trulli (and villas too) are the best accomodations in the area because they are in the nature and not in the urban "chaos". Then Martina Franca is not so exceptional to stay in, except if you find a flat in the hystorical centre. Here are almost all the best restaurants and osterie.

So you have to choose between hystorical centre (very difficult to find) and trulli in the country (with more chanches to find a good accomodation but not always so walking near to shops.

If you pm me i can give you a contact of a friend who rent his trulli near Contrada Galante.

New York
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7. Re: lodging in Martina Franca

One addition to the earlier post: you can't park your car in the historical district. That means you have to walk your luggage up the hill (all of the historical districts are on hills in Puglia). And even parking outside the district is a challenge.

Saint Simons Island...
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8. Re: lodging in Martina Franca

If you are not set on staying in the town, I highly recommend Masseria il Frantoio near Ostuni. This is a great base for exploring the valley area and the masseria stay cannot be beat. Stress falls off when you settle in the courtyard for your welcome drink. The masseria grows much of the food served for breakfast and for their 5 and 7 course lunches and dinners. Even if you do not stay at the masseria, be sure to reserve visit for lunch.

We just returned from 10 days in Puglia, and our only regret was not staying in another masseria. The experience was simply delightful!

Sunnyvale
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9. Re: lodging in Martina Franca

Which hotel do you plan to stay in Martina Franca?

I am planning for 1st week of Nov.

Prefer to stay in the centro area

New York
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10. Re: lodging in Martina Franca

We stayed 3 miles outside of the centro at Masseria Fumarola. Terrific place. Nice staff. pool. Has been in the same family for 100's of year but amazing well updated.

If you don't have a car, the centro is great, but parking is a big challenge.

Contact if you want to know more about the area . . . things to see, etc.

Robb High robbhigh@gmail.com

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