The apples time in Puglia

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Martina Franca


The highest concentration of trulli is located in Valle d’Itria in the territory between Alberobello, Locorotondo, Cisternino and Ceglie Messapica, but in Puglia there are other areas where this type of building, used as a dwelling, a shelter for animals and storage of food and farm tools, it is widespread. Many are, for example, the farms consist of cones of various sizes placed alongside each other in the Murgia in the countryside around Martina Franca.

Along the road that leads from Martina to Noci you meet, snow-white spots between the green woods of fragno, different structures with the unmistakable “skyline” of trulli interspersed with roofs shaped of pignon. Many of these farms are companies in full swing that caters especially breeding of dairy cattle, sheep and goats. Someone is opened to the hospitality combining visits to stables and dairies or harvesting of organic products directly from the market gardens and orchards or sweet sleep in rooms that were once used as granaries, rooms for smoking meats and cheese, shelters for sheep, cows and oxen.

But this territory reserves other surprises. In fact, this season strolling through the rolling hills of the countryside of Martina Franca can cause a bit ‘of confusion because all around rows and rows of trees loaded with red and yellow apples bring to mind more Trentino landscapes that Puglia. But is this also true Puglia. Here, in fact, since 1986 Ms. Maria Gironimo, just after a trip to South Tyrol, he would begin to experience the apple growing on an initial surface area of just over one and a half hectares. Today the hectares of apple orchards of The Company Murgina (Via Noci – Zone D. 793, Martina Franca – +39 080 4400396 – info@lamurgina.it) are 24 and six the types of apples produced: Golden, Delicious, Royal Gala, Red Delicious, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Fuji. In the farm shop, as well as fragrant and juicy apples, you can buy other products such as jams and apple juice but also vinegar and cooked apple juice for use on salads, cheeses and desserts.

Martina Franca is a few kilometers away and worths a visit. The town stands out among all the villages in the Valle d’Itria with its elegance as an old lady dressed in lace and lace baroque. Walking through the old town, after crossing the monumental arch of Santo Stefano, you are immediately captured by the imposing Palazzo Ducale built by Petracone V Caracciolo in 1668 but also by the facades and balconies of the rococo palaces and churches scattered around the narrow streets paved. The Ducal Palace is worth a visit to admire the Chapel of the Dukes and the wonderful frescoed rooms by painter Domenico Carella called Arcadia, the Myth and the Bible. It ‘nice to get lost in the maze of narrow streets discovering the beauty in every step of Martina, but the first is a stop in front of the majestic Basilica of St. Martin and not lose its interior decorated with works of art of great value.
To end in sweetness and goodness, our Gourmet addresses: coffee and bocconotto in the two versions only custard or cream and black cherry, Caffè Florien (Viale dei Lecci 26, Martina Franca – +39 080 4806770), the capocollo, the ‘smoked sausage flavored with thyme, myrtle and laurel Presidio Slow Food, by Michele Cito (Via Maria D’Enghien 17, Martina Franca – +39 080 4857875) and by the legendary Vituccio Serio said “Salvasod”, owner of a butcher open in the town since 1919, gnumariedde, sausages and bombette baked in the oven and available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (booking essential because the waiting list is minimum three months: Via Francesco Ferrucci 15, Martina Franca – +39 080 4806250 ).

The stop gourmet for lunch or for dinner is by Gaonas Officine del Gusto ( Via Arco Valente 17 , Martina Franca – +39 080 4834886 – +39 329 3093665 – officinedelgusto@libero.it) where Gianfranco Palmisano will delight you with its “main dishes”, from the ravioli filled with local burrata and with zucchini flowers and ricotta cheese and pork to Negroamaro in crust pastry and potatoes, in an intimate and very “hot” place in the heart of the historical center of the Baroque town. Curiosity? The name of the restaurant comes from an illustrious figure of Martina Franca, Padre Bonaventura Gaona, who lived humbly and in poverty his life and had the gift of prophecy and miracles. Today the “miracles” are repeated in the kitchen, the place in where local products are transformed into tasty specialties by Gianfranco using an original system of low temperature cooking and with long times.