Martano: what to do and see, where it is and how to get there [2023]

Martano is a beautiful Salento town located in the province of Lecce, in Puglia. It is an ancient village, among the Authentic villages of Italy, the capital of Grecìa Salentina . The city is known for its scenic beauty, ancient history and culture rich in tradition. For this, Martano is a perfect destination to spend a day discovering one of the gems of the Salento peninsula.

The village, surrounded by medieval walls, still retains many historic buildings and monuments, offering a wide range of activities, such as walking tours, wine tastings, cooking classes and outdoor experiences.

In addition, Martano is located in an ideal position for visiting other historic cities and towns of Salento, such as Lecce, Otranto, Gallipoli and many others .

Where is Martano?

Martano is located in central-eastern Salento, in a strategic position which, from the ancient Roman road Traiana Calabra (Brindisi-Lecce-Otranto), crosses the Otranto road axis -Martano-Galatina-Gallipoli. It is located about 25 km northwest of the city of Lecce and borders to the north with the municipalities of Martignano and Calimera, to the east with the municipality of Carpignano Salentino, to the south with the municipalities of Castrignano de’ Greci and Corigliano d’Otranto, to the west with the municipality of Zollino .

How far is Martano from the sea?

Martano is quite close to the sea and in particular to the Adriatic coast from which it is on average 15/20 km away. The seaside resorts closest to Martano are: Torre dell’Orso, Torre Sant’Andrea, Alimini and Otranto.

How to reach Martano?

There are several ways to reach Martano: clearly the car would be the most comfortable solution, however the town is well connected thanks to public transport.

  • How to reach Martano by car: coming from the north, take the A14 motorway to Bari. From here continue south on the Bari-Lecce highway. From Lecce continue on the S.S. 16 “Adriatica” in the direction of Maglie. After about 17 km you will find the junction for Martano.
  • How to reach Martano by train: the closest railway station to Martano is Lecce, which is about 25 km away. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Martano.
  • How to reach Martano by plane: the closest airport to Martano is the Salento International Airport in Brindisi, which is about 60 km away. From there, you can take a taxi, rent a car or take an FSE bus to reach Martano.
  • How to reach Martano by bus: there are several ESF bus lines that connect Martano with nearby cities, including Lecce.

Regardless of the means of transport chosen, the city is easily accessible and offers an excellent base for exploring Salento and the Adriatic coast in particular.

martano da vedere-Palazzo_Andrichi-Moschettini-foto di lupiae
Foto di lupiae By Wikipedia

What to see in Martano?

The city is known for its scenic beauty, culture, traditions and agriculture, which is one of the main sources of income for the local community. The village, in fact, is surrounded by olive trees, vines and cultivated fields, and offers a suggestive panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. It also has a significant historical and cultural heritage, with several historic buildings and churches dating back to the medieval period.

Since 2017 it has also been the “City of Aloe” due to the large presence in the municipal area of ​​companies that cultivate and transform this plant.

For those wishing to stay in Martano, there are many accommodation options available, including bed and breakfasts, apartments, masserie and villas that offer an authentic experience of village life, with modern comforts and easy access to local services.

So, what to see and what to do in Martano?

The historic centre

The historic center of Martano is one of the most beautiful places to visit. Here you can admire the old courtyard houses, numerous palaces, such as Palazzo Pino, Palazzo Andrichi-Moschettini, narrow winding streets and picturesque alleys.


The Baronial Palace of Martano

The Martano Castle, or Baronial Palace, is one of the main attractions of the city: it was built around the 15th century by Ferdinand and Alfonso of Aragon, for defensive purposes, and today the towers can still be seen cylindrical and the sloping walls, which allow a glimpse of the military origins of the building, even if, over time, it was used as a noble residence.

La Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angeli

The Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli was built by the local builders Margoleo, authors among other things of the Church of San Domenico al Rosario in Lecce. The prospectus is divided into three parts by columns and has a decorated window and a richly decorated entrance portal. On the side there are the coats of arms of the Municipality on the right and of the Venneri-Stomeo family on the left. Inside, with a single nave, there is a magnificent Baroque altar.

Church and Monastery of Santa Maria della Consolazione

The Monastery of Santa Maria della Consolazione is located in Sinobbie, on the road to Borgagne and was founded by the Alcantarines. It has housed Cistercian monks since 1926 and its library and archive preserve documents of great value. The monastery is also known for the liqueur that produces the “San Bernardo” and other products such as oil and jams. The church has a simple seventeenth-century façade and an elaborate interior with late Baroque decorations, with three naves and six side altars. The main altar, on the other hand, houses a fifteenth-century fresco of the Madonna della Consolazione.

monastero martano

Chiesa matrice

The Mother Church, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, was rebuilt in 1596 as can be seen from the epigraph on the portal. It has an elegant Baroque façade with high pilasters, the entrance portal with sculpted columns, a statue of the Assumption in the niche above the portal and decorations of angels, snakes, garlands, festoons, masks and sirens. The interior is in the form of a Latin cross with three naves and houses Baroque altars from the 17th and 18th centuries and important paintings.

Archaeological sites

If you are passionate about history and archeology, you cannot miss a visit to the archaeological sites of Martano:

  • Menhir del Teofilo, also known by the name of Santu Tòtaru, which is the highest monolith in Puglia with a height of 4.70 m;
  • Specchia dei Mori is the most impressive mirror in Salento. Made with the dry overlapping of limestone slabs from stone removal by hand, probably built in the Middle Ages as a lookout;
  • Casale di Apigliano, an ancient medieval village in the Terra d’Otranto abandoned between the 14th and 16th centuries, where elements dating back to the Byzantine and Angevin periods have been found.
Foto di Lupiae – By Wikipedia

Where to eat in Martano?

Are you looking for a restaurant in Martano? There is no shortage of gastronomic proposals here: whether you want to try pizza, meat, fish or Salento cuisine, you will undoubtedly find what is right for you! Here are some recommendations on the best restaurants in Martano:

  • Ristorante da Sanna
  • Ristorante Armonia del Sapore
  • Quinto Quarto
  • Pizzeria Corte Micali
  • Morrison’s Pub
Foto di Freddyballo by Wikipedia

What to see near Martano?

The city is situated in a privileged position in Salento, surrounded by numerous tourist attractions and places of interest. Here are some suggestions on what to see near Martano:

  • Borgagne a 9 km;
  • Carpignano Salentino a 5 km;
  • Castrignano de’ Greci a 4 km;
  • Corigliano d’Otranto a 10 km;
  • Cutrofiano a 20 km;
  • Martignano a 8 km;
  • Melpignano a 6 km;
  • Sogliano Cavour a 13 km;
  • Soleto a 9 km
  • Sternatia a 11 km;
  • Zollino a 6 km,
  • Lecce a 25 km;
  • Cursi a 7,5 km;
  • Faraglioni di Sant’Andrea a 15,5 km;
  • Roca e Grotta della Poesia a 19 km;
  • Galatina a 13,7 km;
  • Otranto a 19,3 km;
  • Giurdignano a 20 km.

Are you looking for a structure in Salento? Browse our categories!

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Team HDSalento

Articles by the HDSalento team

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