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That link between Martina Franca and San Gennaro

Monday 24 september 2018

The village of the Itria valley

That link between Martina Franca and San Gennaro

"Neapolitan" events in Martina Franca. Let's see in what sense.

The town, above all.
Martina Franca, the glory of Apulia, is among the pearls of the Itria valley. It was founded by the prince of Taranto Filippo I d'Angiò. City of the Baroque and the famous, over forty years old music festival of the Valle d'Itria, boasts in the Basilica of San Martino marble statues of the great eighteenth-century sculptor Giuseppe Sammartino, famous because he was the author of the Veiled Christ of Naples. While Stefano da Putignano, an important 16th century Apulian sculptor, is present in the church of Sant’Antonio. Renowned and always photographed also the arch that leads to the square with the imperious Palazzo Ducale, today the town hall. Here first an old castle, while the building dates back to the 1600s. Fascinamente historiated and frescoed the rooms of the structure, also home to the naturalistic museum dedicated to the Bosco delle Pianelle, one of the cultural and landscape offers of this territory. The aforementioned basilica is a Latin cross with a single nave, richly decorated. Suggestive also the Baroque palaces of via Cavour. Emblem of Martina elegance. Also worth seeing are the churches of San Domenico (eighteenth century, with Romanesque prodromes) and the Carmine (with a work by Stefano da Putignano).

On September 19th the anniversary of Saint Gennaro, saint loved here. The anniversary brought us back to this link. But why is Martina spiritually close to the saint dear to the Neapolitans? It is soon said. One thinks of Filippo d'Angiò, a Neapolitan, a decisive personality for the founding history of the center. And where was the family of the feudal lords of the place? Of Naples, Caracciolo family. Famous dynasty.

A few days ago in Martina many citizens, like every September 19, anxiously awaited the result of the miracle of the blood. A repeating ritual. Many over the years also the events dedicated to reinforcing this line that unites this slice of the tarantino to the old great capital of the South. And then to the Palazzo Ducale, also known as Palazzo Caracciolo, here is the image of Saint Gennaro, painted in the chapel of the dukes. Here also a wonderful Crucifix, dated to the seventeenth century. Curious, then, this coincidence that makes embrace two cities in different relevant ways of the South: faith in the saint, faith that comes back from the name of many citizens and so Gennaro here is still a name still widespread.

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