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Festivals and religious ceremonies in Martina Franca, Itria Valley


In Taranto, during Easter, you can admire the Holy Week processions, traditional religious rites that are evocative and engaging. There are two confraternities of Taranto who organize the ritual, Our Lady of Sorrows with St. Dominic and Blessed Virgin Mary of the Carmine. Every year one of the brotherhoods must win an auction before having the honor of organizing the processions. The rites of Holy Week were introduced in the seventeenth century with the Spanish domination, as well as in the rest of southern Italy.


In May in Taranto there’s the reenactment of the MARRIAGE OF MARY OF ENGHIEN, which took place in 1407 between the Princess of Taranto and the King of Naples in the church of San Leonardo. In this way the King of Naples Ladislao could conquer the lands of the principality of Taranto. Now there’s a charming historical procession in period costume parades through the streets of the town to visit the Aragonese Castle where sumptuous festivities are celebrated.


Marriage of Maria d’Enghien photo youtube


In July, in Martina Franca ,there’s the FESTIVAL OF VALLEY OF ITRIA, a music festival that is now in its fortieth edition. The festival is entirely dedicated to opera and symphony concerts well known by fans of the genre, but in recent years it was decided to give space to the staging of the first and original works of contemporary authors.


In August in the Valley of Itria there’s the FESTIVAL OF THE SENSES which aims to promote local products among the various farms and historic farmhouses in the Valley villages such as Cisternino, Martina Franca and Locorotondo, every year, there are other places such as Ostuni. In the latest edition the chili was the star of the event with more than 700 varieties, themed menus and tastings.


Holy Week processions Taranto photo notizie.comuni-italiani


In August in Martina Franca there’s the FESTIVAL OF COMEDY. For over 15 years this festival has cheered up the summer evenings of the town with comedians from all over Italy who will compete to win the first place. This festival is a fantastic showcase for comedians who can prove their talents live in the spirit of cabaret. The shows also include the participation of the most famous comic actors, which together give the spectators hilarious scenes for a week full of laughter.


In Ostuni, every 25-26-27 of August there’s the celebration of the patron saint of the town with THE RIDE OF ST ORONZO. An impressive parade of horses brings the statue of the saint through the town to commemorate the miracle that St Oronzo who freed Ostuni from the plague in 1657. The horses are harnessed and the clothing of the saint and the Knight are real ceremonies that follow a precise ritual. The rich cloaks and garments carefully sewn and embellished, have passed down from generation to generation and make the whole celebration even more impressive.

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