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Itria Valley

Itria Valley is situated in the heart of Apulia and spreads over the Provinces of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto. Its territory coincides with the lower part of Murgia upland (Low Murgia): it is a depression due to karstic phenomena extended between the towns of Locorotondo, Cisternino and Martina Franca.

The main characteristic features of Itria Valley are ‘trulli', the typical ancient Apulian small round houses of stone with a conical roof, and karstic caves such as the well-known Grotte di Castellana. The Itria Valley place-name is probably derived from oriental cult of the Madonna Odegitria (that is the Virgin Mary who shows the way), patron of wayfarers, imported in the Xth century by Byzantine empire.

Martina Franca is the municipality with the higher elevation and also the most densely populated (49.811 inhabitants) in Itria Valley.