Palazzo Ducale, Martina Franca, (Taranto)
The Pianelle Park Museum of Martina Franca is situated in the 18th century Ducale building. This park reflects the rich environmental heritage of the Natural Park of Pianelle, a unique ecosystem located in Murgia between Massafra, Cristiano and Martina Franca and is characterised by a typical Mediterranean flora. The Museum of Pianelle was founded in 1999 with the aim of creating an educational environment that would give visitors an appreciation for the park and as a prelude to visiting the Pianelle Park itself. The Museum is hosted in the magnificent late seventeenth century Ducale building and was constructed by the eighth Duke of Martina, Petracone V Caracciolo, on the remains of the ancient Raimondello del Balzo Orsini Castle in 1338. The building, with a Baroque style façade, consists of a wide staircase leading to a portal that provides access to the exquisite baroque halls of the Palace: the Chapel of the Dukes, the Arcadia Room, Dining Room, the Myth Room and Bible Room. On the second floor, the richness and cultural landscape of the Pianelle Reserve can be enjoyed in a modern multi-functional area of the museum.