Martano (Martána in griko, Martanu in Salento dialect) is located in the Salento The center-east and is part of the so-called Grecia Salentina, an area ellenofona which speaks an ancient language of Greek origin, the griko.
The grecanico or griko (even grico) is a dialect (or group of dialects) type neo-Greek remainder probably of a wider and more continuous linguistic area ellenofona existed formerly in the coastal part of the Magna Grecia. The greeks today call the Katoitaliótika language (in Greek Italian "Southern"). The language, written in Latin characters, has points in common with the neogreco and in the meantime the words that are the fruit of apparent influences leccesi or anyway romance. Today in Martano The griko is spoken mainly by older people, even if it is understood by a band of wider population.
The origins of Martano risalirebbero to prehistory as contemplated by the presence of megalithic monuments such as the Specchia dei Mori (in griko secla demonìu tu) and the menhir of Theophilus, representing the menhir highest in the region. These monuments were places of worship of the populations Japigee.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire the town was inhabited by settlers coming from the east and from 476 fell under the dominion of the greeks undergoing a process of grecizzazione lasted over five centuries. The Greek influence and then byzantine radically influenced the habits and the local language (Griko). The Greek culture persists and is still observable today in the traditions and folklore.
In 1190, during the norman period, Tancredi d'Altavilla granted the fief to Giorgio Rome to which succeeded Riccardo de Martano in 1269, Goffredo de castles in 1300 and Rinaldo de Hugot. From 1545 it became a fief of the bucally, in 1591 the De' Monti, in 1698 the Marquis, in 1742 of Brunossi, and finally in 1748 was bought by Gadelata that were the last feudal lords.
Certainly deserve a visit the Chiesa Matrice church, the monastery of Santa Maria della Consolazione and the Casale di Apigliano.