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  • Writer's pictureWandering Eli

Puglia: Discovering The Charms of Monopoli

Updated: Feb 24

Are you ready to discover the charms of Monopoli? This hidden gem is waiting for you!

Is Monopoli Worth Visiting?

Without a doubt! If you're traveling through the Puglia region, then you should consider spending an afternoon in this cute little town. Sure, exploring big cities is fun, but there's something truly unique about delving into the hidden corners of lesser-known spots and soaking in those local vibes.

As a lover of big and chaotic cities, my perspective changed after living abroad. It made me realize how essential it is to explore the lesser-known hidden gems to truly connect with a place, experience the local life, and really feel the traditions of a place, which is something you don't really get while visiting or living in a big city.

Old Port of Monopoli / Porto Vecchio di Monopoli
Old Port

I spent only an afternoon in Monopoli before heading to another destination in Puglia. The town is quite small, so it's pretty easy to visit the main spots within an afternoon. The places I visited:

The history of the Old Port (Porto Vecchio) goes back to the 6th century BC during the Greek settlement. It witnessed the influence of many civilizations which influenced its architecture. This place was a crucial spot for maritime trade. It's from the basin of the old port that the new city developed. Charles V's castle overlooks the port, guarding the Old Port of Monopoli. The castle was built in the 16th century during the Spanish domination of the city. From the 19th century until the 1960s it was used as a prison, and today it's a place where exhibitions and events are often held. Well.. it sounds like a cool place to visit and get to know more about!

The port was used until the new commercial port was built, and today you can see that there are only local fishing boats there, called 'gozzi'. These boat are different from traditional fishing boats, and were used for coastal fishing. Their color sure makes the view pretty beautiful!

Gozzo (fishing boat)

Monopoli Cathedral

Basilica of the Madonna della Madia
Basilica of the Madonna della Madia

Walking around the city center you'll find really pretty spots to explore and take photos. This cathedral, called Basilica of the Madonna della Madia, is located in the city center, very close to the Old Port. It dates back to the 12th century and was rebuilt in the 17th century in baroque-style. There are a few alleys you can take to get there. I followed Google Maps and I ended going through a small tunnel. I was stunned when I saw the cathedral! It's a really good place to capture beautiful pictures!

Some random photos taken near the Old Port and city center

As you walk around the city center (Old Town), you'll discover some beautiful alleys, buildings, and churches. The architecture is amazing, and this town has some incredible vibes!

Now - Food!!!

I also want to recommend this place below for eating. I literally stumbled upon it by chance. I was looking for another place, which was closed, then I walked by this place and I thought it looked yummy from the outside! And I was right!! I seriously think that here they have the best filled 'focaccia' in the world! After the first bite, I swear I felt I was in heaven, ahah. I absolutely 100% recommend it!

Location: Via Porto, 2, 70043 Monopoli BA

Monopoli may be a small town, but its rich history, picturesque scenery, delicious food, and charming atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the beautiful region of Puglia!

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