Info Monopoli

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  • Apulia





    157,89 Kmq


    Via Giuseppe Garibaldi 6

Monopoli and its suggestive and lively old town centre

Situated on the sea and surrounded by old Messapic walls which date back to the 5th century B.C., Monopoli is one of the most important ports in the Adriatic sea and it is characterized by a very lively old town centre. With its suggestive and characteristic atmosphere, it dates back to Early Middle Ages; it was built on the ruins of an important Messapic town.

Ancient Apulian town, Monopoli was probably peopled by inhabitants of Egnazia fleeing from the city destroyed by Totila, king of Goths. During the Byzantine period it became a rich maritime city and it continued to flourish also after the Norman conquest. Its port was reference point for eastwards journeys and, in particular, for the Crusades and the pilgrimages towards the Holy Land: thanks to its geographical position Monopoli experienced a great economic development. At the end of the peninsula stands the castle; it is a fortress built during the Aragonese period on the ruins of a previous Benedictine monastery, renovated by Carlo V for the sake of defense.

It was built between the 16th and the 17th century and it is characterized by a pentagonal form, typical of 16th – century fortresses. The parade ground of the castle gives a sensation of emotional involvement: it is provided with four gunports, two looking to the open sea and the others looking to the port. It is possible to take a walk on the ancient walls admiring the beautiful sea and covering the whole perimeter of the old town. The main symbol of the city is the elegant cathedral dedicated to the Madonna della Madia, characterized by a luxurious Baroque façade. The church, built in 1107 by bishop Romualdo, had been completely renovated in 1742 according to the Baroque taste. Inside we observe a Latin cross plan with a double transept and a chapel over the major altar, where the 14th – century icon representing the Virgin, patron saint of the city, is kept. In the neighbourhood of the cathedral, it is possible to admire the Renaissance church of San Domenico: it is worth noting the fretwork rose window and the carved façade, realized by Stefano da Putignano.

In the old town centre we find also the medieval church of Santa Maria degli Amalfitani, built in the 12th century on a Basilian crypt. At about 4 km from Monopoli, towards Brindisi, it is possible to visit the castle – abbey of Santo Stefano: it lies on a rocky spur falling sheer to the sea, which was built between the 12th and the 14th century by Benedictine monks. In 15th century the Cavalieri di Malta took control over the abbey transforming it in a real fortress.

Also the countryside around Monopoli is a perfect place for a breathtaking walk, through the ancient ways which, in the past, linked the numerous fortified farms. There are many evidences of ancient Basilian settlements in the countryside, where we can admire some cave-churches which keep precious evidences of Byzantine frescoes: two instances can be the church of the Holy Spirit and the church of San Giovanni.

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Useful information for tourists

Useful information for tourists in Apulia

  • Language:




    International code:


    Travel document:

    Identity card for community citizens; passport for extra-community tourists

  • Useful numbers:

    • Carabinieri 112
    • State Police 113
    • Firemen 115
    • Finance Police 117
    • First Aid 118
  • How to reach Apulia:

    By plane

    Bari Airport: Karol Wojtyla. Brindisi Airport: Papola Casale. Foggia Airport: Gino Lisa

    By train

    Trenitalia links the main Italian cities of Apulia

    On highway

    A14 from Bologna through Foggia and Bari to Taranto

    A16 from Napoli; in Canosa it converges with A14.

Secular olive-groves with crooked trunks appearing as real natural sculptures.

Secular olive-groves

Symbol of the flora of the whole region is the olive tree, which characterizes the territory from the Tavoliere to the end of the Salento with immense fields.

Secular olive-groves

The olive trees with their beauty and charm, given by their secular crooked trunks, embody the history of Apulia thanks to their millenarian presence on the territory. They are the oldest and largest group of millenarian vegetal specimens in the world.

Self- vegetation and animal species in Apulia.

Horse of the Murgia

A huge number of biotopes of vegetable and animal species characterizes the region, even if only the 7% of the territory has been declared protected area. The Apulian self-vegetation is marked by woods, the Mediterranean maquis and the so-called ganga (rocky pasture).

Pink flamingos in the salt marshes of Margherita di Savoia

The region shows two national parks: the Gargano National Park with many areas and reserves and the lakes of Lesina and Varano, and the Alta Murgia National Park.