What to see in Monopoli? Monopoli for beach holidays is definitely an excellence among the candidates in Puglia. Asking what to do to the sea or to see is impossible!
You can find it along the coast that turns to Salento, rich in sandy beaches which are characteristic because of their alternation with rocky stretches. In the coastal part of the northernmost area, which extends towards Polignano, you can also admire the high cliffs with coves mysteriously hidden among the Mediterranean vegetation.
For those who plan to spend holidays by the sea, Monopoli not only offers the relaxation of its free beaches or its equipped beaches but there are also many tourists who learn to live its lifestyle on a human scale which is definitely suitable for getting emotionally lost during a vacation.
Beaches, landscapes, and long walks in the green will accompany your stay between the cultural heritage that Monopoli has to offer and an unexpected day and night Movida to see and experience.
Actually, along the entire coast that extends from the northern part of the town to the bathing area of Capitolo by tradition, there are many beaches and coves free and not. Here, you can find entertainment, music, and services for tourists. Purple Beach, Lido Porto Ghiacciolo or Belli Freschi are an example of this but the truth is that spending your holidays by the sea in Monopoli means returning again to see and do all those things that because of their quantity will remain pending. In the meantime, download the guide to the beaches of Monopoli town here and you will already have an idea about them!
Monopoli Old Town – Movida
In recent years, however, the nightlife has settled in the heart of the old town where Piazza Garibaldi has become a meeting place for people of all ages. Around this square, you will find a row of pizzerias, bars, and pubs, and the historic Prospero Rendella Library also overlooks it. Here you will notice a flood of moving people who will involuntarily show you other streets and alleys. They are equally full of places to see and, here you will be able to eat or buy objects, clothing or gadgets.
However, returning to the cultural value and tradition, we advise you to start your tour from the Port of Monopoli, which is purely dedicated to fishing and commerce and gives its place to what was once the Porto Antico. The latter, provided to a lesser extent the livelihoods of the Monopolitans. And, even today, traditional goiters and more innovative fishing boats reside there, ready to set sail with the calm sea.
Overlooking this picturesque panorama, Palazzo Martinelli, the seat of the municipal conservatory for many years, will capture your attention for its large windows and the inlays of the Venetian-style loggia. In fact, its presence is due to the conquest of Monopoli by the Venetians at the end of the 1400s.
Continuing to walk on this road kissed by the sea breeze, you will meet the majestic Castle by Charles, which was built during the Spanish domination and had a remarkable alternation of destinations during its long life. It is also said that “half” of this Castle “is inside the sea” and in 700 “under it” there was “an abundance of coral fishing”.
Looking at the horizon to its left, you will be captured in the distance by the beautiful lighthouse that guides our fishermen and commercial ships every day, while continuing your excursus from the square of the Castle you will find yourself on the Santa Maria seafront.
In recent decades, this stretch has become a meeting and walking place for citizens and tourists like the Piazza Garibaldi ones. Here there are other catering activities, with tables and outdoor gazebos facing a breath-taking view, even because of Santa Maria’s Torrione presence which is better known as “The Cannone“.
Monopoli Old Town – History
History, here, reigns supreme, with additional artillery positions for the sea defense of cannons which are also visible on the massive shred of the ancient walls of the town. The Monopolitans people used to call it “Muraglia”. The part overlooking the sea of Cala Porta Vecchia is truly a masterful example of military architecture, considering its age.
Here is the first beach south of Monopoli and it is absolutely worth seeing during your holidays. It can be easily reached on foot and overall the whole landscape is actually a postcard to portray.
Continuing north of these walls you will reach the Cathedral dedicated to the Madonna della Madia who is the patron saint of the Monopoli. History and legend overlap about the landing of an icon on a raft in 1117 that brought wooden beams to finish the construction of a new cathedral. Today, this which was built in several historical phases, is a mystical Romanesque and Baroque cathedral, with naves that will leave you speechless for beauty and richness.
On August th14, a procession that revives the event of the landing of the icon of the Madonna della Madia takes place every year. This religious event brings thousands of devotees and also a large number of tourists who love our most indigenous traditions into the Port. The event is repeated on the night of December 15th and the cold does not discourage anyone.
Near the Cathedral, another thing absolutely to see is the Diocesan Museum. Here inside an interesting collection of paintings and icons is preserved, much like the precious Byzantine reliquary (a relic of the cross) in gilded silver, manuscripts, sacred parameters, liturgical objects in silver.
It is open throughout the year also with free guided tours.
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele among the most beautiful
We have tried to do our best to give some initial ideas to your travel itinerary and the- descriptions do not really do justice to what there is to see in person in Monopoli on holidays.
Although it will certainly be the place you will see first, one cannot fail to mention at last, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele.
It spreads over 18,000 square meters and is one of the largest in Puglia and Italy. Let me tell you that it is the most beautiful in Europe. Two diametrically symmetrical squares, divided by a large road, both framed by two rows of large holm oak trees. One of them has a monument in the center which is dedicated to the fallen soldiers and dates back to 1928. While in the other one there was built a fountain which is particularly beautiful at night.
I conclude by suggesting you watch the video, which summarizes a lot of the contents of this post, so much so that you will feel like you are already in Monopoli on a beach holiday.
Also, download the Map of Monopoli’s Old Town to be able to plan immediately what to see and do while optimizing times.