Important coastal centre, the old village is dominated by Romanesque cathedral of the XII century dedicated to Our Lady of Madia (Madonna della Madia), which is guarded by a Byzantine icon of the Virgin, which according to tradition, the sea gave to the faithful monololitani on board a raft (the event is remembered each January 16 and August 15 with a joyful feast). The Castle with the powerful fortified walls, the fishing port, (fishermen ormeggiano polychrome their boats in the port of Monopoli, strategic place for the trade of oil, between the XV and XVI century made the Pugliese city an important point of reference for a power like Venice). The churches of Santa Maria Amalfitana and San Salvatore the crypt of Our Lady of Help (Madonna del Soccorso).
Monopoli reveals a distinguished past. From the Greek "Mono-polis" , unique town, it was a little village of the "Peucezia" Apulia next to another important village of the Land, "Gnatia". In 545 d.C. the inhabitants of Gnatia reached Mono-polis after Totila, king of the Goths, ordered the distruction of their whole village. In the following centuries a great part of Southern Italy saw the settlements of Normans, Byzantines and Swabians. In 1484, with the settlement of Venetians, Mono-polis knew a period of remarkable economic growth thanks to the development of its harbour activities above all. The harbour was considered to be the sole safe and equipped refuge between Bari and Brindisi and an import-export trade centre of a great number of goods, because of its strategic position. In 1530, after the end of the Venetian domination, the Emperor tried to make Monopoli a Barony or a Marquisate, but he faced the firm opposition of the people of Monopoli, who decided to redeem themselves, paying 51000 gold ducats to the Emperor. In 1545 Monopoli became a free town again under the spanish domination. It then acquired and enlarged a circuit of defensive walls and towers and the Marquese Don Ferrante Loffredo, by the order of King Carl V, restored the ancient castel of Enrico IV and Federico II. The spanish domination, which ended in 1713, was replaced by the Austrian one which ruled Southern Italy late till 1734, when the Bourbon settled the Reign of Naples. Subsequently, Monopoli was part of the Reign till 1860, when it was enclosed in the Reign of Italy.
Maria SS. Della Madia (sec. XVII) The Church of St. Mary of Madia. It was built in 1741 on design ideas of two Masters Bricklayer Engineers Michele Colangiuli of Acquaviva and Peter Magarelli of Molfetta. Monopoly is protected by Our Lady of Madia (Madonna della Madia): according to a legend, an icon from Turkey docking in the town beach, conveyed by a raft the night of December 16th of 1117. The church has three aisles, the central nave rises with a dome. On the vault of the apse about mt. 6.50 from the floor rises the superior chapel: the Shrine of Our Lady of Madia. The bell tower of the '600 ends in a curious pyramid were finally concluded pointed cone. The Basilica retains art treasures of every age, even in the underground, recently opened to the public.
Basilica S. Maria Amalfitana (Romanico Pugliese sec. XII) The Church of St. Mary Amalfitana. Was probably built around the XII century and was recognised "Parish Curata" from Bishop Alfonso Alvarez Guerrera in the ’70 of the XVII century. The local reporters with tones rather legendary attest that in 1059 the church was founded by a group of Amalfitani escaped to a wreck with the help of Madonna, but this date may well refer to the main level is not proposed for higher level for which most likely would be the XII century. The history of the church is also marked by Baroque transformation in the XVIII century, by the engineer Magarelli, when the building was completely renovated and featuring stucco. Only the restoration of 1932 have almost completely eliminated the XVIII façade trying to restore the Romanesque facade. The most recent restoration, which began in 1998, resulted mainly interventions on its consolidations and cleaning of the monument. From the right aisle down in the crypt which was the Sanctuary of primitive Amalfitani.
Remarkable Castello Carlo V, Castle Charles V. The castle was built on a promontory called Punta Penna, north of the city. It was the part of the peninsula which corresponded to the termination point of medieval Monopoli. Originally, therefore, the settlement was located on the outskirts of town to then be incorporated during the XII and XIII century between the northern suburbs of the city. Under the loggia the emblem stone with the date 1552 and the name of Viceroy Don Pedro Toledo, implementer of the complex. 1660 represents a key stage in the life of the castle: a series of work and restructuring and enlargement will significantly transform the external appearance, as well as the destination of domestic environments. From simple defensive bulwark becomes chateau residence. In the first half of the XIX century, the castle becomes the district penitentiary until 1969.
The castle contains several treasures, important from a historical and artistic point of view:
The rock church of St. Nicholas of Pinna, Chiesa San Nicola de Pinna. Founded at the end of the X century by monopolitano Saxon. A large arched door in blocks of stone squared with a buttonhole for the vertical scroll of a bar or another system of closure, being the most mysterious element and according to the hypothesis, the oldest present inside the castle.
The walls of fortifications, Le mura di fortificazione, on the sea with prehistoric cave. The walls represented to Monopoli a fundamental defence, as witness the remaking needed for the frequent assaults of which was the victim. Don Pedro Toledo realized executor of the will of Charles V, making surround the city of allocating new walls and 43 towers along the Adriatic coast of Puglia, from 1 to 3 km from each other, carrying guns for protection against pirates and the Turks.
Among the marvels of Monopoly is listed the Fastoso portal of the splendid Palace Calmieri. The palace lies in the oldest town square. Its isolated on the east side, has a main floor and the central forepart (two columns supporting the balcony and the coat of arms of the family) and is in position to not be able to be confused with the propagated building of the bourgeoisie six-seventeenth century, which facing south and west on the square. The square, which seems to serve the palace of the Marquis Palmieri, historically belongs to the ancient Roman church of S. Peter (IV century).
Seaside: Approximately 13 km long, short and jagged, with more than 25 beautiful bays and large expanses and many free sandy beach, makes it particularly suitable for bathing.
There are several bathing establishments including note: S. Stefano (S. Stefano quarter - adjacent S. Stefano Abbey), Lido Pantano, Lido Sabbia d'Oro, Torre Cintola, Porto Giardino, Torre Egnatia, Le Macchie, Baia del Sol.
Countryside: Consists of 99 quarters characterized by the presence of Masserie Fortificate dating back to Roman times (centres conducting agricultural activities), Churches Rupestri, Trulli, neo-classical villas and farmhouses. Cultivation is predominantly made up of olive and almond trees, but no shortage of fruit trees and vegetable crops.
The Mediterranean mark, still present in different areas of the agriculture, are protected; particularly valuable natural wildlife is the oasis of MountSt. Nicholas, with the presence of precious botanical species.
Menu-based on typical dishes, meat and fish, pizza, salads.
The second Sunday of each month international cuisine.
Approximately 500 labels of national and international wines.
Friday Jazz music live.
Average price menu €. 18-20
Friday and Saturday is advisable to book.
Ristorante Lido Bianco
Via Procaccia, 3
70043, Monopoli (BA)
+39 080 8876737
The Restaurant Lido Bianco is a historic local Monopolitano site on the rocky coast, a precipice overlooking the sea where to find satisfaction both the palate with traditional seafood recipes that in the spirit admiring the immensity of the sea.
Average price for a meal, drinks not included: € 25
Service summer outdoors.
Hotel VECCHIO MULINO **** città (mare 1Km) V.le Aldo Moro, 192 - Monopoli tel. +39 080 777 133 http://www.vecchiomulino.it/
Hotel IL MELOGRANO ***** collina Ctr. Torricella, 345 (strada Monopoli-Alberobello) tel. +39 080 6909030 Fax +39 080 747908 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOTEL VILLA DEI PINI Residenza Storica mare c.da Stomazzelli, 41 tel. +39 080 801750 / +39 080 2462243 Fax +39 080 2462248 www.hotelvilladeipini.it e-mail: email@example.com