The etymology of the name of this UNIQUE city derives from the Greek language. Monos-polis, in fact, means unique and singular city. The person who decided to named it this way, pictured it right.

Still today it is a unique city in a certain way, expecially regarding its tourist offer. The sea is its principal and natural attraction, but there is also a charming countryside, with 99 districts that gently range over the Adriatic “Murgia” hills. The lovers of the sea will be astonished about this city: small inlets with the finest sand in the “Capitolo” area where, apart from having a bath during summer evenings, the “movida” aggregates and amuses all the young people.

Its historical centre, thanks to the worthy public and private money contribution, has recently been restored to its original splendour. You can experience it lightened by the small stores and restaurants, stopping in its redesigned squares as open air living rooms, walking through its “chiancarelle” paved alleys and visiting its small and big churches that recall the ancient religious soul of its community. In its countryside you’ll enjoy the beauty of its white “masserie” (fortified rural settlements) and its incredible century-old olive trees. Trees like monuments that mother nature and time turned into absolute masterpieces. The rocky churches deserve a particular mention.

They are carved into the rocks, simply frescoed places surrounded by an intimate and ancient faith. Wonderful sites that constitute an inestimable heritage for their number and beauty. This is what Monopoli offers to those who are willing to experience a “unique” vacation.

Monopoli is also an industrial centre, well-known for the production of concrete and pottery. It has a small artificial port and is an important seaside resort. The origins of the town are still uncertain, although some experts think that it was a Greek centre. It was first mentioned at the end of the VIth century when Egnazia was destroyed and its inhabitants took refuge in Monopoli. During Middle Ages it became an important maritime and commercial centre which was destroyed by the Byzantines in 1042. Then the Normans conquered the town and the Counts of Conversano built St.Stephen’s Abbey. In the XIth century Monopoli became the bishop’s seat. The independent free city of Monopoli lasted until the beginning of the Swabian rule. Ferdinand II, king of Naples, ordered the Venetians to conquer the town in 1496 and Monopoli fell under the Venetian government until the beginning of the XVIth century, when it passed into the hands of the Spanish.

The Cathedral dates back to the XIIth century but it was restored in the XVIIIth century. It is flanked by a fine belltower in Baroque style. lnside there are excellent paintings and the capitolar archive. We can admire many paintings by Palma the Young and the the “Madonna della Madia'”s canvas which, according to legend, was brouht here on a raft from

Orient. The church is considered one of the most outstanding Baroque buildings in the region. The Castle is noteworthy as well: it is located near the port and was built by Frederick II, then restored. We can also admire the Romanesque church of St. Mary of Amalfi, founded at the beginning of the X/IIth century; traces of the mediaeval sanctuary can be found on the right side of the building, in the fine apse and the restored interior with one nave and two aisles divided by pillars; the crypt is an ancient basilian church. In Via S.Domenico 73 the Xlth –century rupestrian church of the Madonna del Soccorso is noteworthy. Some paintings by Veronese, Palma the Young, L. Bastiani and the School of Naples can be found in the Bishop’s residence.

Excursions on the road to Brindisi, the Monopoli coast offers a view of superb cliffs and small beaches crowded with bathers during the summer. Before reaching Capitolo, a resort town, we can admire St. Stephan’ s former Abbey. Several rupestrian churches are scattered throughout Monopoli’s countryside: St Cecily’s, St. Bartolomeo in Palude, St. Angelo. Besides the large number of sea caves (Caves of Mura), in St. Lucy’s quarter we can find the entrance of a karst formation with interesting concretions.


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Emma Villas Reviews : a small guide to Salento in Puglia


Salento is a geographic region at the southern end of Puglia, also known as the “heel” of the Italian “boot”. It encompasses the province of Lecce and a large part of the province of Brindisi. This area is one of the most famous tourist attraction in Italy, and in recent years it has become one of the most popular holiday destinations for thousands of Italian and foreign people.

Outdoor TravelTravels

Apulia, a land of olive trees.


The Enlightenment fashion for far and strange countries, fostered the will by some gentlemen and ladies to directly know the South of ltaly.

With their attendants, they went towards that extreme border of ltaly that sometimes was called Puglia, other times even Calabria. They were attracted by the glorious past, they had read about on the books, about these areas upon a time Graecia Magna, territory of Byzantines and Normans, reign of the great Frederick …

They dealt with ali the difficulties coming from bad roads, malaria, difficulties in having water, lack of accommodations … Nowadays they allow us to know how Puglia was approximately two centuries ago. Covering the long roads at the speed of the carriage and the often disarranged feather-edge, looking at the country they passed through and the different views, olive groves and olive trees are often described.

George Berkeley, who was in Puglia in 1717, in his Diary of a travel through ltaly, tells us of the “olive trees small wood” just out of Lecce and around Oria, and stili expanses “of olive grove and grain, vines, walnuts, almonds trees with olive trees … ” towards Guagnano but also near the Gulf of Taranto. Here he stili observed together with “tufts of chick-pea plants, junks, olive trees, grain … “The noble plant can also replace a hotel, as the Russian traveller, Vasilij Grigorovic Barskij told, when he was in Puglia in 1724.

And stili olive trees in Mola where it is written about “a very wìde olive grove … a stretch of big olive trees” and towards Polignano “a six-mile olive grove”, and more ahead, towards the remains of Egnatia,”o/d olive trees” and Janet Ross  told the “fantastic shapes of the carob tree and olive trees, in whose deformed trunks bandits were used to hide, dressed with fabrics whose colour was similar t o the tre es’, therefore soldiers often passed only a few steps from the men they were chasing …

” The scene was the same for Joahn Hermann Von Riedsel, sent like observer in Puglia by the German archaeologist Winckelmann, to discover the traces left by the presence of the colonies of Graecia Magna in this land, he made notes of the ancient remains and landscape and social environment. He reached Puglia, Taranto strett sea, on 20th May. His stops were: Taranto, Gallipoli, Otranto, Lecce, Brindisi, Bari, Barletta, Canosa.

While covering the Apulian roads he found that the country between Otranto and Gallipoli “is rich in olive trees”, from Otranto to Lecce ” .. . the villages are the most beautiful of ltaly, churches and houses are built with a white stone similar to the stone of Malta”, but that ali the expanse between the towns of Lecce and Brindisi “is covered with olive groves” and the latter town “produce high quality wines and olive oils in great quantity”.

 From Ostuni to Monopoli “you go through olive forests” and that if in Bari “the site is one of the most beautiful and the ground ali around is one of the most fertile: grain, oil, wine, fish are abundant” … also Bisceglie, as the traveller remembered, whose name reminded him the ancient one of “Vigiliae”, “is so fertile it reacts well to good cultivation and produces oil and grain”. Cari Ulisse De Salis Marschlins, stili in ltaly according to the documentary sources in June 1790, among the important foreign travellers, was the most careful of the agricultural aspect of the territory he was covering in the tour he made when he was 29.

In “Viaggio nel Regno di Napoli” he told about the presence of olive trees in several Apulian centres he visited with many particulars, and noticed that even if in Puglia “the country is melancholic for the monotonous stretch of olive groves, the mind is reassured thinking about the wealth in those very wide lowlands”. He wrote about the presence of “majestic olive trees” everywhere: from Supersano in Salento, to Bari area, going through the immeasurable lands between the lonian sea and the mountains beyond Martina (where “a continuous forest of olive trees” is) and Palagiano near Taranto (“with very wide olive groves”) and Terlizzi “where the inhabitants have planted olive trees ali over the outskirts”.

Moreover h e realized that ali the stony land in Puglia was good for the “immeasurable forests of o l iv e tre es southward an d northward and “very fruitful” for olive oil production. Particularly he noticed that ” … leaving from Naples while travelling … “, he had seen “the first olive trees in the territory between Trani and Molfetta and even if in the province of Lecce wide expanses of territory were destroyed, the real olive growing starts and continues from here … ‘ the two principalities of Calabria and the province where are the main olive growing centres”.





The most important wine-growing towns of the Alto Salento gave rise to the Park ”  Negroamaro ” , the common sign of this grape variety typical of the whole Salento and grown almost exclusively in Puglia.

The origin of the name leaves no doubt about the identity of this grape from black-purple:

Negroamaro tautologically means “NERONERO”, from the Latin niger and the greek maru CryptoStream also closely linked to the local dialect: niuru maru clearly evokes the black of the grapes and the bitter taste of the wine. The winemaking process is no longer uncommon, it produces wines with impenetrable color and intense aroma.

It is a fundamental Grape variety Doc of this area contributes to the production of great red wines, but also of extraordinary rosé, a peculiarity of the entire Salento. The Negroamaro is often used in conjunction with Black Malvasia of Brindisi and Lecce, other varieties strongly identifying the heel of Italy.

This area – well known for amazing panorama of the rocky Adriatic, the sandy beaches of the Ionian Sea and the wonderful baroque architecture of Lecce and Galatina – houses a priceless heritage of farms and historic farmhouses where you can discover an age-old bond with the culture of the earth.

Negroamaro is the most renowed vine variety of Salento.

The bunch of native grape variety has a large, pentagonal, five-or three-lobed leave and a bunch medium, frusto-conical, short and close, rarely with a wing. Also features a berry medium-large, thick and firm, black-purple peel. Grown in calcareous-clay soils, is suitable to other types of soils and climates, hot and dry. It is harvest primarily for tree and tent, with long or short pruning. The ripening period is late and occurs during the third week of September.

The Negramaro as a single variety stands out for its dark ruby color, deep, with hints of almost blacks and it is known for the well-rounded flavor, slightly bitter and dry.

Outdoor TravelTravels



When one refers to this area of Apulia it is a must to use the plural form.

The Murge represent a heterogeneous territory which manifest multiple types of landscape and flavours, all coming from a generous land. At the feet of the Castel del Monte, a rocky soil enriched by a spontaneous vegetation and strips of cultivated fields apparently create great contrast with the woods, predominantly made up of oak trees, and the pine-woods of the Alta Murgia territory.

This is the realm of the Nero di Troia, which is the variety of wine which creates a bond with three Doc (mark guaranteeing the quality of a wine) of the northern part of the province of Bari (Nord-barese), giving life to well-structured wines which are apt to a long maturation period. In this area, other types of wines, such as Aglianico, Bombino Bianco, Bombino Nero, Montepulciano and Pampanuto are also present.

On the other hand, in the Murgia Adriatica landscape, in the territory of which the valuable Moscato di Trani, also known as Moscato Reale is cultivated. The verdant scenery of the Bassa Murgia is where the producers of Gioia del Colle compete among each other, in order to grant the town Manduria the “supremacy” for the Primitivo wine. Excellent white wines come from these places in which Bianco d’Alessano, Greco di Tufo and Verdeca wines excel.


Valle d’Itria


Valle d’Itria is the heart of the white wines of Apulia.

From the vine rows of bianco d’Alessano and Verdeca, delicious and famous wines are obtained. The natural environment is marked by the domes of the trulli (typical cone-shaped homes), which can be admired from the balconies of the fascinating districts of Locorotondo, Martina Franca and Cisternino.

A few kilometres away from these towns, white Ostuni, with its terraced fruit and vegetable gardens, surrounding the town walls, a thick system of manor farms and historical castles and a precious fully reborn ampelographic patrimony, thanks to the recovery of rare native aspects, such as the Impigno and Ottavianello wines.

The Susumaniello, a blackberry variety of wine, of Dalmatian origin, also made in purity, deserves special attention. Messapia, a historically and culturally rich territory, is the land of the Primitivo, which is a very old native wine variety, the grapes of which reach maturation in late August (where the name comes from), giving life to a full-bodied red wine, carrying particular characteristics and a fairly strong alcoholic level.

Fields of secular olive trees, vast cultivations of figs, and wide vineyards make up the territory embraced by Manduria, Sava and Lizzano, caressed by the breeze of the Ionic sea, where the picturesque vineyards of the Primitivo, some up to 80 years old, find the ideal microclimate to best express themselves, handing the famous Doc Primitivo of Manduria its name.

ExperienceFood & drinkWine



The wine variety tradition of this territory, which extends itself from Capitanata to the Subappennino (dauno), slowly descending towards the Nord-barese (north of the province of Bari), is very old. History, art, wine and food cohabit this land in which the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine has the upper hand in the red wine variety and the Bombino Bianco wine in the white wine variety, as well as in the sparkling wine one.

The first gives life to full-bodied red wines, expressing itself on excellent levels in this area of Apulia.

The second, endowed with a refined elegance, considerable structure and acid degree, is often accompanied by the Trebbiano Toscano, in order to give life to particularly delicate white wines.
Considerable importance is given to the Nero di Troia wine, carrying good vigour, which is predominantly wine-made in purity, giving, thus, life to red wines which also lend themselves to a long maturation process.

Completing this panorama of the wine-growing Daunia, rare gems such as Somarello, mostly spread in the Lucera area, Tuccanese, or the Zagarese grape may be found.

ExperienceFood & drink

Chickpeas and pasta


Chickpeas and pasta

The best suited -pasta for this dish is the home-made “lasagnetta” which is made as follows. Mìx into dough 30.0 gms. offlour and some salted tepid water, so as to obtain a, velvety dough.

Forma fist-like balls roll them out with a rolling-pin, then cut out a finger large and a span long strips. Leave them to dry half a day. After having left 300 gm of chìckpesto soak ovemight in water with a pinch ofbicarbonate of soda, cook them in a kettle ond alow frame with some bavicaves salt and a lot of water.

Add some hot water from tìme to time. Then cook the “lasagnette” and put them with the chickpeas oò individuai dishes scasoning with oli. This is the usual recipe. In the arca of Lecce, they cook half ofthe pasta- in salt led water with sticks of celery and fry the remaining half in boiling oil.

Then add the pasta to the cooked chickpeas and leave to cook slightly.

Thcy go well with fried onion chopped fine.


ExperienceFood & drink

Dried tomatoes

dried tomatoes puglia

Dried tomatoes

Choose some fresh, firm and ripe tomatoes of the “Sammarzano” qualiti.

Wash, pat dry and cut them lengthwise into segments. Piace them, previously salted, on a board to dry in the sun, taking care not to leave them in the operi air at night and when the weather is foggy. When dried, wash them in vinegar, drain and put them in a glass vessel or in a clay pot with pieces of hot-chilli  an d cover with olive-oil.

ExperienceFood & drink

Stale bread, Puglia style

cialda from puglia

Stale bread, Puglia style

In Bari this dish is Cali ed al so “oil and salt”, in other places of Puglia it is differently, called and made With a variety, of ingredients .

It has itchy and delicious taste, which real\y excites your appetite.

Put in a dish some fresh water, olive-oil, salt, a cucumiber, 2 fresh tomatoes, a sweet onion of Acquaviva,  sliced.

Leave the lotto flavour for a while, then dunk some stale or toasted bread into.