Experience

Experience

MONOPOLI: A JOURNEY INTO NATURE

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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.

 

ExperienceWine

NEGROAMARO

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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.

ExperienceFood & drinkWine

THE WINE IN PUGLIA

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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
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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

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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
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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.