Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 3, 2019


Monopoli sits on the edge of the Adriatic Sea 40 kilometres south of Bari. It takes its name from the Ancient Greek city that began on the site. Monis Polis means unique and singular.

It is a port city and once you fight your way through the chaotic, crazy driving, new town, the Centro Storico beside the coast is a pleasant surprise.

It is popular with tourists but it has an authentic feel, with locals enjoying the space as well.  It is a lovely place to wander and find a great spot for lunch or to sit by the sea. There are sandy beaches and interesting coves to explore.

The port is pretty with its colourful fishing boats.


The Castle of Charles V was built on the site of previous town walls between 1544 and 1552. It has been restored after being abandoned for years and is now used for exhibitions and cultural events.

Lively piazzas dot the historic centre.

Interesting shops and bars line the streets.

There are lots of churches to explore.

The crypt of Madonna del Soccorso dates from the 10th or 11th century.

The Centro Storico is full of pretty corners and narrow streets. The town is mostly built in white stone and many buildings are white-washed.

We were lucky to have a fine sunny day in Monopoli after some miserable cold rainy days. The town was a happy surprise after the struggle to get there through the new part of town. We were almost put off by the maze of streets and awful drivers. I am pleased we persisted.


  1. Nice memory seeing your pictures. We used Monopoli as a base for 2 weeks. Fortunately we were using trains to explore so no traffic issues

    • Very wise to use trains, the driving is some of the worst we have experienced.

  2. We always find the Old area of any town more beautiful and interesting than the new one. So it was worth all the trouble. The castle of Charles V looks wonderful. It has many similarities with the one he had built in Hondarribia, near San Sebastián, and which has been converted into a Parador.

    • It was worth the fight through the new town to get to the best part.

  3. Another great find. Love seeing your blogs as you explore beyond Bagni di Lucca.

    • There is a lot to discover in Italy.

  4. What a charming town that doesn’t seem to be overrun with tourists.

    • We were early in the season.

  5. I haven’t been to Monopoli yet. Looking forward to it. Your pics are lovely.

    • Thank you! The newer part if the town is chaotic, but the centro storico is lovely.

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