The Hidden Gem of Puglia
A quiet fishing town on the coast of the Puglia region, in Monopoli you’ll experience authentic Italian life as it’s been lived for centuries. This port town was founded by the Greeks way back in 500 BC, and was also controlled by the Roman and Venetian empires throughout its rich history. Today, weathered fishermen bring in their fresh catch on small red and blue gozzo boats the town is famous for, while nonnas lean out windows along the town’s winding streets and watch the world go by.
Set out for a stroll along the Lungomare—a winding seaside promenade that traces the Monopoli’s old stone defences. Be sure to stop by the cannon-lined Bastione di Santa Maria tower for unmatched sea views. Perhaps the best part of travel is living the local experience. Step under a stone archway into Piazza Guiseppe Garibaldi and you’ll get just that. Enjoy a little al fresco moment here with a glass of prosecco and a plate of scapece (small fish dusted in flour, deep-fried, and layered with breadcrumbs and saffron).
Want to get out of town? Natural beauty abounds around Monopoli. Cala Porto Rosso beach is just a 15-minute walk away, Calamarena beach is a local favorite with it’s crystal-clear waters and bar that serves a great Aperol spritz, and Spiaggia di Santo Stefano beach is perhaps the most photogenic—red parasols dot the shore and a medieval castle looms above.