Set between the sea and miles of countryside and olive groves, Monopoli has a sleepy charm that’s perfect for a relaxing break. Here, days are for seeking out hidden treasures amid centuries-old streets, basking on a sandy bay, or swimming straight from the decks of a private yacht. While evenings call for savouring Puglian cuisine at a harbour-side restaurant followed by leisurely drinks at your luxury boutique hotel.
A historic seaside town on the glittering Adriatic coast
Things to do
Originally a tiny fishing village, Monopoli rose to become a thriving port under Roman rule, and then later the Venetians. This varied cultural background has left its mark with a hotchpotch of architectural styles. Discover the remains of medieval fortifications built during the Crusades in the old town. Stroll around the Venetian port, overlooked by the Baroque bell tower of the Santa Maria Cathedral. Or climb up to the Charles V Castle and gaze out over the traditional boats bobbing in the harbour.
Monopoli boasts charming town beaches, but there are some gems to discover further along the coast, too. For an exclusive day out, you could charter a yacht and sail to the St. Stefano monastery. Built high up on a rocky outcrop, it provides a dramatic backdrop for a swim – and there are even sea caves to explore.
FOOD & DRINK
Puglia, Italy’s agricultural heartland, is bursting with local dishes to enjoy. Inland you’ll find miles of farms, olive groves and fruit trees. The cuisine here celebrates the simple flavours of the land, with local breads, cheeses and delicious fruit and vegetables served alongside roast meats and handmade pasta. On the coast, seafood is the star. Seek out a waterfront trattoria to try a regional speciality: fish caught that day, served raw or grilled with fresh herbs and olive oil.
For a mouthwatering memento of your time in Monopoli, book a private cookery lesson and uncover the secrets of Puglian cuisine.
Top tip from SLH