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  • Writer's pictureManuela Lenoci

10 Must-Do Things in Monopoli city in Puglia Region

Updated: May 21

In A Portata di Manu column, I take you on a discovery of the most beautiful places to see or food to eat in this wonderful land

monopoli city puglia region

Monopoli is a vibrant city in Puglia, renowned for its charming historic center with narrow alleys and ancient white buildings. In the heart of the city, the picturesque fishermen's harbor is a captivating spot, where colorful boats named "gozzi" and the authentic atmosphere capture the essence of traditional maritime life.

monopoli city puglia region

Without a shadow of a doubt Monopoli city in Puglia Region, offers more than one reason to come and spend time here. For its old city, its weather, the beaches with crystal clear water, and the warm welcome atmosphere, and its people. It is easy to reach, from the airport Over the years you have all become crazy about the city of Monopoli. I always get the same question. Can you suggest a place to eat well in Monopoli without spending a fortune?

From my column "A portata di Manu," I offer you ideas and itineraries but also things to do if you come to Monopoli even on a day trip, whether you are a foreign visitor or a tourist at home.

Follow my suggestions. If you would like to introduce us to your business or simply suggest unique experiences that you would like everyone to know about, write to us at We will be happy to visit you


By plane, you can land at either Bari or Brindisi airport. Trains are the best means of transport for environmental sustainability. From Bari airport, take the train to the central station, where regional trains to Monopoli depart every 30 minutes. From Brindisi Airport there is a BUS that takes you to Brindisi station, where you can catch a state railway train that stops at all the stations along the Adriatic coast.

monopoli city puglia region

In the minds of many travelers, the "City of Monopoly" evokes two fascinating settings: on the one hand, the familiar image of a timeless board game, beloved and played all over the world; on the other, the wonderful reality of a small town nestled among the wonders of southern Italy, in the region of Puglia. In both plays, there is a magnetic atmosphere that links the two experiences together, weaving an intricate web of history and legend.

As in the board game, the city of Monopoly has its roots grounded firmly into history, with the majestic ancient walls still standing in the Old Gate area as a testament to a past rich in conquest and trade. However, beyond these historical vestiges, daily life in Monopoli vibrates with a unique energy, animated by lively trade, fishing on the blue sea and traditions rooted in local culture.

The city's old walls, still standing and well-preserved, and the watchtowers that line the waterfront are like pages in an open book, ready to reveal the compelling stories of its past. But, just as in the game of Monopoly, financial and strategic skills are challenged, in real life in Monopoli, the city is also animated by the life de of trade, fishermen and local traditions and culture


monopoli city puglia region

(Foto Fonte Web)

Learn about the history of the Cathedral Basilica of Madonna della Madia.

The protector of Monopoli who cames from the sea. Madonna della Madia picture, cames from the sea on a raft landing for the first time in the city on the night of December 16th 1117. An ancient legend said that this Lady cames in a dream to a pious sacristan named Mercury, who three times went to Bishop Romuald to report that the lady was at the door with the timbers needed for the erected Romanesque cathedral. Those beams served for the reconstruction of the cathedral (in the 1700s) the remaining ones displayed inside the church.

Three times was chased back by the bishop, who branded him for drunkenness until angels miraculously rang the city bells and people (even the bishop) poured into the harbor and saw raft and icon.

The scene is repeated twice a year identically (Aug. 14th at 8:30 p.m. and Dec. 16th at 6 a.m.).

monopoli city puglia region

Sunrise bathing at Cala Porta Vecchia on September 1st, as a good omen against deseas

A favorite place for Monopolitans, who go sunbathing or swimming even in January. Putting one's feet in the seawater on the sunrise of September 1st according to tradition is a good omen for good health during autumn and winter.

This tradition is still strong by people from monopoli as much as the "rite of affascino," which every Apulian exorcises in its own way.

Cala portavecchia is located in the heart of the old town, This pretty Beach of Porta Vecchia gives people a picturesque setting. Starting from the old town, with a walk of just five minutes you find yourself right next to the 16th-century walls that protected the city. Then continue the walk to the Pentima Spaccata.

Sunrise bathing detailes QUI

monopoli city puglia region
Tour with the Gozzo in the Porto Vecchio

The "gozzo" is the traditional boat of Monopoli fishermen, distinguished by the red and blue colors that identify Monopoli's seafaring industry. A symbol of the town, The experience aboard these small boats, guided by local fishermen, allows you to experience local maritime traditions on a sailing that skirts the ancient town walls and some of the most beautiful small beaches in the Monopoli sea. I took my nephews and brother there on the occasion of the event Gozzovigliando

monopoli city puglia region

Foto Fonte Web

The Castle was part of the coastal fortification system, wanted by Carlo V in Apulia, The castle has a pentagonal shape, typical of 16th-century forts, but it seems to have incorporated a pre-existing cylindrical tower, Roman in shape, which gives a singular relief to the entrance and the facade itself. Throughout the year there are very interesting exhibitions and displays

monopoli city puglia region

The scene is repeated twice a year identically (on August 14 and December 16). Very popular and visually striking. It ends with incredibly beautiful fireworks. It is organized by the Madonna della Madia Homeland Festival Committee under the patronage of the City of Monopoli. If you are lucky enough to be able to see the landing from the sea on a gozzo, as I did, it is a very impressive experience. Otherwise from the harbor or from the balconies of the waterfront buildings it is equally stunning

monopoli city puglia region

Foto Fonte Web


The main square of the city of Monopoli is Vittorio Emanuele II Square, commonly called "Borgo," which was created in 1796 thanks to the approval of the King of Naples and was built following the design of architect De Simone.

Its approximately 18,000 square meters make it one of the most beautiful and largest squares in Apulia. I recommend you visit BUNKER MUSEUM under the square were recovered air raid shelters where Monopolitans took refuge during World War II

monopoli city puglia region

Foto Fonte Web

Walking south to Santo Stefano and getting lost among the "beaches"

The most beautiful weekend walk where you can meet so many people always at the same time every day of the year. From the center of Monopoli to Santo Stefano district, it is possible to walk either by road to the sea or along a natural path on the rocks, interspersed with "sandy beaches" and rocks, steps, natural coves, small beaches that will make you fall in love with Monopoli and that I have the pleasure of doing all year round. In the winter months they are completely deserted and you can really appreciate their beauty. For explorers there is the possibility of discovering the GROTTA SEGRETA where the Pinocchio movie was also filmed

monopoli city puglia region

Stroll through the historic center until you arrive in the postcard-perfect scenery of the old port. From here you can also admire the Castle of Carlo V. The old harbor is still the city's fishing harbor, a part of the culture of the place. From here you can take a walk along the waterfront until you get to the Bastione Santa Maria recognizable because it has a cannon .visible and which lends itself to photos

monopoli city puglia region

The next edition of the festival will be held in May program QUI The Civic Library is named after Monopoli jurist Prospero Rendella. Thanks to its central location, the Library is easily accessible; in fact, it overlooks Piazza Garibaldi in the heart of Monopoli. The Library defines itself as a new "square of knowledge," a multimedia and multicultural place, intent and attentive to satisfy the needs of a public in constant evolution, just as in rapid and continuous evolution are technologies and social relations.

Il Sudestival is a festival unlike any other: audience and protagonists meet, discuss, confront each other and share emotions. For more than 20 years, Prof. Michele Suma has been an ambassador of niche cinema throughout Puglia. The cinema that speaks to you by bringing directors and actors to town

monopoli city puglia region

The Tour dedicated to the places seen in the TV drama The Investigations of Lolita Lobosco, inspired by the books by Apulian Gabriella Genisi, starts from the historic Piazza Palmieri and the Palmieri Palace of the same name, where was setted the police headquarters in the drama, broadcasted on Rai networks. The majestic Palazzo Palmieri located in the historic center of Monopoli "frames" Piazza Palmieri, The Palmieri family was one of the most powerful and influential families in Monopoli, and the prestigious palace is one of the many properties and buildings the family held at the time. Currently, in execution of the will, the building belongs to I.P.R.A.B. (Istituzione Pubbliche di Assistenza e Beneficenza) as far as bare ownership is concerned, while the Bishop's Curia holds the usufruct. From Palmieri Square, skirting the church of St. Theresa, we come to the church of SS. Peter and Paul. The present building is supposed to date from the 18th century, although the facade is 16th-century.

monopoli city puglia region

It is one of the small vilages belonging to Monopoli and is considered the Rimini of the south but it is much better because here the sea is crystal clear with shades of green or blue depending on the time of day. It is the area of the super-equipped and characteristic bathing establishments. There are many because the coastline is very long. Many and for all budgets. Capitolo is also the area of the movida, here you can spend the whole day or entire days in complete relaxation by regenerating, staying in the facilities in the area, going to the beach in the same area and then in the evening stop for dinner at sunset to have apertivo or dinner in one of the establishments that transform from daytime beaches to evening restaurants. And then also dance at the many parties organized at night on weekends

monopoli city puglia region

Masseria are buildings, better farms that included, in addition to the owner's dwelling, farmers' quarters, stables, courtyards and work areas. Today luxury residences sought after by tourists from all over the world but also by Italians. It is nice to stay, have lunch or dinner or simply admire them from outside.

In Monopoli there are lot of you can visit the historic MASSERIA SPINA, hirtorical residence offers the opportunity to take a guided tour, discovering a period from the early Middle Ages to the present day set in seven hectares of "park of the plain of ancient olive trees"


Monopoli is not only sea but its history is rooted in the countryside that covers a very large surface area that manages to express up to 99 contrade, small villages, now quality residences where people live all year round. Impalata, Gorgofreddo, l'Assunta, Padre Sergio fmaous for the "locale sagra" food festival. They are adequately equipped, at least the largest ones, and are close to the town within a 15-minute drive, allowing people to live a healthy life within a stone's throw of the town center


Whether the menu is seafood or land-based, what proves to be successful is the ability to enhance flavors without covering them up, tantalizing the diner with original proposals, delicate "as if" homemade "like it used to be."

monopoli city puglia region

When you call to make a reservation, ask for Francesca and say I suggest you this place. A typical trattoria in the historic center. "Revisited typical dishes of Apulian and Monopoli cuisine, pizzeria and extensive wine list, with over 300 labels from around the world. Order in advance "la parmigiana di mare" excellent meatballs with sauce Via Barbacana, 77

+39 080 937 6447

monopoli city puglia region

Among the alleys of the old town, it is a cozy place, simple but at the same time well kept. The smells come through but the food is really good. There is also a Gluten Free menù. I usually finisch eating at the appetizers: the row food is excellent, I remember eating some large raw food shrimps I think Spanish, they were tasty Also delicious are the cooked appetizers with local raw materials. The entrees are a real masterpiece. Via Cavaliere, 17 333 542 2888

monopoli city puglia region

It is my parents' favorite place which means there is really good food and the owner of the place, Rocco, is a great restaurateur. Imagine a combination of tasty seafood meals and friendly staff-that's exactly what you find at this place. Even if you think you've eaten a lot, don't pass up dessert after tasting the appetizers and calamarata. The roasted octopus served on a bed of creamed purple potatoes is very good. What you can do after your meal is take a nice walk overlooking the City Palace. Via S. Domenico, 3/5 080 937 1992

monopoli city puglia region

Since the venue changed locations, but especially since I am always on the road for work, I have neglected them a bit. But Antonella and Sergio always hold a special place in my heart. The atmosphere is familiar a trattoria in which to enjoy a meal without hurrying. Many of the products used are Slow Food presidia, they offer Mediterranean and Apulian cuisine. The spaghettone with hanging queen tomato, burrata and oregano or the fritters but also the artichokes, such as donkey chop and meatballs with sauce are worth a taste. Of course, the entire menu is subject to daily availability, precisely to follow the principle of freshness of raw materials

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 39 346 246 6980

Historic seaside restaurant. The story of a family that has been cooking since 1947 The location is beautiful, by the sea, especially the part carved into the rock, intimate sea view. Traditional seafood menu that combines tradition and innovation. The possibility to choose the fish at the moment is interesting, very fresh fish that melts in your mouth and smells of the sea. For an aperitivo, a special menu is available outside, in the lounge cocktail bar, when the sun shines

monopoli city puglia region

A pizza restaurant outside the old town but close to the sea, with easy parking. I walk there living in the area. I discovered it by accident. A friend had invited me for dinner on a boat in Monopoli harbor, and this restaurant was doing take away service. It was a fabulous takeaway not only because of the goodness of the food but also because of the quality of the service: tablecloths, clay plates, and cutlery that come back dirty at the end of the meal. I found it brilliant. The fried shrimp and fried seafood in general were mind-boggling. Via Giuseppe Ungaretti, 5 080 404 7141

It is the favorite restaurant of my uncle Giorgio, originally from Varese but in love with Puglia. Every time he comes to Monopoli with his wife, uncles and the whole family tree, he gives us an appointment at this trattoria. The place is very familiar. The dishes are simple and plated as at home. But the fish and the quality of all the courses is really excellent. The pizzas are also very good Via Marina del Mondo - ang. Via Ippolito Nievo, Zona Pantano . +39 080.9301304

monopoli city puglia region

Excellent food. Fine trattoria restaurant with attention not only to the raw material but also to the service. The restaurant is very quaint, you eat on the patio of a historic building in which the dining room has been converted. It is a sophisticated setting that nevertheless preserves the simplicity and goodness of typical Apulian cuisine. High bracket but go there. Via Barbacana, 79, 080 332 3815

Typical Apulian cuisine with wide selection, from fish to meat. This restaurant is famous for COCCIO and I recommend going there specifically for this dish. An earthenware bowl filled with linquine with fish sauce and seafood (mussels clams and scampi). "The terrine" is sealed by a bread pizza, lid-like. The pizza is cut revealing the goodness inside as well as the irresistible smell of sauce. The pizza is served as a base for pasta. One crock is very large can eat 3 people. Largo Giuseppe Garibaldi, 29 080 410 7816

Radimare Ristorante A true taste experience capable of awakening the taste buds. 8 dishes on the menu. Chef Domenico Ungaro's creativity meets the quality of Apulian raw materials and the seasonality of the products. The menu is all to taste but if you want my opinion take the Acquerello risotto with turnip greens pesto and mussels (a triumph of flavors) and the sweet scarpetta with almond bread.  - 5 Piergiorgio Frassati Street


There are lot of restaurant in Monopoli, familiar and cozy places to eat very well in Monopoli. PRINT OUT THIS LIST of places to go eat, with various price ranges but mostly quality.

La Locanda sul porto - Via Cristoforo Colombo, 10/11 - In my opinion this is one of the best seafood restaurants in Monopoli. Regional fish and typical Italian dishes, in a cozy setting with outdoor tables and a view of the harbor. The chef in this restaurant, cooks fish with great delicacy, combining more classic flavors with customized seasonings, and when quality meets flair, memorable dishes are born. High end. Excellent value for money.

Lo Squalo Ristorante Friggitoria - Via Fiume, 37 329 3128670 Also does takeaway and the fried food is great. It has a selection of seafood ready meals. It stays open late at night, and is a lifeline for those who work late at night. Takeaway Forever.

La Locanda dei mercanti - Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 44 - 080 937 6621 At the entrance to the historic center of Monopoli, small but very quaint. The entrees are very good and it is a great place to go for dinner after a wonderful spring or summer beach day.

Panificio l'Assunta - Contrada Sant'Antonio D'Ascula, Not just a bakery but the temple of all you can eat bakery , from focaccia to first courses. Get the meatballs and breaded, with or without sauce. They are fabulous.

Cime di Tapas Corso Umberto I, 8-10 080 645 6624 Simple and tasty dishes, traditional cuisine revisited, cozy and youthful environment. Mussels au gratin, bread patties and various are strictly freshly made. The management is familiar but very "pop" In the kitchen is Mirangela, the pasta maker of the historic La Madia pasta factory, and then Stefania's mother. One of the owners.

Osteria Perricci - Via Amalfitana, 14 080 9306842 (A timeless classic. It was one of the first trattorias simple service good food land to sea dishes)

Vini & Panini - Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi, 35 080 9673612 (The name says it all. Quality products. very trendy, You go there to eat the gourmet sandwiches or the chopping boards. Franco the owner is a pillar of the historic center)

Pizzeria ai Portici - Via Milazzo, 26 - 334 8807891. This is one of my favorite pizzas when my brother invites me to his house for dinner, he always orders pizzas from here.

The King Street Food - Via Orazio Comes, 31 Absolutely the best Puccia in southern Italy. It is also literary café they do several presentations throughout the year.

L'isola che non c'è - Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 41/43 - the chef is free-range. Great pizza, one of the best pucce with octopus I've had in my life

Le Bistrot - Via Lepanto, 40, A "tavola calda" to be the envy of the best restaurants in the area. They cook evetything. From focaccia to a full menu with a wide selection of vegetables. It does take away to perfection with single portions that I personally always take to the beach in the summer but also on Saturdays for lunch my mother always orders everything ready from them for us. My favorite foods, lemon chicken, pasta with baked breaded vegetables and tuna and cereal focaccia.

Restaurant Pizzeria Bar Porto Rosso - Via Tommaso Moro, 2 - 339 250 8376 Wonderful view of the sea, when you go to dinner here ask for the window side table. Rustic but great value for money. On the sea-facing terrace I stayed with my partner on our first outing. We are still together.

Carlo Quinto. Via Santa Maria, 52 - It is open mainly in spring and summer. Ideal for lunch. Perfect in summer for aperitifs (for me of course) in summer it is open late in the evening.


La Peschiera Contrada Capitolo. Luxury hotel and very good restaurant. Not for everyone, like all good things. But go for happy hour if you are around here at sunset time. It really is magic. The colors of the sky and the sea at that 'hour give an intense light with pastel shades. I always thought that if I were to get married I would do it here. Last summer at any rate we stayed for dinner and had a good time. Great discretion. Few rooms, all suites with exclusive sea views.

Le Agavi Contrada Capitolo. It is a bathing establishment with a restaurant included. The tongue of sea in this area is fantastic and the summer if I am in the area sometimes I like to come here on weekends to swim. At sunset time it becomes magical. They remove the umbrellas and place tables for dinner, with candles and floral decorations, and you can dine with your feet on the Sand. I've been there this summer more than once. You don't go there for the food. The pizza dough is seawater, very good. Everything costs too much. But I would go there a million more times but only in sweet company.

Don Ferrante. Historical center. Hotel and restaurant with 40 places to eat. A gem of great class. Elegant and sophisticated while maintaining simplicity and Apulian style. The service and hospitality are of the highest level and the location is unique. It is located on the remains of the wall in the old gate area and all rooms as well as the restaurant, have a sea view.

Foto fonte web

Masseria Torre Coccaro Nata come casale fortificato nel XVI secolo, Torre Coccaro, è una lussuosa masseria a conduzione familiare, rappresenta ad oggi la massima espressione dello stile di vita Pugliese. Dalla torre agli uliveti questa masseria è ricca di storia. Tutti i confort del lusso della semplicit. Al ristorante avrete modo di gustare tipiche specialità regionali, preparate con verdura e frutta provenienti dall'azienda biologica dello stesso hotel, e assaporerete carne, pesce e formaggi di prima scelta acquistati presso aziende locali. Per un matrimonio da sogno questo è il luogo ideale

Follow my suggestions. If you would like to introduce us to your business or simply suggest unique experiences that you would like everyone to know about, write to us at we will be happy to visit you

For me, the diet always starts from tomorrow


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Welcome to my world

I am an Apulian journalist, 

A little travel, a little fashion and a little FoodLover, this blog is definitely full of many contents that talk about my thousand adventures in Puglia and its surroundings.

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