Monopoli is an old fishing town in the Bari commune of southeast Italy. It has a long and interesting history having been controlled by the Byzantines, Normans and the Hohenstaufen as well as being the starting point for the Crusades. There is still a hospital, the Jerusalem Hospital, which was founded here by the Order of St John in 1350. The town is guarded by an impressive 16th century castle on the headland. Monopoli makes a good base for exploring the area, particularly by ferry from nearby Bari.
Monopoli has a number of picturesque beaches close by which offer safe bathing in the clear Mediterranean waters. They are within easy walking distance from the town. There are free public beaches and private beach clubs that charge a fee which usually includes the use of chairs and umbrellas. The area is a popular place for locals to visit rather than for international tourism. Walking
The best way to explore the old city is on foot to get around its tangled and twisting roads. Inside the old town there are a number of churches to visit as well as local shops and the Charles V Castle. Nightlife
Monopoli has several bars and restaurants but the best place to visit for a lively nightlife is Bari which has some discos and dance clubs offering nightly entertainment.
This ancient castle in Monopoli was built on the promontory in a pentagon shape. It was completed in 1522 and later enlarged in the 17th century. From the 19th century until 1969 it was used as a jail. Visitors can now explore this impressive building which houses an art exhibition and hosts many cultural events.
This small town comes to life with its local festival in November when the statue of the patron saint, San Trifone, is paraded around the town. At other times it is an interesting, historical and cultural place to visit and soak up the local atmosphere. Bari
The historic town of Bari, just 40km (25 miles) from your Monopoli holiday villa, has a host of attractions and beautiful historic monuments. The Basilica di San Nicola is a must-see, along with the Bari Vacchia which is considered the heart of the city. Learn the story behind the impressive Bari Castle. Shops, markets and fine dining make this a great place to visit.
The temperatures in Monopoli are perfect for exploring the nearby cities during spring and autumn. Summers can be very hot, averaging 30°C (85°F) in July and winters remain generally above freezing. The wettest month is November when two inches of rain may fall.
The closest airports are the Bari Palese Airport (BRI) which is 55km (35 miles) from Monopoli and the Brindisi Airport (BDS) which is slightly further away. British Airways and Ryanair both fly regularly to these airports from the UK.