Our spacious apartment with panoramic rooftop terrace is located in the unspoilt medieval heart of the traditional fishing port of Monopoli on the Adriatic coast. The apartment is on the 2/3 floor of an old palazzo, and sleeps five in comfort (in real beds, no fold-out sofas). All the rooms are high and spacious, with tiled floors, mosquito nets on the windows, and central heating radiators. There is an air conditioning unit in the sitting room.
The accommodation comprises:
* Master bedroom and ensuite bathroom: a bright room with double bed, ensuite bathroom, wardrobe, chest of drawers, and open plan staircase leading up to the room on the roof terrace.
* Room on the roof terrace: with panoramic views out to sea, and a door leading straight onto the roof terrace, this little room is equipped with a small refrigerator, table and chairs, and wash basin. The large outdoor terrace is communal, but in practice we enjoy the use of a naturally defined area just outside our room on the terrace.
* Bedroom 2: sleeps three, with a double bed in one part of the L-shaped room and a single in the other part. Freestanding wardrobe with plenty of hanging space and drawers.
* Second bathroom, with shower, toilet, bidet and basin with mirror above. Towel radiator, wood wall-mounted cupboard and clothes washing machine.
* Dining room/kitchen: a large and airy room that is very well-equipped with fridge/freezer, dishwashing machine, gas hob, electric oven and a full complement of pans, utensils and cutlery. Dining table seats 6.
* Sitting room: exceptionally spacious with a high vaulted ceiling rising to a point in the centre. Wall-mounted air conditioning unit. Sofa, armchairs, coffee table, writing desk and chair.
The apartment enjoys a very private position, yet lies at the heart of the vibrant historic centre of Monopoli, inside the old fortified walls amidst an enchanting maze of narrow streets, arches and cobblestone alleys, wrapped on three sides by the shimmering water of the Adriatic Sea.
From our door, it is only a very few minutes walk to the nearest beach, to the beautiful unspoilt little fishing port, and to the lively Piazza Garibaldi, a focal point for restaurants, bars and shops. Within this historic enclave, all around the apartment, stand a wealth of historic buildings testifying to Monopoli’s rich cultural past. They include the castle, cathedral, many churches (we counted 19!), museums and palazzi. With so much on our doorstep, and with a very wide range of shops, banks and other facilities to be found within a few minutes walk in the newer part of Monopoli, there is no need to hire a car.
Around Monopoli, there are many things to do. The sea is a major attraction. The coastline to the south is indented with a string of idyllic sandy coves and rocky inlets which offer marvellous sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling and watersports. A few kilometres along the coast to the north lies the enchanting seaside town of Polignano, perched on a cliff over the sea.
Other great places for excursions include the greco-roman archaeological site of Egnazia; the trulli of Alberobello, a UNESCO world heritage site; the elegant baroque town of Martina Franca; the "White City" of Ostuni, a jewel of pugliese architecture; the delightful historic centres of Locorotondo and Cisternino; and the regional capital of Bari, with its magnificent norman castle, cathedral, and basilica (also a great range of stylish shops!).
For family outings, there are the Zoo Safari at Fasano, the Acquapark at Egnazia, and the spectacular grottoes at Castellana.
Monopoli has excellent transport links by air, rail and road.
AIR: Monopoli is conveniently located between the international airports of Bari about 50 kms to the north, and Brindisi about 70 kms to the south. Both these airports are well served by budget airlines (Ryanair and Easyjet) and other carriers.
At both Bari and Brindisi airports, car hire is available. Taxis can be hired on the spot, or a pre-arranged pick-up can be booked in advance by emailing the tourist office in Monopoli before one travels.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: One of Monopoli's great advantages is that it is excellently positioned for rail travel, which is very cheap and (we find) reliable. Monopoli's station is on the main line that runs all the way from Lecce in the south up to major cities in northern Italy. There are high-speed services to the major cities, and regional trains for more local destinations. There are also some bus services, details of which can be obtained from Monopoli's tourist office.
CAR: Monopoli is easily accessed from the SS16 (also known as the E55) which runs along the region’s east coast.
NB: The apartment is located in the heart of the historic centre of Monopoli, where traffic is restricted to permit-holders. It is therefore best to park in the nearby streets just outside the historic centre and to walk the short distance from there to the apartment.