Monopoli smells like olive oil and sea-salt. It’s a proper seaside town: buckets and spades, pastel front doors and a port full of fishing boats.
It has had the same effect on me as a trip to St. Ives or Dorset does, something about the salty sea air makes you feel so healthy you just want to stuff yourself full of delicious fatty stodge like cream teas and pasties or, in the case of Puglia, pasticciotto and rusticco.
Located just 30km from Bari, Monopoli sits on the same stretch of coast as Polignano a Mare. Unlike her more popular sister, this is a working fishing village, characterised by dozens of fisherman fixing their nets, rowing boats and fishing crawlers, and a fish market full of all the polpo (octopus), cozze (mussels) and ricci (sea urchins) a person could wish for.
Like Polignano a Mare, the city is awash with pretty white buildings, labyrinths of higgedly piggedly streets and artisanal shops, though aside from a large impressive fortified sea-front wall, a Norman Castle and a very pretty Cathedral, the city offers little in the way of traditional sight-seeing.
This is really a city for eating, swimming and airing your laundry. So many clean clothes flapping about in the wind I have never seen.
Here’s a quick snap-shot of this pretty town just to remind you that the summer most definitely isn’t over.