We have grouped the attractions of Monopoli into 2 sections, the first are the sights of the town and comune itself and below that the local places that are worth a visit within an hours drive.
The main sights of the town are as you would expect all in the historical centre.
One for the boys (large and small) is the castle (nearly 500 hundred years old) guarding the entrance to the port, in pretty good condition, which has been used over the years from a private residence to a local jail.
Who can resist a stroll around a beautiful small harbour, checking out all the boats, watching the fishermen repair their nets and watching the fish darting about in the azure water, grab an ice cream and watch the world go by!
Attractions in Monopoli
Explore the old quarter and its myriad passageways, narrow roads and alleys, you are sure to get lost as you dive down every little turn, then have a drink, snack or meal at one of the many bars and restaurants and sit outside in the shade on the pavement. See the map and photos pages for some more ideas.
Just 5 miles up the coast (it should take about 15 minutes to drive there) is the town of Polignano a Mare with the old town balanced on the brink of the tufa cliffs.
About 11 miles inland (less than 30 minutes drive via the sp237) is the Grotte di Castellana, an enormous cave system stretching over a mile beneath the limestone murge plateau, with 1 or 2 hour tours priced between 8 & 15 euros, open all year.
Approximately 11 miles down the coast lies Fasano with its interesting old centre plus, zoo, theme park, the hidden cave village and the excavated ruins of Gnatia nearby where the original inhabitants of Monopoli came from after it was destroyed by foreign invaders.
A fascinating trip inland up onto the murge plateau to Alberobello about 40 minutes drive and 15 miles away will bring you to a whole village of trulli houses a place so unique it has World Heritage status.
Forty minutes drive south (30 miles) toward Brindisi is the gleaming white fortified city of Ostuni which is visible long before you arrive perched high on a hill, a wonderful place to spend a day or evening.
Another pleasant drive inland away from the flat coastal plain is to visit the Itria Valley, a patchwork of olive groves and woods in limestone walled fields plus the graceful baroque town of Martina Franca a journey of just over 20 miles. On the way there or back stop off in Cisternino for a stroll around the authentic 15th century centre.
About 70 miles inland from Monopoli is the "cave town" of Matera, often used as a film set because of its location and unspoilt views.
For a concise list of every other type of attraction both modern and old please see Puglia Attractions.