Discovering Italy….heading South

View towards the old town
View towards the old town

In our 4th day in Rome and our 9th day in Italy we started to pack our things again and get ready for a road trip, a trip of 460km and lots of beautiful landscapes!!!

Bari was our next destination…or what we thought it to be 🙂

The cheapest and perhaps faster way to do so (taking in account that we were 7 people) was to rent a car. We have rented a Mercedes Vito (we had no expectations of what that car might be, we simply booked a 9 passenger car and it turned out to be a MV). and happy on the road. Some people were sleeping, some looking through the window and some were eating 😀

A cactus bush in front of our villa
A cactus bush in front of our villa

We have planned to leave our apartment in Rome around 10am, but we left it much later, around 12pm.

After many stops to Autogrill and hours drive,  the sun set and it was pretty dark outside. We were driving through olive trees, with no street light and at a point on a bad road…that was the direction given by our GPS. Most of the people in the car were freaking out and started to panic, and I was having fun! Fun not of them, but of the situation we were back then 🙂

A very old church
A very old church

At the end, we decided to get to somewhere where we could call the host and come and show us the way…it was almost 10pm, at that time.

Another hour and we’re there, at our house! It was completely dark and all we saw that night were trees, trees and one more time trees.  No lights, no houses around, just a complete darkness and the clear sky with millions of stars starring at us…not even the moon.

The Old Port
The Old Port

On the next day, while some were getting dressed and others cooking breakfast, I went out and started to look around…we were in the middle of an olive plantation! How cool this can be?! It was a very nice property, with playground for kids, 3 villas, a large  swimming pool and a guardian to keep everything under control…..and yes, 2 sweet dogs.

Our villa had a nice terrace with a dinner table and sofas to relax for after dinner tea or just to sit and enjoy the clean air and the peace around you 🙂

Castle of Charles V
Castle of Charles V

And because we weren’t in Bari, but in MONOPOLI (have you ever heard of this place before?), we decided that it would be nice to visit this place first.

The city isn’t that big and people are nice. If you can speak Italian, then it would be easier for you to find cheaper restaurants. One  moment here: in all restaurants you’ll have to pay a fee per customer: coperto. Some restaurants charge 1 euro per person, some charge 2 euros per person, therefore pay attention or simply ask the waiter.

Coastal castle of St. Stephen
Coastal castle of St. Stephen

What shall you see in Monopoli?

Well, there’s a list of places that visitors must see, and they are:

  • Castle of Charles V. , finished in 1525, it has a pentagonal plan. It was restored and enlarged in the 17th century and from the early 19th century, it was used as a jail, a status it kept until 1969. It is currently the seat of art exhibition and cultural events.
  • Coastal castle of St. Stephen, built by the Norman lord Godfrey of Conversano in 1086. It was subsequently turned into a Benedictine monastery.
  • Cathedral Basilica (18th century)
  • Palazzo Palmieri (18th century)
  • The Old Port

For a great view over the old town and some sunbathing, go to the urban beach.

House in Monopoli
House in Monopoli

Where to sleep? Simple, look on HelloApuglia, Aibnb or any other website to find and compare the value for the price  🙂

We have had a great stay in Monopoli among olive trees and orange trees with cricket songs and starry sky and I hope that you’ll experience Puglia at its best!

Travel safe and wise!

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