A large section of the defensive system of walls, built to protect the Historical Center of Monopoli, still stands today.  IMG_5361IMG_5366IMG_5365IMG_5374IMG_5383It is possible to go up onto the Bastione Santa Maria, where some cannons, used for the protection of the city against invaders, sit silently, reminding us of times and events long in the past.IMG_5388IMG_5393IMG_5400IMG_5405IMG_5406IMG_5375Walking along Lungomare Santa Maria, one arrives at Castello Carlo V.  We wanted to go inside, and explore it a bit, but it was closed, because of a school group that was working inside.  We were told to return later, in the evening hours, as it would be open to visitors then.  IMG_5404The gateway to the Old Port is all that remains of the Roman-era walls that once surrounded the Old Town.  IMG_5412IMG_5415IMG_5417IMG_5418IMG_5437IMG_5447IMG_5450IMG_5451IMG_5463IMG_5467IMG_5470IMG_5473IMG_5474The hooks that you see, hanging down from windows or balconies, have a very specific function!IMG_5481IMG_5504IMG_5513IMG_5510As we walked past the Duomo, some men were hanging lights in the piazza for a Holy Day Celebration.  IMG_5517IMG_5521IMG_5520The Duomo of Monopoli, or the Concattedrale della Madonna della Madia, is a beautiful church, and is something that anyone visiting this lovely city should take the time to see.  Part of what I found so fascinating about it was the fact that it is a church with two levels, in the sense that, off to the side, near the main altar, there is a staircase that takes you up to another chapel, which itself is quite lovely.  From there, looking down on the rest of the church below, is a stunning experience.IMG_5524IMG_5526IMG_5530IMG_5532IMG_5533IMG_5538IMG_5540IMG_5546IMG_5547IMG_5549IMG_5558IMG_5560IMG_5568IMG_5575IMG_5629IMG_5643IMG_5650IMG_5653IMG_5654IMG_5657IMG_5656IMG_5659IMG_5660IMG_5663IMG_5424IMG_5426As the sun was setting, we made our way back to the castle.  I have to say, walking through the stone hallways, at night, was a very different experience.  What was especially unique was the fact that they allowed you up on the ramparts.  The only light came from the courtyard below you, so once you were at the top, it was dark.  But, the view of the city spread out below you, with the sea lapping at her walls, was one that I will never forget.  IMG_5952IMG_5954IMG_5955IMG_5957


Next up: Still more from Monopoli!


Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may occur.  If you enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from bella Puglia, as well as other Italian destinations.  Grazie!

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