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Centro storico

Cala Porta Vecchia

The proposed tour starts from one of the most important place that belongs to the richest history of the town,  PORTA VECCHIA (1)  that nowadays is a pedestrian area where young people meet and you can enjoy a walking. Not so far away, you can walk along the FORTIFICATION WALLS (2) that lead to the historical buildings of the town. Carrying on walking along the promenade a pedestrian area starts where you find CHIESA DI S. SALVATORE (3) characterized by a big door; on the right, there is TORRIONE(tower)S. MARIA (4), nowadays commonly known as “ cannon” because it was a bulwark in order to defence the town from the sea raids. It consists of a narrow stairs that lead to a small terrace from which you can enjoy a wonderful view onto the peculiar port of the town. At the end of the street there is  CASTELLO DI CARLO V (5)  built on the promontory called Punta Penna. Several years ago, it was renovated. Nowadays, conventions and meetings take place. It is a museum as well. Porto vecchio

There is still preserved a big stone arch trough which you can admire the old port. The outstanding PALAZZO MARTINELLI (6) that looks out onto the sea was built above the perimeter walls of the town. Its big windows and the Venetian round arches- balcony are really peculiar and dated back to the end of the XVth century when the Venetians conquered Monopoli. According to this tour in front of you it is possible to see a small arch with Virgin Mary’s icon. On the left, taking via Porto that leads to PIAZZA PALMIERI (7) ( you find before the Church of  San Pietro e Paolo  and S. Teresa, The first one is nowadays closed to the worship and used for theatrical performances) where the homonym building is placed  PALAZZO PALMIERI.


Walking across the inner streets within the historical centre you can reach CHIESA DI S. LEONARDO (8) where you can visit Museo della Confraternita di San Giuseppe.
Along the church through Vico S Antonio Abate there is PIAZZA GARIBALDI (9) with the Public Library- BIBLIOTECA (10), PALAZZO CACACE (11) characterized by its big cobbled balcony along the facade and the Colonna Infame (12) with its watch and the coat of arms of the town. On the left, there is Santa Maria Amalfitana CHIESA AMALFITANA (13) next to the small church of  S. GIUSEPPE.
A group of sailors from Amalfi , is believed to be survived from a shipwreck thanks to Virgin Mary’s help - built this cave as a worship place in Her honour. Along Jesuits monastery, taking via Garibaldi you can see the old aristocratic buildings such as : Palazzo Guida- Calderaro (XVIIIth century) and Palazzo Accinni (XVITh centiry). Nowadays they are private homes or shops as well. At the end of the street there is the Town Hall, a franciscan monastery previously, close to the Church of SAN FRANCESCO D'ASSISI (14) as well.

Taking Via San Domenico you can see Chiesa di San Giuseppe e Anna and Chiesa di San Angelo until the homonym  CHIESA DI S. DOMENICO (15) Taking via s domenico you see the church of SS. Giuseppe and Anna and the church of S. Angelo until the homonym church of S. Domenico with its monastery that is nowadays carabinieri’s station . At the end of this street you reach PIAZZA XX SETTEMBRE (16) where fish, fruit and vegetable market take place every day and PIAZZA MANZONI (17). Walking across the arch on the left side of the square you reach the churchyard of the Cathedral with its huge wall embellished with 10 statues. BISHOP'S BUILDING (18) looks out onto the churchyard with the outstanding CATTEDRALE (19), that is the most important and visited church of the town, known also because it preserves on the inside the icon of Madonna della Madia, the Saint- Patron of monopoli. According to the legend, during the night between the 15th and the 16th December 1117, a raft which carried on the icon with Virgin Mary and the Child landed to the port of Monopoli. This miracle was very meaningful in the town for this reason this event is commemorated twice: on the 16th December and 14th august. The last one is the commemoration for tourists mainly. The Cathedral has three naves, staircases lead to the upstairs where there is the Chapel of Madonna della madia where several precious paintings are preserved. On the side naves there are twelve chapels embellished with altars, marbles, stuccoes, paintings and sculptures. In via Cattedrale is possible to visit  Museo Diocesano and Museo della Cattedrale. In in Via Argento you can visit CHIESA DEL PURGATORIO (20), built up between the end of the XVIIth century and the  XVIIIth century. The main green door on which the theme of death represented with skeletons and skulls is very peculiar. On the inside there are many important relics that you can see from the outside too. From via Argento, turning on the right you reach via dei Molini ( street of mills) where many rooms of the parish look out . on the left side you can see the old moat. Besides the circular  Bastione del molino, and the open air- artillery Museum which cannons are dated to 1868.

Within the old moat CHIESA RUPESTRE S. MATTEO DELL’ARENA (21) still exists . It is so called, because of the fact once the sea reached this area. Nowadays, visiting it is not allowed, yet. But you can see the façade with the statue of S. Matteo. Here, the proposed tour comes to the end in the same place where you started: La porta vecchia.

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