THE LAND OF ONE HUNDRED COUNTRYSIDE- DISCTRICTS
It’s worth looking at Monopoli from the peaks of Monte S. Nicola and from Loggia di Pilato as well, in order to embrace with a total gaze the large area of Monopoli. From here, on the edge of the slope that goes down to the flat coast, a wood of olive trees interspersed here and there with almond trees, carob- trees and white lime- plastered farmhouses.In this land, there are also fortified farmhouses – a sort of self-sufficient units built since the sixteenth century and on- equipped with all the necessary facilities necessary for the rural community who lived within: the church, the mill, the furnace and the underground oil- mill where the olive processing in oil happened; the same place where they were picked up.
Moreover, on the hill- side, in order to escape from the summer heat in search of the right and cold place, during the eighteenth century, the aristocratic families who lived in that historical period built their holiday homes, whose names are referred to their own owners, such as: Palmieri, Indelli, Manfredi, Meo Evoli.
However, Monopoli countryside wasn’t and isn’t inhabited during the summertime only. Even today, almost one-third of Monopoli inhabitants live in the ninety and more countryside districts, called contrade. They clustered around the farmhouses and the rural churches which constituted their original core.