Monopoli - Città Turistica
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Civiltà contadina
Il territorio delle cento contrade

 

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.

 

 

particolare masseria

 

 

 Rural culture

The rural area of Monopoli includes trulli, historical masserie, little farmhouses and the underground oil mills scattered among the centuries-old olive trees. They are all examples of an architecture that was functional for an essentially agricultural past; nowadays, they constitute a cultural heritage with inestimable value. Form the feet of bassa Murgia it is possible to wander with the eye-look until the seashore trough a multitude of centuries-old olive trees. They are gnarled and twisted, one- by-one different and with a particular story: one has been bent by the wind, the other mutilated by a thunder; knots create shapes that anyone can interpret with her/his imagination. The younger ones are 500 years, the oldest are even 2000 years; they travelled across the history course from the “Mare Nostrum” land seashores. In the hundred country-districts (contrade) among centuries-old olive trees, almond trees, cherry and carobs trees there is a highlight of white, lime-plastered masserie. They are typical buildings whose architecture developed along the transition from a medieval economy to the modern one. From the 15th century onwards, they were places for an agro- pastoral use. Many historical masserie still had their original function. Besides visiting them, it is possible to buy dairy products, bread, taralli and frisedde directly from the hands of the farmer.

 

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