If you are looking for inspiration this season, then look no further than Monopoli, a gem of a town on the Puglian coastline.
Nestled on the Adriatic coastline in the north of the region, Monopoli is a shining example of a Puglian town, laced with idyllic alleyways, pretty squares and lovely painted properties. There's a real joy meandering around the town, especially on the pretty walled promenade facing the sea. Many artists have been drawn to the town and you'll understand why when you reach the picture perfect harbour with a scattering of fishing boats.
There are plenty of quaint shops in the town offering a range of excellent produce from the region as well as a number of boutiques for those looking for gifts or a treat.
In terms of restaurants, you will be spoilt for choice; Monopoli is home to over 100 eateries. Try ristorante Angelo Sabatelli for a smart meal, Il Guazzetto and La Dolce Vita serve great seafood and Ai Portici for some amazing pizza. And you mustn't forget to stop at Gelateria Caruso for some of the best ice-cream in the region.
In terms of beaches, there are a couple of cute ones in the town if you feel like staying put for the day, however, you are within easy reach of some of Puglia's prettiest beaches. Capitolo, a 15 min drive away, offers some excellent and well maintained 'spiaggie' with beach bars (such as Lido Sabbiadoro and Lido Pellerosso), sun beds and entertainment for the children. Those wanting something more rustic, should try the nature reserve of Torre Canne, slightly further south.
For day tripping, the town is ideally placed. Neighbouring Polignano a Mare is very pretty and worth a wander and a meal. Alberobello, a 30 min drive away, is a UNESCO world heritage site and a town which boasts a large number of Trulli, the pretty conical shaped properties found in the region. Also worth visiting are Ostuni, Martina Franca and Cisternino.
In terms of activities, you could take a vineyard tour and taste some of the fabulous Puglian wines, a culinary tour or a boat trip along the coast - why not rent a yacht for the day? You'll find it a lot more reasonable than other parts of Italy.
Getting to the resort couldn't be easier; it's a mere 40 min drive from nearby Bari airport. It's also possible to access the town from Brindisi.
All in all, Monopoli is a gem of a town. Whether you stay in a villa or converted Trulli in the countryside or in an old palazzo with sea views in the historical centre, it's hard not to fall in love with this part of Puglia!
View apartments in the Monopoli area
View Trulli properties in the Monopoli area
View villas in the Monopoli area