|Città di Monopoli|
|Frazioni||Assunta, Tavarello, Paglierici, Stomazzelli, Rizzitello, Chiesa dei Morti, Padre Sergio, S.Teresa, Macchia di Monte, Zingarello, Impalata, Cozzana, Gravina, Gorgofreddo, Lamalunga, S.Lucia, Antonelli, Corvino, Capitolo, Santo Stefano, Lamascrasciola, Barcato, S. Oceano, S. Vincenzo|
|• Mayor||Emilio Romani|
|• Total||156 km2 (60 sq mi)|
|Elevation||9 m (30 ft)|
|Population (31 May 2007)|
|• Density||340/km2 (880/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||Madonna della Madia|
|Saint day||December 16|
Monopoli (Monòpolis in Greek) is a town and comune in Italy, in the province of Bari, region of Apulia. The town is roughly 156 square kilometres (60 sq mi) in area and lies about 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast from Bari. It has about 53,017 inhabitants.
The city is important mostly as an agricultural, industrial and touristic centre.
The area was first settled in 500 a.C. as a fortified Messapic city.
In order to improve communication with the Orient, between the years 108 and 110 A.C., the Emperor Traiano ordered the construction of a Via Publica which was named after him. Monopoli is the city in Puglia that has the longest stretch of the Via Traiana. This is one of the most important Roman roads of the Empire. In 2012 the City of Monopoli created an archeological park around the remains of this ancient road. The difference between this new road and the Appian Way was the shorter distance between Benevento and Brindisi. The Appian Way started in Rome, reaching Benevento and continued on to Taranto, and from here the road continued to Brindisi from which port people could embark toward Greece, the Orient and the Balkans. The Traiana Way which followed an older route, originated in Benevento and crossing the flat tableland up to Canosa continued on to Ruvo where a fork in the road led in two different directions. The internal road went to Modugno, Ceglie del Campo, Capurso, Rutigliano and Conversano, while the coastal road went to Bari, Polignano and Monopoli. These two roads joined again at Egnazia from where the road continued to Brindisi. This road which Emperor Traiano had constructed became the route of choice to reach Brindisi because it was shorter than the Appian Way. It was travelled by military troops, merchants, slaves, pilgrims and, after the fall of Rome, even by hordes of barbarians. There is another important road on the other side of the Adriatic Sea which seems to be the continuation of this road. It is called the Egnazia Way and starts in Dyrrachium (Durazzo), crossing a mountainous area to reach Thessaloniki (Salonica) and continues on to Constantinople (Istanbul).
After the destruction of Gnathia by the Ostrogoth king Totila in 545, its inhabitants fled to Monopoli, from which it derives its name as "only city". In the following centuries the area would be controlled by the Byzantines, Normans and Hohenstaufen, and was a starting point for naval Crusades expeditions, living in that period the peak of its splendour. Later it was a fief under Angevine and Aragonese feudal lords.
In 1484 the city came under Venetian control and saw an economic upswing as a seaport on the Adriatic Sea as a base between Bari and Brindisi, as well as through trading its own agricultural goods. It was frequently attacked by Muslim pirates in the following decades. These continuous threats forced Monopoli to build strong fortificacions which allowed them in 1529 to resist against the Armada of Charles V for three months, forcing the Spaniards to abandon the siege. However, the next year, Monopoli passed under Spanish rule, but remained a free city.
It became part of the newly unified state Kingdom of Italy in 1860.
The city, lying in the south of Italy Mezzogiorno, enjoyed a certain economic development during the 60's, thanks to the opening of a Tognana (an important Italian ceramic manufacturer) industrial plant. The closure of this plant in the end of the 90's certainly worsened the city's economy; Monopoli's economic recovery in the latest year has mostly been due to new industries (the most important is the MerMec, which produces railway material) and the development of tourism, especially in the coast and the countryside.
- Castle of Charles V. Finished in 1525, it has a pentagonal plan. It is located on a promontory which was originally separated from the medieval city. It was restored and enlarged in the 17th century. Starting from the early 19th century, it was used as a jail, a status it kept until 1969. It is currently the seat of art exhibition and cultural events.
- Coastal castle of St. Stephen, built by the Norman lord Godfrey of Conversano in 1086. It was subsequently turned into a Benedictine monastery.
- Jerusalem Hospital, founded in 1350 by the Hospitaller
- Cathedral Basilica (18th century)
- Palazzo Palmieri (18th century)
- Monte San Nicola (Mount St.Nicholas) faunal reserve. The reserve, lying on the summit of a 290-meter-high hill in the Murge plateau, is important for the presence of some endemic plants.
- Romanello da Forlì (?-1525), soldier of fortune.
- Camillo Querno (1470-1535), poet.
- Anselmo Marzato (1543-1607), Cardinal.
- Prospero Rendella (1553-1630), poet, historian, author and humanist
- Giacomo Insanguine (1728-1795), singer and composer
- Michele De Martino, (1788-1860), merchant.
- John Pitkin (1790-1880), English merchant and consul.
- Ferdinando Palasciano (1815-1891), surgeon.
- Ignazio Perricci (1837-1907), painter.
- Luigi Capitanio (1863-1922), surgeon and Member of Parliament
- Orazio Fiume, (1908-1976), singer and composer.
- Luigi Reho (1916-2013), poet.
- Giovanni Filoramo (1945), historian.
- Orazio Petrosillo (1947-2007), journalist and author.
- Paolo Longo (1948) journalist.
Twin towns — Sister cities
Monopoli is twinned with:
- Conseil des Communes et Regions d'Europe (French) accessed 27 April 2011
- Francesco Antonio Glianes, Monopoli nel Medioevo e nel Rinascimento, Schena Editore.
- L. Finamore Pepe, Monopoli e la Monarchia delle Puglie, Monopoli, 1897.
- Sebastiano Lillo, Monopoli sintesi storico geografica, Grafiche Colucci Monopoli, 1976.
- Stefano Carbonara, Monopoli nel Secondo Novecento, Schena Editore.
- Domenico Cofano, Monopoli nell'età del Rinascimento, Biblioteca Comunale Prospero Rendella.
- Giuseppe Andreassi, Mare d'Egnazia, Schena Editore.
- Domenico Capitanio, Il sistema difensivo e la città, Monopoli nel suo passato vol.5, Comune di Monopoli, Grafischena s.r.l., Fasano. 1992.
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