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    Telling the story of the city where one was born and grew up is anything but simple. Even today, when I arrive at Porta Vecchia to enter the Murattiano district, the emotion is strong, intact. Monopoli for me is a dive into the heart, it is going towards beauty that leaves you breathless. There is the daily life of the fishing village, the history and the sacred intertwined with the white of the houses and streets. Wandering through its streets and squares, without losing sight of the sea that caresses its jagged edges, is a rich experience.

    The sea and the beaches

    During the long summers as a child, I bathed in all the creeks and beaches that surround Monopoli: each one has its own colours, its shapes, its light. Growing up, I chose the ones that corresponded best to me. If you want a beach with fine, light-coloured sand overlooking a clear, transparent sea with a turquoise glow, there it is. If you prefer a small bay enclosing a crescent-shaped beach protected by rocks behind, there it is. If your environment is a cliff, one that has a crystal-clear, green deep sea underneath, there is that too. You can also bathe immersed in history: the ancient submerged harbour of the acropolis of Egnatia is a cove waiting to be explored.

    Villages and cities of art

    Behind the masseria lies the Itria Valley, with its villages that stand out in their clarity. I return to visit them periodically, to see if anything has changed, with the intimate hope of rediscovering the atmosphere that enchanted me the first time around. They throng in the evening, when the lights amplify their charm. In the stillness of the morning they express their veracity. Moving further away, in two opposite directions, we reach Matera, a Unesco heritage site, and Lecce, the capital of Apulian Baroque. Two visits that leave their mark. The land of Monopoli and its surroundings contain so much beauty that is revealed little by little. One holiday is not enough to get to know it all, but a few days are enough to make it enter your heart.