Reflecting on travels of the past versus our traveling today, our travel tastes have definitely changed. Not in the sense that we love to travel (that passion is as strong as ever), but more so how we like to travel. We used to have a long to-do list for each day of our travels, packed full of all of the major tourist spots. This trip? No itinerary, no to-do lists, and pretty much no plans whatsoever. But our non-planning was planned, and it has been a really really great change.
our beautiful apartment right in the heart of Monopoli, at La Torre e Il Mare
To our delight, Monopoli has fit into this slower travel mentality quite perfectly. We’ve been pleasantly surprised to find Monopoli as a sleepy little seaside town untouched by tour buses or tour groups of any sort.
local fishermen selling their catch straight from their boats
picking up some fruit for our apartment
We noticed that Monopli is a very close-knit community, where everyone definitely knows each other. There is one small catholic school in town that spends part of the day outside singing and dancing. The Nonnas’ set out their chairs and watch over the neighborhood throughout the day, and the locals hunt for their fish dinner along the beach shore after a relaxing day of sunning and swimming.
the beautiful Monopoli shoreline – the waters were so crystal clear
fried mussels and an octopus sandwich made the perfect post-beach dinner
This is a part of Italy that we have never experienced before, but have quickly grown to love. Your companions on the street are cactus plants and sweet little cats, not wall-to-wall travelers. There are plenty of gelato shops and restaurants serving up all of the local fare, but there is also a quietness. There is no rush, no hurry, and to be honest, I’m not sure that the locals realize how good they’ve got it.
Spending our time lazily walking the town, laying at the beach, wandering to find a dinner spot and generally hitting the hay pretty early – this is probably not what we would have dreamt up for an Italian vacation for ourselves years ago. But right now it is complete perfection, and for us, the absolute best life that we could be living.