The most important squares in the Old Town, piazza Palmieri, piazza Garibaldi, represent the “sitting rooms of history” where you can read and re-read the times that have come and gone and the marks that have been left in the architecture.
A piedi o in bici
In what is one of the most important historical squares and the one dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi (at one time the ‘piazza delle Mercanzie’ or public marketplace). It is easy to get to both from the port and from the noted “street of merchants”. You will be met by a blur of activity. And only when your eyes start to focus will you notice the more poignant items in the area such as the civic tower that incorporates the “colonna infame or pillory” which dates back to 1552 and looks to the “old port” which was once a significant reference point for local sailors. The centerpiece of the tower is a clock. However this was not part of the original construction, there is also the coat of arms of Monopoli (three white roses on a red background) and a statue of San Gennaro (St Januarius).
Further on you come across a fountain an iconic design dating from the Italian fascist period and the ‘Palazzo Rendella”, today the seat of the town’s municipal library. To the left of the library’s historic entrance can also be found an ancient sundial.
Surrounding area (maps)
Learn more about piazza Garibaldi
Cuore vivo della Monopoli politica e economica di un tempo, a partire dal XVI sec., ebbe un ruolo importante. Qui attorno si scorge la presenza del Palazzo della Dogana, il palazzo della Biblioteca civica. A caratterizzare questo piazza anche la torre civica, risalente al 1552. Un campaniletto sorregge una campana, che attira lo sguardo verso l’orologio e un sottostante stemma civico. Alla base della è inglobata la torre infame ( o gogna), su cui erano esposti al pubblico ludibrio coloro che commettevano gravi reati.
Piazza and palazzo Palmieri
Leaving piazza Garibaldi behind you experience a pleasant sense of confusion due to the many narrow streets and rows that cross and lead into the largest square of the Old Town, which takes its name from the important noble family Palmieri. You will be greeted with a certain wonder that you would never expect, an old historical building so brimming with beauty and rendered even more spectacular by the presence of a an historical stone fountain. To the left of the building a charming narrow lane called “del vento”, which leads to the sea. In Piazza Palmieri stands the church of Santi Pietro and Paolo (St Peter and St Paul) and the church of Santa Teresa (St Teresa) with its adjoining convent.
Surrounding area (maps)
Learn more about piazza e palazzo Palmieri
Originally named piazza S. Pietro, this is the oldest square in the Old Town. Standing solitary on the east side of the square is a building which takes the same name as the piazza ‘Palazzo Palmieri’ the palace, built in the 17th century in late-renaissance style and belonged to one of the most important families of the city. The monumental building has a structure and a position that cannot be confused with the other 17th and 18th century buildings which overlook the piazza. Its architectural nobility is underlined by a central fore building consisting of two columns that support a balcony, mounted with a medallion which displays the Palmieri coat of arms. In 1921, by the will of Marquis Francesco Saverio Palmieri, the building became a charity whose aim was and still is to increase the incomes of two kindergartens and to establish and maintain of a school of arts and crafts.
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