The old port is the true home of the “vozz” – the dialect term for Gozzi, the typical local boats. They’re rowing boats about 3.5 to almost 5 metres long, usually painted an eye catching blue or red, with interesting names of fishermen, saints or the Madonna. Some still carry the ancient lampara lanterns. These local “works of art” made by “shipwright artisans” can also be admired when they are covered up for winter, usually with old covers or duvets.

This ancient port, “il porto vecchio” is well regarded by locals, considered the cove where the icon of the town’s protective saint arrived. It’s one of the most photographed areas of the entire port.

After losing yourself in the perfumes and traditions of marine life of the old port walk, it’s pleasant to relax and admire the nearby “Martinelli Meo-Evoli” Palace. Further along there is the red lighthouse which acts as a guardian to the palace.

By then you will have identified and recognised the unmistakable signs of a town and its people’s strong connection to the sea.

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From cannons to bollards It’s necessary to go back in time to understand the port’s history. The town’s mayor, Baron Federico Indelli and municipal council decided to dedicate the construction to Queen Margherita of Savoia with its advantage to request “40 disused iron cannons to use as ships moorings”. To acquire the bollards 12,000 Lira was needed. The appointed Royal...
Heleanna, pride of patriotism Walking around the port you will see an extraordinary bas-relief along the castle walls. These artistic stones tell the story of a tragic event which made headlines around the world. The tragic journey of the Greek ferry boat “Heleanna” and the rescue mission by the fishermen of Monopoli. The Heleanna was originally an oil tanker converted into a f...
The typical Gozzo The Gozzo, unlike other traditional fishing boats with oars used locally in the 1600s and 1700s armed with lateen sails and whose length could reach 8 metres, was much smaller reaching a size of 3.5 to 4.8 metres. Some had masts with lateen sails, others used three or four oars. Fishermen used these for coastal fishing, the smaller “gozzo” (3.7 met...
The Martinelli – Meo Evoli Palace Together with the castle this palace is undoubtedly the most photographed site of the port. This beautiful palace including the part which overlooks the “old port” was built in the 18th Century along the city walls (part of which are still intact). Built in Neo-Gothic style the loggia overlooking the sea has 8 pointed arches (the same as the entran...