Sitting on Puglia's Adriatic coast around 30km south of Bari, Monopoli is a lovely town for a day trip, possibly in combination with Polignano a Mare just up the coast, mixing a dip in the sea with a good lunch and a wander around the old town centre.
Like so many towns on the Adriatic, Monopoli's history has been thoroughly influenced by its east-facing position and its fortified sea-front walls and castle tell many a story.
Parking in or around Piazza XX Settembre, location of a colourful street market, head east towards the cathedral. To find it just look upwards and you are sure to see its elegantly conceived bell tower thrusting into the sky. Built in 1693, the tower is over 60 metres high, completely dominating the town below.
Often, when people picture Louisiana, they imagine a long row of oak trees leading to a magnificent plantation house, which is to say that, when they picture Louisiana, they’re picturing Vacherie. It is here that you’ll find that most iconic of all American plantation houses, Oak Alley. With its majestic stand of 300-year-old oaks and its grand, antebellum Greek revival home, it’s easy to understand why Oak Alley so amplifies the reputation of tiny Vacherie. But it doesn’t stop there. Vacherie is home to Laura Plantation, a gorgeous setting where you can learn about Creole culture and slave life. There’s also the 1,000-acre St. Joseph Plantation and Evergreen with its 37 historic buildings, including 22 slave cabins. Either upriver or down, the plantations along Great River Road offers the traveler an unforgettable opportunity to take a step back in time and touch the past at these and other historic locations.