SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR THE MADONNA DELLA MADIA
On 16th December Monopoli celebrates the Virgin “Madonna della Madia”, the Patrones of the city from 1117. According the tradition, the Byzantine icon, that you can admire in Monopoli Cathedral, arrived from the sea in the old harbour at dawn on that day 901 years ago. The painting of the Virgin, left from the East side of the Adriatic sea, arrived on board a raft, whose shape reminded the “madia”, that is the table used to make bread or pasta handmade. Thi is the matter of her name. In that period the bishop Romualdo was building the romanique cathedral dedicated to Saint Mercurio and he prayed the Virgin to help him to find the wood to complete the roof of the church. The docking of Virgin of Madia was considered a miracle. The raft was composed by 33 pieces of Aleppo pine (they are still in good condition and you can admire them in the first chapel on the right) that were used to build the roof of the new cathedral, then dedicated to the Virgin of Madia, Protectress of Monopoli.
Therefore, every year, on December 16th at 5 in the morning, Monopoli harbour is crowded with thousands of people who defy cold, wind and sometimes even snow, to welcome the icon of the Byzantine Virgin coming from the sea, on board a raft.
It’s an evocative moment, framed by the fireworks and the typical rowing boats called “gozzi” that surround the raft in a symbolic embrace. The Bishop greets the Protectress of Monopoli with incense, carried in solemn procession in her baroque church by all the city’s brotherhoods, authorities, many faithful and the traditional notes of the band.
PROMOTION: Apulia la Finestra sul Mare offers the opportunity to participate in this event by making available its apartment, for a maximum 6 people, at a price of 400 €.
The price includes:
- Accomodation for 2 nights for maximum 6 people in “Apulia – La finestra sul mare Apartment” from Friday 14th December (check-in h. 2.00 pm) to Sunday 16th December 2018 (check-out h. 3.00 pm)
- Free transfer from Monopoli to Alberobello, the capital of trullo-houses and Unesco Heritage, to visit the Christmas market.
- Entrance ticket to the Diocesan Museum of Monopoli, which contains objects in gold and silver, codes, sacred vestments, icons and paintings from different eras from different churches.
- Final cleaning of the apartment.
The fee does not include: tourist tax (1 euro per person per day).
– Apulian cooking class with final dinner (60 € per person)
– Oil tour among local oil mills and extra virgin olive oil tasting (40 € per person)
– Guided bike tour mong fortified farms, grotto-churches and ancient olive trees (40 € per person)