A new protected marine area is to be created after a pristine coral reef was discovered in the Adriatic sea, near the popular seaside town of Monopoli.

Who needs to fly to the Maldives when you’ve got the crystal clear waters and incredible beaches of Puglia? Italians have long known that the southern region could give any exotic long-haul holiday destination a run for its money.
And now researchers have found that Puglia also has the kind of coral reef more usually found near tropical slands.
Italy’s first coral reef is at least 2.5 kilometres in length, though the latest studies estimate that it probably stretches for at least 135 kilometres.
Scientists say it could possibly run the entire length of the region’s eastern coatline – some 200 kilomtres from Bari to Otranto – forming a reef similar to those found in Australia, the Maldives or the Red Sea.
At a depth of between 30-55 m the mesophotic coral reef – a term for ecosystems with low levels of light – are more usually found in Maldives or Carribean.

This depth creates unique conditions for marine life as well as unusually vibrant colors.