Alberobello, the trulliland

Eleonora Ruzzenenti | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Alberobello, in the region of Puglia in southern Italy, is a strange and picturesque destination and with its unusual districts of trulli is one of the 53 Italian sites entered by Unesco in the World Heritage List. A trullo is a small dwelling built from the local limestone, with dry-stone walls and a characteristic conical roof. It is a traditional and simple type of structure which you'll see dotted around this part of Puglia, sometimes in its most basic form used as a kind of shed among the olive groves. These impressive and unique structures, largely present in the Valley of Itria, can also be found in the Provinces of Brindisi, Bari and Taranto. They are a genius example of architecture that is spontaneous, yet imperishable; to this day they are still used as homes.

Alberobello, an inland village of the Province of Bari, is certainly the Capital of the Trulli: its historic center is integrally constituted by these rather particular white, pyramidal structures that make it so famous and identifiable. The first records of Trulli being built in Puglia date from around the 14th century. The likely reason for their design was to create housing that could be easily demolished, enabling the feudal lord to avoid paying taxes on new settlements as well as making it easy to remove unwanted tenants! The trully plant is approximately circular; on the base of natural rock, the heavy masonry is engraved. Generally trulli are modular units: indoor environments are distributed around the central compartment. The thickness of the walls and the low presence of windows ensure optimal thermal equilibrium: heat in winter and cool in summer. The roof is made up of a pseudo dome of horizontal limestone slides positioned in ever smaller concentric series - the so-called " chianche " (inside) and the thinner " chiancarelle " (outside). Very important is the vault , often decorated with motifs of esoteric, spiritual or propitiatory character. There is an ingenious presence of an overhanging frame from the roof used for collecting rainwater in special tanks. Trulli are a unique example of ancient construction that survives and is still used today. Visiting the stupendous Alberobello is like taking a trip to a timeless country.

My suggestion: Around the main tourist area there are many little bars, snack-shops andvseveral restaurants and pizzerias (my favourite La Cantina, Trullo d’Oro and La Nicchia). On Thursdays there is a great fruit, vegetable and food market, where you can buy local products with a conveniente price.

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