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Alberobello Italy - Trulli Trulli Scrumptious
Trulli of Alberobello
The Magic of Alberobello
Arriving in Alberobello for the first time, I half expected these Trulli I had been told to “definitely not miss”, would just magically appear as I was trying to navigate the tiny streets heading in the direction of the town centre. Suddenly I spied a sign saying “ Zona dei Trulli”, which I took to mean Trulli zone so now I just had to park and get in the zone!
Alberobello is a pretty town situated high up overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Once an area full of oak forests, it takes its name from the Latin Arboris Belli, meaning beautiful trees. Within the province of Bari in the Puglia region, it is one of Italy’s 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, thanks to the Trulli since 1996. Walking down a steep lane towards the old town, following the sign, the sight that hit me was like nothing I have ever seen before.
White Washed Trulli
Two Distinct Areas
Here lay over 1400 Trulli (plural of trullo), ancient dwellings that are unique to this Region of Italy, found only in Puglia. With their unusual pointed conical roofs with white tips and each one having a different marking painted in white, what came to mind was Noddy meets the seven dwarfs meets Lord of the Rings!!! Shaped like a beehive these dwellings are all condensed side by side in an area of cobblestone streets. It is made up of two areas, The Rione Monti and The Rione Aia Piccola. The Rione Monti is home to over 1,000 Trulli which today are mostly souvenir shops and Bars/Restaurants. The Rione Aia Piccola comprises of approximately 400 Trulli which are mostly private homes. When planning your Itinery for Puglia, a day trip at least is a must as you will not see the like again!
How The Trulli Evolved
Alberobello was the first place to have the Trulli and from here, over several hundred years they began to filter out into the local areas, notably Conversano, Martina Franca, Locorotondo and Cisternino.
Whilst Alberobello’s history can be dated back to Neolithic times, it is reported the trulli began in the prehistoric 13th century B.C, but the real bulk of the Trulli started after the 14th century
Points Of Difference
- The Stone Arches – The entire structure is built of local limestone which in olden days was always irregular in size and shape. Today they are kept more uniform. The main room would have been square in shape, with arches between rooms. Arched alcoves are also a signature feature in rooms.
- The Conical Roof - Circles of stone are laid exactly on top of each other on top of the main structure with a slight overhang towards the inside. The structure is painted with lime but not the roof, which remains unpainted, to enable free flowing rainwater.
- The Chimneypots - Very Very Cute and one of a kind!
- The Gutters and Spout – The guttering works in conjunction with the cone facilitating rainwater to flow to an underground cistern, usually not glaringly obvious.
- The Flat Stone (Chianche) Roof – Used on the main structure they are a distinctive feature of Trulli.
- The Pinnacle – Used to hold the final layer of stones securely in place and as a decorative feature.
- Symbols – On the pinnacle, various symbols are painted. Taken from emblems, initials, monograms or mythical magic to link with the original primitive religious symbolism and often incorporate Zodiac signs.
The Trulli Zone in a Minature Model -
Trulli Tempting the Tourist
As you wander around “Trulli Land”, it is so unusual you are not too put off by it being full of souvenir shops selling everything you could imagine with a trulli image. Little miniature houses, magnets, wood carvings and knitwear . . . . to name a few. Situated on a hill it is best walked in flat shoes as the cobblestones are uneven and the roads steep in places. Even the cobblestones are a work of art in my opinion. Dotted amongst the shops are some restaurants and bars if you fancy taking a break. Many also have an outdoor terrace at the back which may give you an overview of the cluster and worth seeing for a different perspective. Also throughout are actual private homes and some of the owners may try to get you in to have a look around their home. For this pleasure they will probably expect a nominal few Euros.
Unique to Puglia Region
There are Trulli all over Alberobello and across all the neighbouring districts. Some are original, some a pile of stones and many have been restored to be used as homes, hotels, masserias, bed and breakfasts and rental accommodations. They are a true wonder of the Puglia Region and in particular this wonderful town of Alberobello. If you get the opportunity to stay in one, it is definitely worth it for the sheer uniqueness factor and you will not be disappointed. Trulli Trulli Scrumptious!!!
“to be protected and preserved as unique and exceptional marks of a disappeared civilization and cultural tradition, offering an example of building techniques relative to a meaningful historical moment, constituting an example of human dwelling representative of a culture”
UNESCO World Heritage
Location of Alberobello on the Map
Author Recommended Books -
Credible Useful Information -
- Alberobello Vacations, Tourism and Alberobello, Italy Travel Reviews - TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor is the source for Alberobello information.
- UNESCO World Heritage Centre - World Heritage List
UNESCO World Heritage Centre
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© 2012 Suzanne Ridgeway