Alberobello is a small town in the province of Bari, in the italian region of Puglia. It has 11.000 inhabitants and it is famous for its unique trulli buildings. And they are part of the Unesco World Heritage sites since 1996.
Comune di Alberobello – The Trulli Capital of the World
Alberobello is known as the Capital of the Trulli. But you may be asking yourself, what is Trulli? Trulli (singular: Trullo) are a traditional and simple type of structure which you’ll see all around this part of Puglia, sometimes in its most basic form used as a kind of shed among the olive groves.
Trulli are limestone dwellings found in the southern region of Puglia. They are remarkable examples of drywall construction, a prehistoric building technique still in use in this region. These trulli are made of roughly worked limestone boulders collected from neighbouring fields and they feature pyramidal, domed or conical roofs built with limestone slabs.
The buildings are usually square and have very thick stone walls, constructed without any mortar. The thickness strengthens the structure and also helps regulate the internal temperature, making it easier to survive the warm summer day of south Italy. The roof is in a dome like shape, as you can see when you enter one of the buildings.
But why did people build these trulli?
And the story behind the trulli and Alberobello, is a typical italian story. The trulli were design to fiddle taxes and fool the authorities responsible for collecting them. The story goes back to Count Acquaviva in the XV century, who moved his peasant workers there to clear woodland and cultivate the land. To wriggle around laws and taxes, it was important that Alberobello didn’t class as an inhabited settlement. And this is why the building were designed with limestones. In theory, you could dismantle the houses easily in case of inspection just be removing some strategically located stones.
Nowadays, the surviving trulli are very popular with english and german tourists and are often bought and restored for general use. Since the beginning of the century, a large number of trullo houses have been restored. And you can even spend a night sleeping in one of them, since local residents provide a bed for tourists who want to experience the life in the trulli.
In Alberobello, please make sure you make a stop at Casa Del Pane. If you’re at the Sony Center when I was broadcasting directly from Puglia ate the #WeAreInPuglia tent, you saw all the focaccias, tarelli and sweets they have. If you missed, here are some photos. After walking so much up and down the beautiful streets of Alberobello, you deserve a proper Italian feast, right?
PS: If you want to see more photos, please check out my Flickr. Over there you can see all the photos I took while in Puglia.