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Welcome to the charming and unique town of Alberobello with the amazing Trulli houses, Unesco World Heritage site since 1996!
Watch my video just below!
What is a Trullo? (singular Trullo, plural Trulli)
Trulli are limestone dwellings in the southern region of Puglia, remarkable examples of dry-wall construction (mortarless). Characteristically, they feature a conical roof built up of limestone slabs. Trulli are built either singly or in clusters. Under each cone is one room. A multi-coned dwelling therefore has several rooms. Heating was provided by an open fireplace and, originally, sleeping alcoves in the walls were covered by curtains.
History of Trulli
The oldest Trulli we know date back to the 14th Century when this land was assigned to the ownership of the first Count of Conversano by Robert d’Anjou -King of Naples- as a reward to the Count for his service during the Crusades.
Soon after, the area was repopulated by the Count creating a new settlement. But according to a law called “Pragmatica Baronibus” aristocrats could settle a new village only with the permission of the King. In this way, they could collect taxes from the peasants sharing them with the king.
Tradition says that the Count of Conversano didn’t want to share his income with the King at all! So he imposed to new settlers dry-wall construction without mortar so that they could dismantle their shelters in a hurry: an efficient way to evade taxes on new settlements under the Kingdom of Naples.
From the 18th century, however, things changed radically, and the inhabitants of Alberobello gained from King Ferdinand IV (1751-1825) the privilege to build their houses as they preferred, without being prevented by the Count of Conversano. In fact, according to a well-established tradition, in 1797, Mr Francesco D’Amore, began to build his house using mortar for the 1st time! The event was further evidenced by the small epigraph, placed under the arch that marks the balcony area, which bears the following inscription: EX AUCTORITATE REGIA – HOC PRIMUM ERECTUM – A.D. 1797. (FIRST CONSTRUCTION BUILT WITH THE AUTHORITY OF THR KING, A.D. 1797) Its location, in the current Piazza Ferdinando IV di Borbone, was not accidental as the upper floor was perfectly visible from the nearby home of the Counts! This structure represents a real technical-constructive passage from the first Trullo houses to nineteenth-century houses.
Today the main districts of Alberobello are Rione Monti and Rione Aja Piccola:
- the 1st is more touristy but it gives you the opportunity to pop into many Trulli turned into souvenir shops
- The 2nd is more “authentic” with houses, a lot of quiet b&b and fewer shops.
Both of them are absolutely charming: make sure you get lost and enjoy a unique experience!
Today still many locals live into Trulli in Alberobello as well as in other towns near the Itria Valley like Cisternino, Ostuni and Martina Franca.
Trulli are very cosy and indoor space is very limited due to the thickness of the walls that provide great thermal and acoustic insulation.
Recently the market of the Trulli has become very vibrant due to the major increase of requests by Italian and foreign buyers, fascinated by the beauty of the Apulian countryside and the unique features of these homes.
What to visit in Alberobello:
- Rione Monti: A district consisting of 1.030 Trulli. Very fascinating!
- Rione Aja Piccola: A small district with hundreds of Trulli made up of a network of tiny streets and alleyways.
- Trullo Sovrano: A unique Trullo on two levels, today housing a museum. Address: Piazza Sacramento 10, 70011 Alberobello
- Casa d’Amore (The House of Love): The first house constructed with mortar in 1797, (read above), today it’s a tourist office. Address: Via Monte Nero 3, Alberobello
- The Siamese Trullo: Story goes that two brothers fell in love with the same woman. She was promised in marriage to the firstborn, but she was in love with the other. The three then decided to live for a while in the same house. But in the end, the eldest brother, driven by jealousy, forced the two lovers to leave the house. But the younger brother wanted his part of the inheritance. So the three were forced to stay in the same house but made two entrances on two opposite streets. Address: Via Monte Pasubio, numero 6, Alberobello
- Il Trullo d’oro: One of my favourite restaurants located of course -in a Trullo-! Local dishes. Better to book in advance. Address: Via F. Cavallotti 27, Alberobello.
- Primi di Puglia: Only pasta -and some desserts- Good quality, not far from the Trullo Sovrano. Address: Piazza di Vagno 8, Alberobello
- Arte Fredda: My favourite gelato in town. The owner has got a collection of light-houses models displayed all over the shop. Address: Largo Martellotta 47, Alberobello
Enjoy my video about Alberobello!
Un Bacio Sergio