Trulli Unique

One of the most instragrammable spots in Italy and a well-known tourist destination of the south, Puglia is home to the infamous Trulli homes. In the little town of Alberobello, you can find these unique homes lining the picturesque streets throughout the town.

The trulli, typical limestone dwellings of Alberobello in southern Puglia, are extraordinary examples of dry stone slab construction, a technique dating back to prehistoric times and still used in this region. Although the rural trulli are scattered throughout the Valle d’Itria, the maximum concentration of the best preserved examples of this architectural form is found in the town of Alberobello, with more than 1500 structures in the districts of Monti and Aja Piccola. The trulli are traditional dry stone huts with a roof made up of dry-set slabs. Trulli generally serve as temporary shelters or as permanent homes for small landowners or agricultural workers. The trulli were built in roughly worked limestone, extracted during excavations for the construction of underground cisterns, stones collected in the countryside and from surrounding rocky outcrops. These buildings have the characteristic rectangular structure with a conical roof in set stones. The whitewashed walls of the trulli are built directly on the limestone foundations and made with the dry masonry technique, without mortar or cement. On the double cladding walls with an inconsistent core there is a door and small windows. An internal hearth and alcoves are set in the thick walls. The roofs are also double-layered: an internal vaulted covering in conical-shaped stones, culminating in a keystone, and an external waterproof cone made up of limestone slabs, known as chianche or chiancarelle. The roofs of the buildings often bear inscriptions in white ash with mythological or religious significance, and end with a decorative pinnacle which was intended to ward off evil influences or bad luck. The water is collected through gutters protruding from the base of the roof, from which it then flows through a small channel to a cistern under the house. About a thousand years ago (1,000 BC), the area of present-day Alberobello was dotted with rural settlements. The settlements developed to form the current districts of Aja Piccola and Monti. Towards the middle of the 16th century, the district of Monti was occupied by around forty trulli, but it was only in 1620 that the settlement began its expansion. In 1797, towards the end of the feudal domain, the name of Alberobello was adopted, and Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, king of Naples, gave the town the title of royal city. After this period, the construction of new trulli fell into decline. Between 1909 and 1936, parts of Alberobello were designated as protected monuments of cultural heritage.

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While this was certainly a fun town to explore and a unique thing to see, I believe that it is quite a bit over-tourized and it would not be one of the places that I would immediately revisit (if ever). Once is enough. But I have to admit that it was quite charming and peaceful to take a night stroll through these streets while indulging in some gelato. Because this area basically thrives off tourism, most everything is closed and it’s easy to walk around and not run into a single person.

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Lindsay View All →

Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!

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