Alberobello and the famous Trulli, these unusual structures with conical roofs spread in Apulia in the 16th century
"Trullo" is the name of the conical dry-stone hut-shaped structure that is typical of the Itria Valley, in the province of Bari, the main province of the Apulia region. In the area where the Trulli (plural form of 'Trullo') are spread, archeologists have discovered archaeological finds from the Prehistoric Age, as well as stone buildings dating back to the Bronze Age.
Nevertheless, the Trulli themselves are not exceptionally old, and this can be explained by the fact that, for economic reasons, people used to demolish a damaged Trullo and build a new one with the remaining material, instead of trying to repair the old one. For this reason, the most ancient Trulli date back only to the fourteenth century.
Trulli (whose name comes from the Greek word for 'dome') were usually built as temporary shelters in the countryside or as permanent dwellings for farmers.
In order to be solid and stable, they generally had round and conical roofs, often decorated with primitive Christian or pagan symbols. They were covered with limestone pebbles, locally known as "chiancole" or "chiancarelle, a type of limestone plate that is abundant in the area. Most of Trulli have a sort of pinnacle on the top of the roof, with symbols whose meaning is still unknown. Visiting the land of Trulli is an unforgettable experience because they represent a unique architectural style that was born many centuries ago and that still exists today.
Alberobello, located in the Murge area, is undoubtedly the most famous town of Trulli, as its historic center is completely composed by Trulli. The town was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1996. Its history dates back to the sixteenth century when the village population increased and the Acquaviva d'Aragona family, who were in control of the small fief, imposed on people to build houses that were easy to dismantle for inspection so that they did not need to pay taxes to the government of Naples.
Today, Alberobello is a real treasure, because it allows you to see something that is unique. Pay a visit to Trullo Sovrano (pic n°3), the biggest Trullo in town, which is now a museum. During summer, it is also a cultural center that hosts shows workshops and concerts.
Other attractions of this picturesque and charming town of Alberobello are Casa Pezzolla, the biggest complex of Trulli, with 15 adjoining Trulli that can be visited, and two beautiful churches: Basilica Minore dei Santi Medici, and the amazing Church of Sant'Antonio, which was built following the Trulli style.