Alberobello, Italy

by | Mar 18, 2018

DANI CIUCA
Alberobello is a small town and comune of the Metropolitan City of Bari, Puglia, southern Italy. Is famous for its unique trullo buildings. The trulli of Alberobello have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996.
OLD TOWN
Alberobello is famous for displaying the remarkable examples of a traditional mortar-less construction, called Trulli. These dry stone huts are constructed out of limestone slabs stacked on top of each other to form pyramidal, domed or conical roofs. Despite the lack of mortar, the structure is surprisingly stable.
The first trulli date back to prehistoric times. Already in this period, in fact, settlements were present in the Itria Valley , evolving into the tholos, typical buildings once used to bury the dead people. However, the most ancient trulli in Alberobello we find today date back to the fourteenth century: it was at that time this uninhabited land was assigned to the first Count of Conversano by Robert of Anjou, Prince of Taranto and then king of Naples from 1309 to 1343. This land was the prize bestowed to the Anjou count for services given during the Crusades.
The area was then populated again, moving entire settlements from neighboring feuds like Noci.The drywall, mortarless construction, the trulli, was imposed on new settlers so that their homes could be dismantled quickly: an effective method to avoid taxes on new settlements imposed by the Kingdom of Naples and also some good deterrent for riotous owners.
Usually a trullo is a single-storey small building. It is technically hard to construct a multi-storey trullo. There are only few two-storey trulli in the town. The second floor in these constructions is made of wood, but this happens rarely. It is easier and more practical to construct several small trulli than a big one.
That is why big families in Alberobello were living not in one single trullo, but rather in trulli groups. Big families could have a group of dozen trulli constructed next to each other. The interior of a trulli is mainly made from wood. The roofs are not painted, but the walls are traditionally painted white.

Not to miss

1. The “Rione Monti”, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most of the trulli of Rione Monti are used as tourist reception facilities, shops and artisan workshops, where it is possible to buy local handmade products;

2.The church of St. Anthony trulli. The church of Sant ‘Antonio is a simple place of worship shaped trulli, and is especially indicated for the traditional type of construction. It was born in June 1927. It represented the extreme appendix of Rione Monti quarter and was erected as a symbol of the fight against other religions.

3. Rione Aia Piccola. The designation “aia” recalls a wide open space that in the past was used for the beating of the wheat. The whole area, arranged to the south-east, includes about 400 trulli, almost all inhabited and still used as dwellings; the area offers the best idea of ​​the old medieval village. Currently the Aia Piccola is the only area not touched by commercial activities, which makes it very suggestive.

4.Trullo Sovrano – Built during the first half of the 18th century, it is the only trullo with a raised floor and because of this it is called “sovrano” (Italian for monarch, king). Its measurements are extraordinary; just think that the dome is 14 metres high, a sign of the great dry stone building skills reached by the trulli masters.

5. The Basilica of “Santissimi Medici” Cosma and Damiano The basilica is a synthesis of the various remaking and enlargements experienced by the church. Nowadays it stands on a site which during the 17th century was occupied by a rural chapel named after the Madonna delle Grazie, and later on dedicated to the Santi Cosma and Damiano, patrons of the town.

6. Trullo dei Sapori – One of the best places to eat in Alberobello, located pretty close to the historic center. A place where you can try the traditional local pasta called Orechiette con cime di rapa.

How to get there.

By plane:
Bari and Brindisi are the closest Airports for visiting Alberobello. Both are located approximately 70 km away.

By train:
You can take a train from Bari to Alberobello, as well as trains from Brindisi, Lecce or neighbouring Martina Franca, using the Ferrovie Sud Est (FSE).

By car:
If you can rent a car, l recommend to do that. Besides Alberobello, in Puglia are other beautiful places to see, and the best way to visit more is by car. I recommend to visit Locorotondo – a nearby lovely town and Polignano a Mare – a shining gem on the coast of the Valle d’Itria near the Adriatic Sea (30km from Alberobello). If you have enough time, I recommend to see also Matera, Matera –  a ancient town famous for its extensive cave-dwelling districts, called sassi (70km from Alberobello).

At the end of this article I want to thank someone special – Mihaela Dima, a romanian girl who lives in Alberobello, who was kind enough to be my guide when I visited Alberobello. If you ever visit Alberobello, maybe you will try to find her and meet her face to face. I am sure she would gladly help you. You can find her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/mihaahaa/

See the latest articles. Join the travel addicts community now!

9 + 9 =

shares