Alberobello – unique houses, that can not be found anywhere else in the world
In the south Italian region of Puglia you can find really unique houses, that can not be found anywhere else in the world. These special abodes of mysterious origin, called Trulli, are one-story houses of unknown age with a circular cross section.
They are scattered over a charming countryside south of Bari, especially in the towns of Alberobello and Martina Franca and their surroundings.
Trulli, Alberobello, Italy by Verity Cridland
Alberobello is situated approximately 40 km north of Taranto, and 50 km southeast from Bari. Local homes – trulli have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996 as a remarkable example of drywall (without mortar) construction techniques.
So if you want to see these unique trulli, then go to Alberobello, where you will find about 1,500 specimens. Alberobello means “beautiful tree” and its name was inspired by oak forests covering the region.
In the center of Alberobello are small white houses glued next to each other. In the district of Aia Piccola you will find people still living in those houses. The town uses to be very busy. Some trulli were converted into impressive hotels and restaurants, while others have become stores with souvenirs.
View over Alberobello, Puglia by Michele Ursino
The primitive form of a self-made cottages grew up into one unit, creating a spacious residential complexes called “Masseria“. “Trullo Sovrano” is the only building of its kind having two floors. And over all the forest of stone towers is a Church of San Antonio, built in 1926, but in that same ancient style.
Trullo Sovrano, Alberobello, Puglia, Italy by Ivo Spadone
Small stone houses are constructed of carefully stacked stones – entirely without mortar and are all coloured with bright white lime. With their grey conical roofs look like small wide mushrooms. “Trulli” are scattered in the landscape – among Bari, Brindisi and Taranto.
Traditional trulli in Puglia probably came from Greece or from Syria, but experts are still not sure about their origins. The oldest trulli probably originate from the 13th century, but the most of them are not more than 200 or 300 years old.
Church of Sant Antonio, Alberobello by Racchets
Today, there is a theory which combines trulli with similar constructions in Mycenae in Greece, which is linked with civilization nearly 5,000 years old. Trulli comes from the Greek word trullos (dome) and therefore they could be linked with the Mycenaean Tombs of Kings.
Alberobello Scenery, Puglia, Italy by Andrea
Some experts believe that the trulli are based on the concept of home in Syria and other parts of the Middle East, while others claim that trulli were built by monks who came from the East and settled here, and originally served as tombs or dwellings.
Today these buildings are dismissing. Perhaps the inscription to UNESCO will help to preserve these buildings as a permanent part of the world cultural heritage.
Trulli houses, Alberobello, Puglia by Laurent
Tips for trips
Locorotondo town with its white houses situated on the hill is among the most beautiful places in the region, although the most elegant town is probably Martina Franca, featured with rococo balconies. Music Festival – Festival della Valle d’Itria takes place here each August.
Locorotondo street in the city center and clock tower by Adbar
From Alberobello it is just a few steps to one of the most important cave systems in Europe – Castellana Grotte. Above the area of the caves is a lookout tower with 170 stairs.