Alberobello – One of Italy’s Most Unique Cities

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Alberobello trulli, Puglia, ItalyAlberobello is one of the most unique destinations in the world, this city in the Puglia region of Italy. Commonly known as the “heel” of Italy, Puglia is not typically known as a tourist destination, although in the last decade its popularity has increased.

The Italians have been going to the towns in Puglia for years as vacation destinations, but recently the Germans, British are among those buying property and vacationing in Puglia. Although the town of Bari is the capital of this region, the town of Alberobello is the trulli capital, and that is makes it so unique.

Trulli are whitewashed dwellings made of limestone with cone-shaped roofs and they only exist in and around Alberobello. They have become one of the symbols of Puglia and Alberobello with its 1500 trulli has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1966.

Trulli in Rione Monti district, Puglia, ItalyAlberobello sits on two hills that are separated by what was once a riverbed. The eastern hill is designated as the new part and the western hill is the old part, where the majority of the trulli exist. First constructed in the middle ages in order for the townspeople to avoid paying a tax, these dwellings were built without mortar so that they could be quickly dismantled and moved. Once the tax collector had come and gone, the homes were reassembled.

In May of 1797 the village of Alberobello became free and today these homes are some of the priciest real estate in Italy, due to the novelty value. They are cool in the summer and warm in the winter and are in high demand. Most are whitewashed each year and many are painted with religious nor zodiac symbols.

San Antonio Church Alberobello, Puglia, ItalyThe two main districts in Alberobello are the Rione Monti district and the Rione Aia Piccola district. The Rione Monti district is larger with 1030 trulli and the most touristy, located on a hill. Some of the oldest trulli are in this district. There is one trullo (singular) here called the trulli siamesi. It has no windows and is double shaped with a low hearth and all within one enclosure.

In this district is the 20th century trullo church, erected in 1926.The Church of San Antonio is in the shape of a trullo and its trullo-shaped dome is 215 feet high.

The Rione Aia Piccola district is much smaller and not commercialized. Here there are mainly private homes and no shops, and it is really a place where people live. There are approximately 400 trulli here, and as I walked up and down the streets I could see people doing their day to day activities as in any other village.

Trullo Sovrano, Puglia, ItalyTrullo Sovrano is located in the modern part of Alberobello and is the only 2-story trullo in this area. It is the tallest trullo and has 12 cones. It was built by the family of a priest and the interior rooms have been recreated to show a kitchen, bakery and a bedroom. There is also a museum inside.

Due to the high demand of tourists to experience staying in one of these dwellings, developers in the nearby village of Fasano have built luxury villas advertised as “a luxury trullo with pool.” Some of these villas which can accommodate eight people rent for as high as €10000 for one week in the peak month of August.

Trulli in Rione Aia Piccola district, Puglia, ItalyBest visited with a car, Alberobello is truly one of the most unique destinations in Italy, and well worth a visit.

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