It’s always a pleasure to visit Puglia, down south on the high-heel of Italy. Under sunny skies in late September, I decided to take a side trip to famous Alberobello, a town containing 1,500 trulli.
If you don’t yet know what a trullo is, it is a round stone-built house with a pointy roof made from limestone. Very quaint and interesting looking, they are built using a prehistoric technique in which the stones are laid on top of one another and no mortar is used. The story goes that they were built in this fashion in order to be easily dismantled when the tax collector came around, but how true this is I have no idea.
Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage site and when you visit there you will know why. Even though it is the most touristic spot in Puglia, it is worth seeing for its uniqueness alone.
This highly unusual town is in the beautiful Valle d’Itria, north of Brindisi, an undulating part of Puglia, with green fields, olive trees and low rough-stone walls. These quaint homes dot the countryside in various states of repair, or disrepair, as there are many derelict trulli to be seen alongside magnificently restored ones now being used as homes and holiday rentals.
Having found a parking place in the residential part of Alberobello, where the residents still live in these quaint homes, we strolled past the church and headed for the centro storico (historic centre). On the way we passed the main church and noticed that decorations were being hung to celebrate the festival about to be held for the patron saints of Alberobello: Saints Cosma and Damiano. This festival takes place annually between 25th and 28th September.
We watched apprehensively while two men atop a cherry-picker worked on the finishing touches for the elaborate festoons.
Strolling through the town it was interesting to see many of the original trulli transformed into souvenir and coffee shops.
And such colourful souvenirs too!
Camera at the ready, I walked the streets taking photographs while absorbing the fascinating architecture and atmosphere.
The trullo church was unique and stunning.
If you are looking for an unusual place to visit in southern Italy, it is well worth taking a side trip to Alberobello. There are many hotels in the area and the town is easily reached by flying into either Bari or Brindisi.
Looking forward to my next visit.