ALBEROBELLO TRULLI, ITALY
The unique and unusual Alberobello Trulli in Italy are indeed a sight to behold with their unique styled cone-shaped roofs.
Wandering around these remarkably unconventional dwellings, we became curious as to how they came about.
What did the strange symbols on their roofs mean?
Why were the white pinnacles on the top different shapes?
So many questions about the trulli of Alberobello…
Find out about the Alberobello Trulli of Italy and things to do in this extraordinary town.
WHERE ARE THE ALBEROBELLO TRULLI?
You’ll find the amazing Alberobello Trulli in the heart of Alberobello in the district of Bari, Puglia in Southern Italy.
To expand the map click on the top right-hand square symbol.
You will find the map key on the left-hand side which details the various areas in which you will find the Alberobello Trulli.
HISTORY OF THE ALBEROBELLO TRULLI
The Alberobello Trulli, Italy, originated around the 15th Century. They are made of dry-stone walls consisting of corbelled limestone slabs.
This would have been the material of choice as it is abundant in the region.
Originally, the Alberobello Trulli were built ‘a secco’, meaning ‘without mortar’. This made them easy to demolish and knockdown quickly. An unusual requirement of a home it would seem, but there was a method to this madness.
The resident Count in the area wanted to avoid paying settlement/housing taxes to the King of Naples. Therefore he ordered the houses to be built only with dry stones and to be demolished if there was a royal inspection.
Thus avoiding the taxes.
In 1797, the town gained independence. From then on, the mortar was used and the Trulli became permanent fixtures in the area.
ALBEROBELLO TRULLI CONICAL ROOFS
The name ‘trullo’ originates from the Greek word, ‘Tholos’ meaning ‘dome’.
A Trullo consists mainly of one main room under the domed roof, with sometimes two alcoves on either side of that room.
In addition, on the top of the Trullo’s cone-shaped roof is a decorative handmade, sandstone pinnacle.
They come in different designs and represent the trademarks of the stonemason who built that particular Trullo. Some of the pinnacles are disc-like with a sphere above and others just have a larger flat disc-like shape.
The whitewashed walls at the front of the tiny Alberobello Trulli seemed reminiscent of the Cyclade’s bright, white buildings we experienced in Santorini, Greece.
There, the bright blue domes paired with the white walls alluded to a crisp, more modern feel. However, the grey stone conical roofs of the Alberobello Trulli, exude an ancient and mysterious air about them.
ALBEROBELLO TRULLI SYMBOLS
The white Trulli symbols painted on many of the Trulli roofs add to the mystical appearance of these tiny dwellings. There are varying designs, including a sun, moon, love hearts and other pagan-like symbols.
It is believed that some of these were of religious significance, whilst others had an astrological meaning. The purpose of the Trulli symbols was to ward off demons and to bring good luck to the inhabitants.
RIONE MONTI AND RIONE AIA PICCOLA, ALBEROBELLO
There are two main districts of Alberobello where you’ll find Trulli. Rione Monti is the more commercialised area where many of the Trulli have been converted into souvenir shops and small bars.
Some Trulli here are used as residential homes, but not as many as in the Rione Aia Piccola area.
There you’ll find about 8 streets with about 400 Trulli currently used as residential dwellings.
ALBEROBELLO TRULLI VARIANTS
Although most of the Alberobello Trulli are tiny homes, shops or bars, there are a few architectural examples that are variants of the main original design.
For example, at the top of the hill in Rione Monti, you’ll find Chiesa di Sant Antonio. This church has Trello like domes and a Trello inspired bell tower. It just seems to fits in so well with the Alberobello Trulli theme.
Furthermore, there are two museums that are examples of two-storey Trulli, Trullo Sovrano and Museo del Territorio.
Although Alberobello is the main town with Trulli homes, you will also find many dotted around the Valle d’Itria area.
THINGS TO DO IN ALBEROBELLO
1. EXPLORE RIONE MONTI, ALBEROBELLO
Rione Monti is the more commercialised area of Alberobello and here you’ll find many shops and small bars in the Trulli, as well as some residential Trulli.
2. VISIT THE CHIESA DI SAN ANTONIO
At the top of the hill in Rione Monti, is the Church of St. Antonio (Chiesa di Sant Antonio). It was built in 1926 and the dome is shaped like a trullo.
The church is impressive, but there was also a beautiful quaint building to the right that may have been linked to the church, which was equally enthralling.
Just opposite the church is a shady park, Villa Donnaloja, which makes for a lovely spot to sit.
3. VISIT RIONE AIA PICCOLA, ALBEROBELLO
Wandering in the tiny streets of this ancient part of town, where people who still live in the Trulli, you really get an idea of a ‘compact home’.
Perhaps minimalism isn’t such a new idea after all and it is just a return to the way things used to be.
4. VISIT THE TRULLO SOVRANO
The Trullo Sovrano is a trullo with two storeys. It was built in the mid-18th century and is now a museum. In the late 19th century a family lived there and the furnishings on display are all authentic from that time.
To find out more, and for opening times go to their website here.
5. VISIT MUSEO DEL TERRITORIO
This educational history museum consists of interconnecting Trulli which used to be home to a doctor, Giacomo Pezzolla. He was the personal doctor of the local count Giulio Antonio Acquaviva di Aragona, hence the name of the complex is ‘Casa Pezzolla’.
6. MORE ALBEROBELLO ACTIVITIES & TOURS
ALBEROBELLO TRULLI ACCOMMODATION
Many of the Trulli in Alberobello have been renovated and converted into tourist accommodation.
Here are some of the best Trulli rated highly by their guests.
For more accommodation options in Alberobello Italy, find the best deals here.
ALBEROBELLO ITALY CAMPSITE
We had luckily researched ahead and knew that parking the motorhome would be difficult in the centre of Alberobello.
We found a Campercontact stop in the town where we could also overnight. The camper site had electric and rubbish disposal but no other facilities.
However, it was very convenient to Alberobello town centre, which was only a five-minute walk away.
Alberobello Trulli … That’s a Wrap
These tiny hobbit-like homes were captivating. Alberobello transports you into a real-life fantasy world full of mystery and magic.
We have seen so many wonderful places in our ‘year in the van‘ travels throughout Europe, but the Alberobello Trulli will stand out as something very special, unique and amazing.
Have you visited these unique homes? Experienced anything similar? If so we’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below.
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