alberobello and its trulli
unesco heritage, a journey through enchanting landscapes, centuries-old olive trees and the wonderful apulian countryside
Distance 60 Km - The contrast between modernity and tradition, a distinctive feature of the regions of Southern Italy, is an essential component of the charm of Apulia, where the new blends in contexts where time seems to have stood still. Thus Alberobello, in the province of Bari, an agglomeration unique in the world, with its 1500 Trulli located in the Monti and Aja Piccola districts, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The old town consists exclusively of these conical limestone buildings of the Murge plateau, which are assembled dry. The Trulli, mainly present in the Itria Valley, between the provinces of Bari and Brindisi, have a prehistoric origin, on the model of the late Bronze Age thòlos tomb. This model of construction can be found in many parts of Mediterranean Europe and the Near East. However, the Trulli of Apulia - still inhabited today - are characterized by other examples of dome construction for continuity of use, so as to constitute a perhaps unique example of prehistoric construction still in use. Despite the structural stability and longevity demonstrated by these architectures (the oldest in Alberobello date back to the mid-seventeenth century), the Trulli were born as temporary shelters for farmers, built with the rocks collected on site. Dry construction, without mortar, spread following an imposition by the Counts of Conversano who, to escape an edict of the Kingdom of Naples that imposed taxes on each new urban settlement, around the fifteenth century, imposed on farmers to build only precarious buildings, easy to demolish in order to avoid taxation. The characteristic Trulli of Alberobello have different shapes and sizes, as they are built according to different housing needs. Traditionally made up of a single compartment, they sometimes have the juxtaposition of other communicating modular compartments, called Multiple Trulli. In rare cases they reach the two floors. They have a circular structure, with a conical roof set with stones. The walls are built directly on the foundations of limestone and made using the technique of dry masonry. The roofs consist of a conical inner lining, culminating with the keystone, and an outer lining formed by so-called chianche, slabs of limestone. Externally, the roofs have rough decorations in white ash with mythological, religious or simply identifying sign of the trullista (or trullaro). They end, then, with a decorative pinnacle shaped like a sphere or a half sphere, which, in ancient times, had the scope of chasing away the malignant influences.