If you have ever dreamed about being a hobbit and living in hobbitville, you might want to visit a small town in Puglia, Italy called Alberobella. Famous for it’s trulli houses built from local dry stone, called tufa.
It’s a village that resembles something out of a story book, with it’s white washed facades and coned roof tops. Once used as storehouses and peasant homes for agricultural laborers, around the 15th and 16th century, the city now holds the title as a World Heritage Humanity Site from UNESCO. Back in the day, the local Count decided to mandate the structures be built entirely without mortar, in order to avoid paying taxes to the King. Interestingly enough, they are incredibly stable, watertight and have excellent temperature control. They just don’t have a lot of light, due to the lack of windows.
The name Alberobella means, “little tree”. The painted symbols on top the the trulli dwellings only recently appeared in the late 20th century during a remodeling phase. The quant town is now home to about 10,000 residents and a good portion of the trulli bungalows are managed by shop owners, who’s main source of income is tourism.
As you walk through the windings streets, up hilltops and down flower lined passageways, you will find a plethora of local artisans selling their goods. You can pick up everything from hand sewn table clothes and linens to miniature crafted trulli houses made from the local Apulian tufa stone. Alberobella is a gem of a town, situated in the ‘heel’ of Italy. A great way to see the region is by booking a trip with one of the international tour agencies, like Insight Vacations.
My family and I did a special tour called: Country Roads of Puglia and the Neopolitan Riviera. Experiencing this region of Italy was purely magical. I would highly recommend visiting Alberobella, a fascinating destination that is steeped in history, unique architecture and unparalleled charm. Ciao Bella!
References: Wikipedia, Amusing Planet