This week we start our Dreaming of Puglia series of articles that we hope will shed more light on this region of southern Italy, full of tradition and still relatively undiscovered by tourists . We’re planning on covering all the major cities and important towns and locations along the heel of the beautiful country of my birth (read more about us here).
Alberobello – A Unique Town
We begin our journey through Puglia with perhaps one of the most unique towns in the world: Alberobello. Alberobello lies in the province of Bari, the capital of the Puglia region. The town became an independent settlement around 1620, even though a few scattered farmers were already living in the area before then. These people lived in funny-looking abodes made of limestone walls and conical roofs. No mortar was used in the making of the Trulli. Why, you may ask?
Well, the answer lies deep in the genetics of us Italians. We tend to dislike the government, whatever its form and therefore find it quite rude on their part to ask citizens to let go of some of their hard-earned money in the form of taxes. In this case, at the time the Kingdom of Naples was in power in this part of Italy and the King had issued an edict taxing every new settlement. The smart owners of the area where Alberobello is today, imposed that all structures be built to be dismantled and demolished quickly, so as not to be there, should the Kingdom emissaries come to inspect the village. No houses, no tax. Simple hey? The peasants therefore used an ancient building technique and house shape that allowed for simple and solid configuration.
If you haven’t seen photos of the Trulli, the typical cone-shaped-roofed houses of Alberobello, here’s a couple for you.
Alberobello has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1996 because, very clearly, there’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world. Today it is home to around 11,000 people, as well as places like the Trullo Sovrano, a two-storey heritage museum where people can see what life was like in the olden days. There’s also an inner garden where fantastic, unforgettable photos can be taken. Alberobello is also home to many restaurants and trattorie (local taverns) where local delicacies will make hungry visitors happy and replete.
We have booked one night in a trullo like the one above (click on image for more info) for our upcoming trip to Puglia and we can’t wait to visit Alberobello and spend time inside one of these houses that seemed to have come out of a Lords of the Rings’ book. Many photos will be taken and shared on our social media channels. Keep an eye out especially on our Twitter and Instagram accounts where we’ll be keeping a daily diary of our trip.
If you go to Alberobello you will also be able to discover this enchanting village and unique history by using a local tour guide.
Have you ever been to Puglia? Let us know in a comment below.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that will allow me to keep this blog going. Thank you for your support!