The Magnificent Trulli, Alberobello

The Magnificent Trulli, Alberobello

You’re sure to find an array of things that you want to check out during your vacation in the region of Puglia; but no matter what’s on your bucket list, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see Alberobello’s trulli huts.

Almost anyone who has visited this part of the region will agree that these stunning pieces of architecture are well worth witnessing first hand. From the singular units, to trullo complexes; each site is a majestic piece of history and culture. For this reason alone this area sees countless visitors every year – and if you’re looking for the best landmarks in Puglia, they’re considered a must.

Facts you’re sure to want to know

So many individuals just love the trulli, and if you’re considering seeing them for yourself, there’s a good chance that you’ll want to learn a little bit more about them and what makes them so special (aside from their iconic traditional beauty).

When where the trulli first built?

You may be surprised to hear that these huts are at least 500 years old; with the earliest documentation of them being in the 1500s. At this time there weren’t too many at all, with around 40 cataloged. Interestingly though, just a couple of centuries later, there were said to be 3500 of these structures in residence. Unfortunately, we don’t know when they were actually built – and there’s a chance that we may never have an answer.

The additional details that make these huts so incredible

Most would agree that these buildings were perfect for their time, thanks to the relatively simple design and the materials used. For example, the limestone was locally sourced and easy to obtain when used to construct the huts. Despite the fact that they don’t look too complicated or sophisticated, you’ll see that there’s a lot behind the simple exterior that makes them architecturally impressive – especially considering when they were built.

This includes the unique guttering system used to collect rain water, the ingenious way that the fireplaces were built into the homes, the two-layered wall that provides insulation, and many more features. All of these things truly make you see just how much time, thought, and effort went into constructing these buildings.

The trulli across Puglia

Alberobello is known to have the oldest and highest volume of trulli in Puglia; although there are a few other locations in the region that feature these spectacular structures. Be sure to keep an eye out for them while exploring towns like Locorotondo and Ostuni too, you may just see a few stray ones in these areas during your trip.

Mysteries that have yet to be solved

We may have learned a great deal of things about the trulli thanks to years of research, but there are still a number of mysteries surrounding them. Here are just a few of the things that are still unknown:

Why they’re easy to dismantle

Most people come to see the trulli because of their beauty. Tourists from around the globe are drawn to these ancient dwellings, simply because of how incredible they look. One factor about the design that many people may be interested to know more about is that they were built to be quickly and easily removed.

We may not understand why they can be so simply taken down, but there are a number of theories that help to shed some light onto this mystery.

One of the most likely and popular beliefs is that it was done to avoid paying property taxes. Essentially, the ability to easily take down the houses made it possible for the residents to remove the homes when the tax inspectors were coming, therefore avoiding the need to pay the taxes.

The meaning of the word “trulli”

The name trullo, and its plural trulli, is something that is quite a mystery, too. The word today means dry construction, but this is a more recent term which may have been used to help describe the huts instead.

Whether the name came from the Latin word turris, or the ancient Greek word tholoi, no one really knows. Some even believe that it came from the word torullos – the Greek-Byzantine name of the domed hall of the imperial palace.

The purpose of the ornament that sits on the tip of the conical roof

When it comes to the aesthetics, most people will notice that there are several different interesting features, one of which is the pinnacle of each hut.

One of the most common beliefs is that they’re just used for decoration, likely chosen by the owner of the property. Alternatively, some instead think that it was used as method of branding by the builder to differentiate their work from that of others.

There’s also the theory that they may have a more mystical meaning, too. The shapes and characteristics can be connected to the way that the sun was worshiped many years ago, tracing back to a time where agricultural humans lived in Puglia (who are documented to have been in the region until the first century A.D.).

Make sure you see the trulli

Regardless of how you plan to spend your vacation in this part of Italy, you’re sure to want to make room for a trip to Alberobello in your busy schedule. Even though they can be found in other parts of the region, there’s nothing quite like seeing the ones in Alberobello with your own eyes.

Other reasons to come to Alberobello

The entire town is a World Heritage Site, and while this is largely due to the many trulli in residence, there are several other things that you may want to see and do while you’re here.

You won’t want to miss out on the chance to try some of the region’s many delicious traditional foods, like pasticciotto. These are tasty, custard filled pastries that go down well as a breakfast or even a tasty treat. If you’re looking to see the many wonders of Alberobello, make sure that you don’t do so on an empty stomach, and try some of the many amazing Puglian foods that you simply can’t get anywhere else.


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