But did you know that the trulli of Alberobello have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List? Well, this prestigious recognition came in 1996. Trulli, according to UNESCO, “constitute an extraordinary example of building typology”. A beautiful and fascinating place in our Italy. Do you know the history of Alberobello and its characteristic buildings? We will tell you about it.
Trulli of Alberobello, a bit of history
The origins of the Apulian trulli date back to ancient times. They are limestone, dry stone constructions. This technique even dates back to prehistoric times. Alberobello alone has more than 1,500 structures in the districts of Monti and Aja Piccola. According to some research launched over time, in the mid-sixteenth century the area of Monti was already occupied by about forty trulli. In 1620 Alberobello acquired the physiognomy of an independent settlement and at the end of the eighteenth century it obtained the title of royal city from the King of Naples Ferdinand IV of Bourbon.
The origin of the word “trullo”
The term with which this characteristic construction is indicated derives from the Latin turris, trulla, or from the Greek tholos, or from the Greek-Byzantine torullosa. These terms mean dome, the top of these buildings with the characteristic conical shape. Used as temporary shelter for farmers or storage for their tools inside the farms they cultivated. They consist therefore of a single room, where the peasant lived. There was a bed for sleeping and a space for storing tools. For larger families, mezzanines were built and wooden lintels were added to hang food, supplies, tools and dishes. They were built with the dry masonry technique. The walls are 80 to 270 cm thick. They have characteristics that make it an avant-garde in construction. In fact, the cold in winter is isolated, and the interiors are warm. While in summer the environment remains cool.
On the top there is the dome: these are horizontal slabs arranged in recessed steps, called chianche. They are embedded with the thinner external plates, called chiancarelle. Finally the “pinnacle” that is the signature of the master who built them. On the dome, then, esoteric, spiritual elements were often painted in white.
The legend of the Trullo Siamese
There is a very particular story concerning the construction of the Trullo Siamese. Between reality and fiction, it too has a certain charm. Story goes that two brothers fell in love with the same woman. She was promised in marriage to the firstborn, but she was in love with the other. The three then decided to live for a while in the same house. But in the end the eldest brother, driven by jealousy, forced the two lovers to leave the house. And he demanded that the house belonged to him. But the younger brother wanted his part of the inheritance. So the three were forced to stay in the same house, but made two entrances on two opposite streets.
Not only the trulli in Alberobello, here’s what you can visit
Reaching the Apulian town you are fascinated by this expanse of characteristic buildings. You can visit the Monti district, made up of about 1030 trulli. And again the village of Aja Piccola consisting of a network of narrow and winding alleys. The two-storey “Trullo Sovrano” which now houses a museum. And again the Church of Sant’Antonio which is in the shape of a trullo, preceded by a monumental entrance and a staircase dominated by a rose window. The House of Love, the first lime-built house in 1797, now houses the tourist office. And the Sanctuary of Santi Medici which houses their reliquary and the painting of the Madonna of Loreto.
Tourist destination to visit
Alberobello is thus one of the recommended places for tourism in Italy. In fact, it is not just a place full of charm. But also tourist. Many trulli are homes. Others are restaurants. Still others are shops used to buy all that is characteristic. With the summer or winter charm of its special architecture, Alberobello is confirmed as one of the favorite destinations of international tourism.