As you might know, I am Italian and I come from a region named “Puglia” situated in the South of Italy, exactly at the tip of the boot.
If you still didn’t visit Apulia, you definitely need to plan your next trip in this region. Why?
Well, I was lucky enough to be born here, and luckily I travelled a lot around my region. You should visit Apulia because of all of those charmed typical villages that you can find in it, from the highest part of the region, called Gargano, to the lowest part of the region, known as Salento.
One of those villages that almost seems it went out of a fairy tale is Alberobello. Alberobello is an UNESCO’s heritage site situated in Itria Valley, an area located in Apulia’s region characterized by olive trees, vineyards and trulli.
Trulli are a traditional Apulian cone-shape buildings. Alberobello is an UNESCO’s world heritage site because it’s the only village in the world where you can find trulli. It’s incredible because Alberobello’s inhabitants still live in trulli!
I love this village because when you are walking in its small city center, it seems you are walking in a dream, with all of those white streets decorated with flowers. In the streets, just outside of trulli, there are always grannies and Alberobello’s inhabitants that will try to make you feel just like you are walking in your city: they will chat with you, and sometimes they might also invite to visit the place where they live or to taste their typical dishes. Apulia’s inhabitants are like this: they are warm and hospitables.
Why were trulli houses built?
Trulli started to be built mostly in 14th and 15th centuries, because an edict issued by the Kingdom of Naples imposed to pay a tribute to each new urban settlement.
The inhabitants of Apulia of that time thought to be clever, and that’s why they designed truly: truly are a kind of building that should be demolished with ease, since it was easy to remove the keystone and to transform the houses into piles of stones. When the king’s delegate was visiting that area and asking to pay a tribute, Alberobello’s inhabitants would shrug saying that they were not living there.
It’s in 1797 when Alberobello really became a village. Trullo dell’amore was the first trullo of the city, and nowadays it is the Alberobello’s tourist office.
I find kind of funny that during the 14th and 15th century, trulli were seen like something that belonged to the poor part of the population, while nowadays they are an unique kind of accomodation for tourists; now trulli are considered as something sophisticated.
Walking in the city, you will realize that there are some trulli that have some symbols on their cones. Those mysterious signs are magical and propitiatory symbols: some of them have pagan and Christian origin, depending on the origins of the family that were living in the trullo. Its meanings differ, but mostly they want to depict protection of the family from the evil eye or veneration of some divinity propitiatory of a good harvest.
There are some symbols that are Christians, such as the pierced heart of Mary or the symbol of the Sun-Christ.
As Pagan symbol, you can find spoked cross or the Jewish candlestick.
Curiosity regarding Alberobello
Alberobello’s name can be literally translated in English as “Beautiful Tree“. Its name comes from «Sylva Arboris Belli», which literally means forest of the tree of war and it refers to past centuries when this area was covered with dense vegetation.
Alberobello’s inhabitants will surely be happy to host you in their houses to taste homemade rosoli, an Italian liqueur derived from rose petals, or they will show you their loom-worked products, such as tea towels or bath towels, that you can also buy from one of the numerous souvenirs shops in the city center.
Alberobello is just one of the reason why you should visit Apulia. If you want to know more about this beautiful region, you can keep on reading my blog article.