Alberobello, located in the Italian state of Puglia (heel of the Italian boot) is one of a series of towns along with Fassano, Ostuni and Martina Franca which are to found in a region known as the land of the Trulli. Trulli are example of drywall (mortarlesss) construction, a pre-historic building technique that is still used today. They are square structures with conical, pyramidal or domed roofs which is covered in local grey limestone slabs known as chiancarelle. Originally built without mortar the walls and the edges of the roof are then whitewashed with each dome representing a room in each house which is usually made up of 3 or 4 rooms, thus each house normally has 3 or 4 trulli. Traditionally a tall chimney crowns the side of the building and external staircases lead to the attic.
The present settlements in the area date from the 14th century when Robert d’Anjou, Prince of Taranto parcelled out land in the area in recognition of service during the crusades. The idea of building drystone walling was so that if needed the homes could be dismantled quickly. This proved handy as peoples could quickly dismantle their house and move to avoid taxes then re-assemble just as quickly in a new location or re-build on the original one. A great example was 1644 when locals managed to thwart tax inspectors sent by the King of Naples.
By the mid 16th century the area was occupied by more than 40 trulli, however in 1620 Count Gian Girolamo Guercio constructed a mill, bakery and inn in the area and by the end of the 18th century the number was 3500. The town received the status of Royal Town from Ferdinand IV, King of Naples, in 1797 and adopted Alberobello as a name taking it from the old Latin name for the region siva arboris belli.
There are not many sights, it is more of a case of walking around and admiring. The Zona dei Trulli, on the southern side of the hill is divided into 2 neighbourhoods;
With more than 1000 trulli that cascade down the hillside and
Rione Aia Piccola
Which is much smaller with only 400 trulli but also much less commercialised as many of the dwelling are still used as family homes
A two-storied trullo, the largest in Alberobell, and was built in the mid 18th century have a total of 12 cones and is well preserved
A great place for those who want to see something a little different.