The Amazing “Trulli”


The peculiar and charming homes that made Alberobello, Puglia a World Heritage Site.

This article is written by Contributing Editor Tony Traficante.

The Amazing “Trulli”

It is a mysterious sight! When you come upon them, not knowing what they are, it’s as though you’ve entered a land of fantasy! They are found in Puglia, a Southern Region of Italy along the eastern edge of the heel of the boot. A beautiful area, with acres of olive trees and long stretches of sun-drenched beaches. And then, looking out over the timeless grounds of the Region, you spot groupings of these extraordinary buildings; they look like concrete “Tepees!” They are the strange but charming, “Trulli.”

Row of trulli houses in the center of Alberobello, Puglia, Italy.

Many of the Trulli are found around the town of Alberobello, Province of Bari, Puglia. They have existed as far back as the 14th century. Constructed to hold animals, or as farm storage sites, the Trulli became housing for peasants and their families.

The typical Trullo was a rustic dry-stone hut with thick walls, made without mortar or cement, having a conical roof. The first of these were an architectural departure. They were allowed as temporary structures, by the ruling Lords, so that they could easily be dismantled and avoid having to pay taxes as permanent facilities.

 

Commonly constructed as a single room facility, some land engineers might consider the Trulli a wasteful use of ground space. However, the town planners must have found them a perfect solution in tight urban areas.

The contemporary Trulli are regular real estate units, with all the modern conveniences, still using the thick limestone, painted white, retaining their overall beauty and distinctive conical roofs. Although they are not adaptable as multi-story structures, they can be built on a horizontal plane. Additional space is created by attaching a new Trullo to an existing structure and punching a passageway through the walls, connecting them together.

The Trulli are extraordinary, and if you have not had the opportunity to see them, they are available to buy, rent, or just admire, in beautiful Puglia.

It is because of the individuality and curiosity of the Trulli, that the United Nations designated Alberobello a World Heritage Site, as were Stonehenge in the UK, the Great Wall of China, and the Acropolis of Greece.

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