The small town of Alberobello is located in the south of Italy in the province of Apulia, 50 kilometers south of Bari. There are no large cathedrals or palaces, but the charming houses of Trullo attract as many tourists as the major cities. This is not seen anywhere else in the world. Alberobello is included in the UNESCO world heritage list.
Word «Trullo» means «Dome» in Greek, although the locals call their home Casedda. Trullo is an example of the ancient technology of building small houses with walls of dry masonry without mortar. The stones are placed in a circle and held by their weight. A domed roof is erected over them. The interior of the dome is laid out of limestone stones, and the roof is covered with flat stone slabs. They are like scales, protecting the house from the rain. With the help of a horse, you could remove the cornerstone from the base of the roof, and the house turned into a pile of stones.
The history of Trullo houses dates back to the 17th century. For centuries, the city of Conversano was the main center of Apulia, which was part of the Kingdom of Naples. In 1455, power over these lands passed from the Normans to the Aquaviva dynasty. Giuliano Girolamo, count of Acquaviva d`Aragon is one of the most known representative of this dinasty. He owned Conversano from 1626 to 1665. Count Aquaviva was extremely cruel, much like the Romanian Prince Vlad Tepes, the prototype of count Dracula. In addition, he was very greedy.
In those years, there were impenetrable forests in Apulia, but the count of Acquaviva decided to settle these lands with peasants, so they would cultivate it and pay him tithes. The population of this area grew rapidly, and the forest thickets turned into fertile fields. The Earl forbade them to build homes with the use of the mortar. In this way, he could drive the peasant from the land and destroy his house. However, the main reason for the construction of Trullo was the Royal decree that the feudal lords must pay a tax for the houses in his lands. Count Aquaviva was greedy. He wanted to attract farmers to his land and not pay taxes for their houses.
In 1635, he began building a village on the site of the present location of Alberobello, but all its houses were built in the form of those Trullo without mortar, which can be quickly destroyed. Alberobello was growing quickly. Count Aquaviva was getting rich, but he didn`t pay taxes. The Duke of the neighboring town Martin Franca informed king that Earl did not pay taxes from this city, but in anticipation of the visit of the Royal inspectors, count Aquaviva ordered the destruction of all the houses of Alberobello in one night. After their departure, residents spent a long time restoring their homes.
In the 18th century, the peasants no longer wanted to live in constant expectation of Royal inspectors, and turned to king Ferdinand IV of Bourbon with a request to give their city official status. It was received on May 25, 1797. This day is considered the date of the Foundation of Alberobello.
The thick walls of Trullo keep warm in winter and cool in summer. The walls of almost all of the Trullo are whitewashed, the roofs are crowned with domes (of pinchollo). On the roofs of many Trullo, Christian and pagan symbols are painted in white paint, which makes them even more picturesque. Surprisingly, apart from Alberobello and its immediate surroundings, there are no Trullo huts anywhere else in Italy.
Alberobello consists of two districts, Monte and Aia Piccola, located on the neighboring hills. Most of the houses in the Monte district are filled with tourist shops and shops. The area of Aia Piccola is more authentic. There are fewer tourists, and it has retained its medieval charm. Some large Trullo are built away from the main areas. The largest Trullo Sovrano now houses a Museum. An interesting Museum "House of Pezzolla" can also be visited in Casa Lippolis.
There are two churches in Alberobello. The Church of Cosmas and Damian was built in 1885, in the traditional Italian classical style. The Church of St. Anthony is completely stylized as a Trullo building and looks very picturesque.