Many cities in Italy boast unique monuments and ancient architecture, which is a world heritage. But in all this placer there is the amazing town of Alberobello. It is located in southern Italy, in the Puglia region near the famous city of Bari. This small town became famous thanks to the unusual trulli houses. They are like fungi scattered on the hills of Alberobello, turning it into a fabulous city of gnomes.
In 1996, the snow-white trulli of Alberobello, like many other attractions of Italy, were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Truly, this is one of the most unusual places not only in Italy, but also in the world.
How Trulli appeared in Alberobello
Trullo translated into Russian means the dome. It is thanks to its unusual form that the trulli got their name.
Traditional trullo houses in Alberobello
The history of the construction of unusual houses goes back in the recent past. In the 16th century, the duke Andrea Matteo III brought the peasants from the Aquaviva dynasty to these lands. Andrea was still mean-spirited. According to local laws, any landowner had to pay the Neapolitan king a settlement tax.
To avoid unnecessary expenses, the Duke ordered his peasants to assemble houses from local limestone, without using cement cement. What for? Everything is simple!
A special stone was laid at the base of the roof. It was enough to harness three horses, pull this stone, and the house turned into ruins: in half an hour it was possible to destroy the whole village.
Trulli in Alberobello was built without fastening solutions
The arrival of royal officials was always known in advance. As a result, tax collectors did not see anything except heaps of white stones in these parts. The dukes prospered, and the local peasants were forced to rebuild their house every time.
In 1797, King Ferdinand exempted Alberobello from paying taxes. But local residents could not believe in the generosity of the king, continuing to build domed houses without fastening solutions.
Trulli was not built in Alberobello until 1925, when a law was passed prohibiting such construction. This law is valid to this day. You cannot build new trulli, but you can even use and reconstruct the old ones. Local residents actively use this, attracting numerous tourists to the unusual town.
Actually trulli in Alberobello is the main attraction. Tourists come here to enjoy the unusual trulli houses, live in trulli hotels, buy souvenirs in trulli shops and taste the delicious cuisine of southern Italy in trulli restaurants and trulli cafes.
Trullo shops with souvenirs
Modern Alberobello stands on two hills. The eastern hill is occupied by buildings of recent times. There is nothing special to look at, except perhaps the church in honor of the patrons of the cities of Cosmas and Domian.
The western hill is the exact opposite of the eastern. It is here that numerous trulli are located. In total, there are about 1,400 fabulous houses in the city. They are divided into two districts. The most visited area of Rione Monti, where there are about 1000 "gnome houses".
Here is everything that a modern tourist needs: cafes, shops, hotels, bars and restaurants. The second district - Rione Aia Piccola - is not so overrun with foreigners and Italians from neighboring cities, but here, like 400 years ago, ordinary people live in trulli houses and ordinary city life flows.
There are no two identical trullo in Alberobello. The main difference is the drawings on the dome
Despite the external similarity, two identical trullo in Alberobello can not be found.
There are so-called male and female trullo. Men's necessarily adorned with a sign with the sign of the master who gathered it. The drawings on the dome are also all different. Most often on the houses depict zodiac signs, pagan and religious symbols.
Trullo Sovrano - the only two-story trullo-house
Walking through the narrow streets, a curious tourist will surely get to Sacramento Square (Piazza Sacramento), where one of the main attractions of the “gnome town” is located - Trullo Sovrano.
Trullo Sovrano was built in the XVIII century by the family of a wealthy priest, and it is unusual in that it contains as many as 2 floors! Inside there is now a museum where for a nominal fee of 1.5 euros you can see how they lived in these places a couple of centuries ago.
Inside the trullo Sorvano is a museum
Another famous attraction is the St. Anthony's Trullo Church. It was built with the money of American immigrants on top of the Rione Monti.
Church of St. Anthony
We also recommend visiting the small Alberobello in miniatura shop. Here you can see and carefully consider the huge layout of old Alberobello. Entrance fee for visiting the store and inspection of the layout is not taken.
When to go to Alberobello
Alberobello is beautiful at any time of the year. However, the largest influx of tourists is observed from May to October.
In summer, it is better to go to Alberobello in the late afternoon, when the midday heat subsides. It is in the summer that a host of cultural events are organized in the city: concerts, festivals, performances by theater groups and even poetry evenings. On weekends during the season, you can truly get lost in the crowd, because italians from neighboring towns also join the large flow of tourists.
Alberobello Annual Winter Light Festival
It’s not boring here in winter either. Alberobello hosts the Alberobello Light Festival every year during Christmas. During the festival, with the onset of darkness, snow-white trulli illuminate thousands of lamps and spotlights, turning the already fabulous town into something completely magical. And the air temperature, which does not fall below +5 degrees in the south of Italy, makes even a winter trip truly comfortable.
How to get from Bari to Alberobello
The airport closest to Alberobello is in Bari. Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Russia and Ukraine to Bari, but you can always pick up a flight with a transfer.
At Bari Airport, you can order Alberobello? Pap = 52a64a56dbbba "> to order a taxi or rent a car. With your own transport, the trip takes only an hour.
For those who can not afford a taxi, but have never gotten an international driver’s license, there is another simple option - book an excursion from Bari to Alberobello.
Excursions are usually one-day. In the morning you will be taken away from the hotel, and in the evening, filled with impressions, will be returned back. This link allows you to find one of such wonderful excursions. In addition to exploring Alberobello's trulli, the price of the tour also includes a visit to one of the oldest wineries in Puglia with a tasting of local wines.
And finally, the last option for lovers of cheap but extreme travel is public transport. A train runs from Bari to Alberobello every hour and a bus once a day. They depart from the central railway station of Bari. You can get to the station from the airport by city bus (the trip will take about 30 minutes) or by train (15 minutes). Next, you need to purchase a ticket for the local train to Alberobello. On the way to spend about 1.5-2 hours.
Be careful! Regional trains do not announce upcoming stops. It’s important not to miss yours! Car doors open on demand by pressing the appropriate button. At some stops, the train costs no longer than a minute. Count the time to get off.
Trains from Bari arrive at Alberobello Train Station
From the railway station to the historic center can be reached on foot. On the road will take no more than 10 minutes.
When planning such a long and slightly extreme route, be sure to pre-attend to the search for housing in Alberobello (link). It is unlikely that you will have enough time to explore the city in 1 day and return to Bari by evening. But there will be a unique opportunity to live in a real trullo and experience the indescribable atmosphere of a fabulous town.
What to bring from Alberobello
In memory of a visit to the "town of the Dwarves" you can bring its main symbol - trullo. It is he who is depicted on countless local souvenirs. T-shirts, plates, mugs, magnets, as well as small copies of houses are actively sold out for home collections. Household items embroidered by local craftsmen are also popular - towels, tablecloths, napkins.
Honored in Alberobello and "delicious souvenirs." In souvenir shops you can always find gift baskets with local orecchiette pasta, olive oil and local wines. All kinds of liquors produced here are also popular. They are bottled in the form of trullo, so that even after drinking the memory of the fabulous city will still remain.
Photos by: Eric Bauer, Pizzaemandolino, Istvánka, Yellow.Cat, Horcrux92, Inselmann, alberobellolightfestival.com