A Journey among the "trulli" of Puglia

The green heart of the Murgian hills is a must for tourists who love holidays in places still immersed in the quiet greenery of the countryside. Thousands of cone shaped houses called ‘trulli’ dot the area, and give evidence of a fascinating and mysterious landscape where one is still able to behold the sacred and profane symbols of a historical landscape.

These unique buildings, marked by history and legend, bring to mind the the geometric shapes of the dolmens in Sardegna, the ‘borie’ in France and other similar constructions which one can admire in Spain, Turkey and Africa.
The Valley of the ‘Trulli’ or the Valley of Itria is a dreamlike landscape where among stone walls marking the borders of mulptiple vineyards one can see here and there the typical conical constructions unique to the region; they are a millenarian feature, built entirely in the form of cylinders out of stone with a cone on top, and still very much part of Italian popular architecture.
In the heart of the Murgian hills, Alberobello is famed for its ‘trulli’, whose typical constructions were declared a world heriatge site by Unesco in 1996. The city’s houses are in fact made up of about a thousand ‘trulli’, set out on two levels and each worthy of admiration in its own way.
In this town it is possibile to experience the local wines and oil, and on a Sunday taste the local speciality, ‘orecchiette’ (pasta in the shape of small ears), made by the expert hands of the local women. Moreover one can also see the master stonemasons “maestri trullari” at work as they go about repairing the houses.
A must for the tourist: the Oil Museum, where an ancient oil press and other traditional tools from the region’s peasant past form the background to a pleasant tasting of extravirgin olive oil and other local products. Then there is the neoclassical monument: the Basilica Minore, a world heritage site; the church of St. Anthony, unique in the world due to its ‘trullo’ shape; and the king of ‘trulli’, the “trullo sovrano”, which represents the most advanced example of ‘trullo’ where it is still possible to breathe the original atmosphere of ancient temples, with perfectly preserved kitchen utensils and other objects from everyday life.
If you want to spend time shopping, the historical centre of Rione “Monti” offers seven streets of shops open till late, where master artisans show off the work of their trade.
Other places to visit within the area punctuated by the ‘trulli’, and among olive groves and vineyards, are: Locorotondo, a small town whose houses are famous for their whiteness; Martina Franca, characterised by baroque lineaments which make it among the most typical of the towns in Puglia; and Ostuni, also defined as a “white city”, where the streets and narrow alleys wind to form the walkways of amedieval town whose whiteness is its supreme characteristic.