Alberobello – the “Trulli city”
In the heart of Murgia dei Trulli, 50 kilometers from Bari, lies Alberobello. On the eastern hill is the new city with modern architectural elements, on the other side in the west is the characteristic old town entirely made up of Trulli and therefore a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The trullo is a kind of conical construction of traditional dry stone wall and especially in the Itria valley numerous. The trulli were generally built as temporary lodgings in the countryside or as permanent lodgings for farmers.
Alberobello’s trulli represent a millennium tradition of the dry stone building throughout the Mediterranean. In the area of present-day Alberobello there were scattered rural settlements some 1,000 years ago (1,000 AD). The settlements gradually grew to villages. In the middle of the 14th century, the area of Alberobello was awarded to the first Earl of Conversano by Robert d’Anjou, Prince of Taranto, in honor of the service during the Crusades. In the middle of the 16th century, the Monti district was occupied by about forty trulli, but in 1620, the settlement began to grow when the count of that time, Gian Girolamo Guercio, ordered the construction of a bakery, a mill and an inn. At the end of the 18th century, the community numbered over 3500 people. In 1797, the feudal rule ended, the name Alberobello was adopted and Ferdinand IV, Bourbon King of Naples, Alberobello awarded the status of a royal city. After this time, the construction of new trulli refused.
The urban area of the “Trulli” in Alberobello is a labyrinth of winding lanes, with more than 1000 trulli divided into two districts: “Monti” and “Aia Piccola”. In the district of Aia Piccola, there is Casa Pezzolla, a complex of 15 communicating trulli, which today serves as the Museo del Territorio.
The largest trullo is located in Piazza Sacramento and is 14 meters high. It was built in the second half of the 18th century by the Perta family, including the first vicar of Alberobello, Don Cataldo. It was the seat of the Brotherhood of the Blessed Sacrament from 1826 to 1837. The trullo was acquired by the Sumerano family in 1861 and has been used as a museum since 1994 after restoration. In summer Trullo Sovrano hosts theatrical performances, small orchestra or jazz band concerts and other cultural events. Very large is also the trullo paparale from the 17th century with its characteristic dome with two cones.