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Puglia, Italy

The Trulli of Alberobello: Unique holiday properties in Italy

Posted by Luci Ackers on Jul 15, 2016
The Trulli of Alberobello: Unique holiday properties in Italy
  • The Trulli of Alberobello: Unique holiday properties in Italy
  • The Trulli of Alberobello: Unique holiday properties in Italy
  • The Trulli of Alberobello: Unique holiday properties in Italy
  • The Trulli of Alberobello: Unique holiday properties in Italy


Holiday in one of the incredible Trulli of Alberobello, a unique UNESCO Site in southern Italy.

The Trulli of Alberobello are famous limestone dwellings found in the region of Puglia. Whitewashed, cone-roofed little cottages are clustered into, arguably one of the most exquisite and unusual towns in Italy.

The trulli are drystone, mortarless structures – which is a prehistoric building technique that still survives today. Though there isn't any concrete evidence, it is thought that some of Alberobello's current houses date from around the 14th century. Rough limestone boulders would have been gathered from neighbouring fields to construct the base while the large conical roofs are made from limestone slabs.

Unable to support multiple storeys, and with thick outer walls, the design is a reasonably inefficient use of space. The trulli were therefore usually built in the countryside either as a solitary structure or in groups of up to five.

True expansion in the area did not occur until the 17th century. The later, larger designs had underground cisterns dug in, and these were fed by the water collected in the eaves at the base of the roof. Fireplaces and alcoves were recessed into the thick walls to provide heat and extra space.

There are several theories as to why the trulli have such an interesting design. The large limestone blocks are laid onto the bedrock and built upwards; the roof is made in two parts – an inner layer and and outer layer to prevent the seeping of rainwater. This enables the roof stones to be removed without effecting the rest of the structure. One theory suggests the simplicity of the building originated from the initial need to dismantle the dwellings at short notice to move on, and possibly to avoid property tax!

The trulli are unique to the Itria Vally due to their level of preservation, their homogeneity and the fact that they are still inhabited. The dwellings are now protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and visitors come from all over to admire them. A large number of the surviving Trulli were bought at the beginning of the century to be restored and converted into second homes.

Why not discover this incredible place for yourself and stay in a trulli property? To find out how, simply pop you details in at the bottom of the page and receive a brochure.

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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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