The Trulli of Alberobello

A trullo (plural, trulli) is a traditional stone dwelling with a conical roof. The style of construction is specific to the Itria Valley in the Murge area of the Italian region of Apulia (Puglia). Trulli were generally constructed as dwellings or storehouses, traditionally built without any cement or mortar. These gleaming houses (whitewashed each year) are curious, rounded structures with gray, stone, cone-shaped roofs. They are common in the province of Bari and Taranto, yet unknown in the rest of the world. A great number of trulli may be found on the hillside of the town of Alberobello, which my husband Tony and I had the pleasure of visiting in November, 2006. The town’s historical center , amid the scent of almond and olive trees, and has been declared an International Human Resource by UNESCO. It is made up of a hundred trulli some 5 centuries old. The origin of their odd stone teepee design is unknown. Although some theories date the Trulli back 5000 years, the most popular story of their creation claims that such buildings were first constructed during the Middle Ages, when anyone who built a dwelling on the King’s land was heavily taxed. With this in mind, the Pugliesi cleverly devised the drywall stone Trulli solely for purposes of tax evasion. As the story goes, upon word of the taxman’s arrival (perhaps by means of a smoke signal), the Trulli were rapidly dismantled and moved out of sight. After the visit was over and that hated official successfully ducked, the homes were re-erected. Nowadays, Trulli are firmly planted and buttressed with stucco. A cone still comprises a single common area and the interiors, though charming, are spartan. With the exception of bathroom doors, the rooms are separated by colorful curtains in sharp contrast to the stark whiteness of the interior walls Mostly handmade furnishing of olive wood, quite beautiful by any standard, are representative of the work of the traditional peasant artisans of the area. The hearth remains the source of heat to this day.

Often their owners will paint large symbols on the trullo roof, which of course have a certain significance.

typical kitchen more geometry in the park

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