Alberobello resembles an architectural fantasy land. The unusual town is constructed almost entirely of a peculiar construction style unique to this area of Puglia, known as trulli. These rustic whitewashed rural homes are surmounted by conical teepee-like roofs made from stacked stones without mortar. The trulli are composed of irregularly-shaped alcoves that form the rooms and are separated by draperies, except for the bathroom doors. An ample hearth provides heat in the winter while the stone walls keep the dwellings cool in the summer. The cone roofs form eye-pleasing peaks that line up along the narrow streets.
The main concentration of trulli is found in the Valle d'Itria area; the town of Alberobello alone boasts more than 1000 of these curious dwellings, which has led to it being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The consistent construction style gives the town a very distinct, harmonious look. It's really unlike any other place in the world!
Alberobello began as a "borgo," a village constructed by the area's ruling family the Acquaviva to house the farmers who worked the feudal lands. In 1797, the town appealed to the Bourbon King Ferdinand IV requested autonomy and was granted the status of free commune.
Alberobello is mainly agricultural, with almond groves and olive trees occupying the surrounding countryside. There are some stately ancient knotted olive trees around the area. Tourism is its second main industry, not only becauase of the trulli but the other sights of the Valle d'Itria and its location between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. There are many artisan shops scattered around town, and excellent eateries that serve Puglian specialties.
Don't miss the Cathedral, best known as the "trulli church" because the grand edifice was built to mimic the characteristics of the town's dwellings. The Trullo Sovrano is an impressive palazzo-trullo that is built on two stories, unusual for this style of building. The Casa d'Amore was the first non-trullo building in Alberobello, erected as a symbol of the town's liberty from feudalism in 1797. The neoclassical Basilica dei Santi Medici Cosma e Damiano boasts two towers and internal vaults. The doors portray the Biblical beatitudes while the interior is richly decorated in Gospel scenes and has fine frescoes.
Alberobello is in the heart of Puglia's primary tourist region, near the Baroque town of Martina Franca and characteristic towns like Andria, Trani, Locorotondo and Ostuni. It's in easy reach of Bari and the beaches of the Adriatic as well as the shallow seas of the Ionian.
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