Saturday, September 22, 2012


On the way back from Matera to the Adriatic coast is Alberobello, a town that features numerous inhabited trulli.  The trullo type of stone house was constructed without mortar or concrete, due to the taxes laid on these materials, and could be easily torn down if the powers that be didn't want anyone building any houses without their permission.  Trulli were often constructed in agricultural fields as temporary homes for workers, who would inhabit one for a period of time before moving on to another worksite, and thus to a different trullo.  A typical trullo was a single circular building with a conical roof.  From the inside, the roof would resemble a Greek beehive tomb.  In Alberobello, houses (and business establishments such as stores and restaurants) often include several trullo units.

Today, you can rent a modern trullo.  For more information, go here and here.

Here's a street in Alberobello, with trulli on both sides.

Here's a house made of at least two trullo units.

One trullo had an arched doorway.

These two trulli had several others behind them.

From an overlook, we saw a whole bunch of trulli.

And finally, there was a church behind some trulli.

To the uninformed, the name Alberobello appears to mean "beautiful tree", but it does not.  While albero is Italian for "tree", bello in this case does not mean "beautiful", but is instead derived from the Latin word bellum, meaning "war".  The name thus means "tree of war" or maybe "forest of war".  For more on Alberobello and its trulli, go here.

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