Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Alberbello's Trulli

Town of Trulli
Alberobello is a town north of Lecce that is known for its unique style of houses called Trulli. These houses were featured on one of our favourite travel sites as a possible rental, and it was because of this that I suggested we visit the Puglia region of Italy. After extensive research, we are not renting a Trullo, but I still wanted to visit the town known for them.

Trulli Street
A Trullo is a circular house with a conical roof, and are made entirely of stone. The style developed as a means of beating the tax man, a popular sport in Italy I am told. The Trullo was originally a temporary shelter built by farmers or animal herders, and are actually similar in design to our Canadian igloos. The Inuit use blocks of ice, the Italians use stone. Because the original Trulli were built without mortar they could be taken apart when their occupants moved on. Of course the resourceful Italians quickly discovered that because they were considered "temporary" shelters they were exempt from taxation on houses, and of course, no building permits . . . The simple domed stone shelters grew circular rooms under them, and unique stone roofs made of sloping stone tiles were added. Next it was discovered if you built two side by side you could have multiple rooms, and there are even two story Trulli. As you drive around the area you see large Trullo estates with five or six domes, and many now have swimming pools and other modern luxuries. I am told that the swimming pools are in fact "water storage tanks" in case of fires; again to avoid taxation on luxuries.
Tourists . . . .

Unique Trullo construction
This has backfired slightly on the residents of Alberobello however. The "Town of Trulli" was named a Unesco Heritage Site, and now, not only cannot these once temporary shelters be torn down, any new construction in the town must be based on the Trullo design. There has however been a tourist boom as everyone, me included, wants to visit and see these unique buildings.

Yup, even a Trullo Church
Alberobello was included as part of our tour of the region, and it was interesting to wander through the section of town entirely composed of Trulli. Even the church is a Trullo. You can see clearly the original structures compared with the newer ones because now special stones creates nice even roofs where the original ones are much more irregular and rougher.
Inside a Trullo


I am told that the tax laws were changed so that you now do have to pay property tax on your Trullo house.

1 comment:

  1. I still want to stay in one of these Trulli. I find them fascinating! I believe I'd want a water storage tank ... never know when your stone house might catch fire ....