I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
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.
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.