Trulli a Treasure in Puglia Italy
Beautiful outside, fresh inside! The Trulli houses make up major part of the face of the region of Puglia (Apulia).
Today, one of the main functions of most buildings – whether offices, restaurants or residences – is protection from the elements. This had long been the case in areas of extreme weather conditions. The inhabitants of Puglia (in southern Italy), where it is not unusual for temperatures to exceed 100°F in the summer, mastered the art of insulation through the construction of the Trulli.
Trulli did not escape the careful eye of UNESCO, which granted them UNESCO World Heritage status in 1996.
Architecture or Tax Evasion?
The origin of the buildings dates back to an edict of the Kingdom of Naples in the 15th century, which imposed a tax for all new urban centers. In order to avoid this levy, the counts of Conversano forced their peasants to build easily removable housing so that they would not have to report their villages to the Neapolitan overlords. So, the villagers constructed these circular dry stone dwellings built without mortar and topped with a conical roof without framing.
These huts built with limestone rocks were temporary and for seasonal use. Indeed, they were mostly of use to farmers in the period of grape harvests or heavy rain. It is believed that these temporary structures consisting of dry stone could be easily dismantled when necessary. And this is what happened when the property tax collectors arrived in town!
The Trulli houses are built without mortar or any other material to bond the stones together. Nevertheless, there is no danger that the roof will fall on your head! Though the first Trulli settlements date from the Bronze Age, the earliest extant Trulli houses still standing today date from the 14th century!
The only other place in Europe where Trulli houses are found is the Rhine in Germany. Why? Because migrant workers from Puglia built them, when they worked in the vineyards there!
Visiting the Trulli of Puglia
This spring, Olde Ipswich Tours will be visiting the Trulli of Alberobello on our first small group tour to Puglia in Southern Italy. We are exciting to explore this fascinating area of Italy and hope you will considering joining us!