Famous for their almost fairy-tale shape, the Trulli, now a
UNESCO World Heritage Site, owe their shape to an origin that may have little
in the way of magic, but that will certainly make you smile.
The domain of Alberobello, which now houses more than 1000 trulli, was donated to the Counts of Conversano as a reward for their help by Ferdinand of Aragon around the sixteenth century. Ambitious and ready to do anything to enrich themselves, the Counts repopulated the lands now known as 'Alberobello' ordering the peasants to build themselves shelters with the abundant limestone in the area. With their circular shape, the Trulli had to be built dry, without mortar, to allow easy dismantling and... avoid paying the 'building' tax imposed by the Kingdom of Naples!
Thanks to the uniqueness of its architectural form, Trulli is now known worldwide as one of the symbols of Apulia. But is this the true origin of their structure? From even more distant places such as Greece, Turkey up to the Kingdom of Oman, there is evidence that the conical shape, so dear to our beloved Trulli, was originally used as a tomb (from the Greek Tholos) as well as a dwelling. Apulia, a land of many conquests, in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, shows us how distant cultures have become part of the local heritage. Perhaps a lesson to remember for everyone given the times we live in?
But if the conical shape, built dry, has such an ancient origin, its benefits remain more than current. The excellent ventilation, due to the permeability and thickness of the walls and the shape of the roof, protects the Trulli from external temperature changes, ensuring a stable temperature inside. Warm in winter and cool in summer, the interiors of the Trulli were used 100%, each space with its function.
Today, re-evaluated by tourism and the increasing real estate value, the Trulli are loved especially by foreigners and who knows if sooner or later, someone will be able to translate this magic word in another language?