UNESCO World Heritage site: Alberobello

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Alberobello is a town in Italy’s Apulia region. It’s known for its trulli, whitewashed stone huts with conical roofs. The hilltop Rione Monti district has hundreds of them. The 18th-century Trullo Sovrano is a 2-level trulli. Furniture and tools at the Museo del Territorio Casa Pezzolla re-create life in the trulli as it was centuries ago.

Trulli in Alberobello

Upon closer investigation, you will find that these small dwarf houses are actually real and people still live in them. In case you have decided to see what a hobbit house could look like, you should go to Alberobello the land of dwarf houses is a small town in Puglia, a region in Southern Italy, not far from the city of Bari. It is famous for its unique small historical houses called trullo (plural trulli). The name of the city originated from the medieval Latin name of the region “siva arboris belli” (The wood of the tree of war).

THINGS TO DO IN ALBEROBELLO

The town itself is split into two main parts – Rione Monti and the Rione Aia Piccola. We recommend that you spend a couple of hours simply walking the streets of Alberobello and a good place to start your tour of Alberobello is in the Rione Monti quarter, home to over 1000 trulli. Undoubtedly, the sole reason most people come to Alberobello is to wander the trulli-lined streets; there is after all no other place like this in the world. Once you arrive in the town’s centre, it’s immediately clear where to head – the Rione Monti quarter within the ‘trulli zone’. Up a slight hill, it contains over 1,000 trulli and almost no other type of building style. It is touristy, with gift shops on every other door way, but it is also very very pretty. If, like us, you’re short, then walking amongst the trulli here will also make you feel like a giant!

When in Rione Monti, shop-owners will sit or stand outside in the sunshine and try to tempt you inside for a look around – there’s obviously a hope that you may buy something, but there isn’t a hard sell, and it offers an opporunity to see how these buildings are structured inside. Tourism is clearly the lifeblood of the economy in Alberobello, so do try to contribute if you find something you like or want a souvenir.

Events in Alberobello

  • Alberobello light festival: The annual festival is one of the prettiest festivals in the region. It takes place every Summer across July and August and is when Alberobello’s historic old centre is lit up with thousands of lights. In 2016, to make the 25th anniversary of Vincent Van Gogh’s death, Alberobello’s trulli were illuminated with hundreds of stars to remember one of the painter’s most well known works ‘Starry Night’.
  • Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian: The end of September each year, the town is lit up again, this time to mark the 3 day event of the Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian. There is a small chapel in the town that honours these saints, and celebrations include both religious and secular events. Celebrations are kicked off with a cattle fair on the 25th of the month, followed on the 26th by a day of music and celebrations on the streets, when you’ll find numerous bands and food stalls throughout the town. At nightfall on the 26th, the lights in the town are switched on, ready to guide the way for numerous pilgrims who arrive on foot from nearby towns and villages, forming a great procession during the night and into the early hours of the 27th September. And all these events culminate in a spectacular fireworks display on the 28th.

Other places of interest

  • Trullo Sovrano: The only trullo with two floors in the town, which is now a small museum. The museum is open 10 a.m. – 1.30 p.m. & 3.30 – 7 p.m. (closes at 6 p.m. November – March) and entry is €1.50.
  • Sant Antonio Church:  Aberobello town’s church which, you guessed it, is built in the inimitable style (the only trullo church in the world!)
  • Casa d’amore: Built in 1797 by Francesco d’Amore, one of the those responsible for the local uprising against the Acquaviva family tyranny, it has come to signify the end of the feudal period in Alberobello and so is of historical importance.
  • Arte Fredda: If, like us, you believe that every day in Italy should involve at least one gelato, we’d recommend making a beeline to Arte Freda, known to serve up the best gelato in town – it’s even won awards.

WHERE TO STAY

  • At £56 per night, the Trullieu Guesthouse offers one of the the most affordable opportunities to stay in a trullo. Clean and tastefully decorated, it’s a great option for couples or families looking for a quiet location close to the tourist area.
  • Trulli Casa offers self-catering facilities and a garden for 2-4 people in a great location just outside the trulli zone.
  • If your budget extends to over £100 per night, then you have two beautiful options. The first, Astra, is a 16th century trullo set in a wonderfully peaceful and romantic location.

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