I remember once I told to myself: “I won’t leave Italy till I won’t visit Alberobello”. So, now I am calm, ‘cause that was done. This small town is featured by its amazing creatures – white trulli dwellings with conical roofs. When a few years ago for the very first time I saw online some pictures from this amazing site, I couldn’t even guess that such particular beauty belongs to Italy. Can you find there something in Romano or Milanese style? Then, maybe try Bolognese or Fiorentino? What about Napoletano? Unfortunately – nothing similar to these perfectly known Italian cities. So, Alberobello is not only really unique place by itself, but as well – a totally different Italy than we are used to see it.
Actually, this whitewashed town was the main purpose of the whole trip to Italian South, which I’ve made this summer. After checking out Amalfi Coast, exploring stoned towns of Craco and Matera, and enjoying Lecce, Alberobello simply crowned this journey.
I cannot express in words, how emotional I became, when I saw the first conical roofs in the distance…
Generally speaking, Alberobello, located in Puglia region, is a normal small town with normally functioning life, and the magnificent trulli district stands like the old part of it. So, firstly you cross nearly ordinary streets of regular today, which after, without any clear boundary, switch to the fairylike 14st century.
However, this place is not still and quiet anymore: you should be prepared for the crowds of visitors, inhaling the fab atmosphere the same like you do. But, frankly speaking, you really don’t have time to think about those masses of people around because every minute, every second that you have, you want to spend by enjoying the surroundings.
“Today the biggest number of tourists comes from the USA and Japan”, told the woman from souvenir shop, while she was packing my chosen tiny trulli-shaped bottle of prickly pears’ liquor, and quite a number of trulli magnets. Usually I don’t buy souvenirs, but this time I really could not resist…
Alberobello, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the most visited town of the area, but trulli dwellings can be found in other surrounding ones too. Interesting to know that the origin of this elfin white phenomenon with conical roof actually is not that magic. According to the most likely theory, they appeared as simple handy constructions, which could be quickly dismantled in the moment of need. But if that is so logical, then why all trulli houses have been covered with the veil of symbolism in the shape of various spiritual characters, painted on every roof? “People from the past believed in signs”, as well very simple explanation. But I prefer to believe in fairytale…
These lovely houses today are being used for a number of different purposes: souvenir shops, jewelry boutiques, museums, restaurants, tiny hotels, and in a few of them – people are still living too.
Want to admire the whole kingdom of trulli? So, look for the signs outside various service places, ‘cause really plenty of them have open terraces and are inviting to free panoramic visits. Of course, at the same time they are expecting that you watch around their shop and purchase something. However, don’t feel obliged to buy – they invited you!
In summer all the narrow hilly streets are very colourful, painted with blooming flowers. I have no idea how picturesque Alberobello looks like in winter, but I am sure that even during the rainy days its charm definitely doesn’t disappear.
My verdict? Of course I adore Alberobello! Even if it is really very touristic spot, all the masses of other visitors do not bother you: it is too stunning and nothing can distract you from such beauty! However, I wouldn’t like to spend my whole holiday there. In my opinion, Alberobello is perfect for a day, mostly two. Then, afterwards it’s worth heading to explore the rest of Puglia! ‘Cause this Italian region really has to offer a lot!
by Gintarė Adamonytė