Alberobello and its history

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Alberobello Experience e la storia dei trulli

As you may have noticed, Alberobello is well known all over the world for its trulli, the typical conical roof buildings characterising also its surrounding area.

Trulli (plural of trullo) represent, indeed, an actual icon of this part of Puglia and it is not rare to find them in the countryside of Bari, Taranto and Brindisi.  However, the town gathering the highest number of trulli is Alberobello.

As is widely known, Alberobello is a small town of about 11,000 inhabitants (Istat data, 2013). The landscape of this area, dominated especially in the past by agriculture activities, has been characterised for centuries by the presence of small circle buildings with conical roofs, the trulli.  Made of limestone boulders called “chianche” and collected from neighbouring fields, the trulli are a remarkable example of drywall (mortarless) constructions (Garofalo, 1974; Liuzzi, 1981; Maraffa 1976; Notarnicola 1983).  Most of the existing trulli date back to XVII and XVIII centuries. Even today, they are mainly privately owned, except for a few, which have been acquired by the city.

The history of this unique village dates back to the second half of the XVI century, when a small fief under the dominion of the Acquaviva family, the Counts of Conversano, began to be populated by peasants who made the “Selva” (wood), then called “Sylva aut nemus arboris belli“, a fertile soil.

Tradition has it that drystone walling was imposed by the Counts upon the new settlers so that their houses could be quickly dismantled. In this way, the Counts avoided taxation on new settlements.

But after years of tyranny and oppression, in 1797 a group of brave inhabitants of Alberobello brought the feudal rule of the Acquaviva family to an end by obtaining on May 27 of that same year the status of royal town from Ferdinand IV, King of Naples.

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