An Aperitivo with the Stone Trulli in Alberobello, Puglia

May 31st, 2012 · Tags: Discovering Italy · Italy · Puglia

Next week, I’m super excited to head back to Puglia. It’s one of my favorite regions in Italy, and I love spending time there (check out some of my Puglia posts from my archives). I’m heading there for a good friend’s wedding, and she’s one of the first friends I made when I moved to Rome back in 2003, so it has a significant meaning for me. You can be sure I’ll document everything. Weddings are one of my favorite things to photograph, and weddings in Southern Italy are amazing – I’m sure hers will be no different! :)

Since I’m heading back there, I wanted to share a familiar sight down in parts of Puglia, the trullo (TROOL-loh).

Trulli are traditional stone houses with conical roofs. I saw a few when I went to the Grotte di Castellana, but this time I wanted to head to one of the areas most known for them, Alberobello. Just like the Castel del Monte, the trulli of Alberobello are a World Heritage Site, but you don’t have to go there to see them. As you drive around the area, you will see trulli everywhere.

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Trulli in the countryside, Puglia

But I didn’t want to just see one, I wanted to sleep in one.
 

So we rented a trullo, in the city of trulli, and set about to explore the city. We were lucky to see two different cities in the span of 2 days. When we arrived, it was during the week and our trullo was located in the the part of town where people live like normal inhabitants, and it was a bit rainy so many people stayed inside. We strolled in the quiet streets, enjoyed a great meal, and slept in a small two-room stone cottage.

A row of trulli, Alberobello, Puglia

Here’s our little trullo:

Sleeping in a trullo, Alberobello, Puglia

You can’t help but be fascinated by the trullo’s stone roof, which are rows and rows of limestone which make up the roof. They appear fragile, and as you can see here, many are not completely cemented in. Traditional trulli didn’t use any mortar or cement in construction, but they do now, as wind and cold weather would seep directly through the cracks.

A trullo's cone roof, Alberobello, Puglia

Close-up of a trullo's stone roof, Alberobello, Puglia

The stone shingles of a trullo roof, Alberobello, Puglia

The next day, we saw the touristic Alberobello. The part of town with rows and rows of trulli, and shops inside almost every one of them.

Coned trulli rooftops, Alberobello, Puglia

There were big tourist buses which unloaded tourists out into the streets which were ready for them with handmade goods fluttering in their windows, and offers of free tours inside to appease their curiosity. Needless to say, this was an Alberobello I didn’t want to spend too much time in. I snapped a few pictures and then set a goal to have an aperitivo in the warm afternoon. And even though there were tourists everywhere, I did find a few things to enjoy…

I enjoyed looking at the locals looking at the tourists (yes, it’s pretty meta, I realize).

Locals watching the tourists, Alberobello, Puglia

A side street that was mostly empty but full of color and a little girl dancing:

Alberello's rows of trulli, Puglia

And this woman who was outside crocheting when we walked by, so I felt it was a great opportunity to buy something direct from the maker (spoiler: a lot of the gifts and souvenirs in the shops are not local nor handmade). We bought that purple shawl for S’ grandmother and showed her a picture of the woman who made it, a few hundred kilometers away. Who knows if they could have even spoken to each other, as each one speaks their own local dialect so heavily (S’ grandmother will often “switch” to Italian when I’m around).

Italian woman showing a shawl she made, Alberobello, Puglia

After, we moved away from the borgo dei trulli and back to the more modern part of the town.

Modern neighborhood, trullo neighborhood, Alberobello, Puglia

With my eagle eye for crowds enjoying something good, I spotted a small caseificio, cheese seller, and we got some great mozzarelline to eat before sitting down to an aperitivo away from the crowds.

Inside a mozzarella, Alberobello, Puglia

A good aperitivo can put a great shine on any experience. I enjoyed an Aperol spritz and soaked up the sun.

Aperol and Campari spritz aperitivo, Alberobello, Puglia

Would I go back to Alberobello? Maybe. If I did, I would definitely do what we did and stay in a trullo far away from the trullo sector of the town.

Visit Alberobello for yourself!

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16 Comments

16 responses so far ↓

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  • 1
    Camels & Chocolate // May 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Um, coolest accommodation ever? I think so! I’ve never even heard of a trullo; it’s like the Italian equivalent of a yurt (but fancier, natch) =)

    Met Sara C. finally yesterday! We talked about the other Sara whom we both love and adore.

  • 2
    Patrick // May 31, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Wow, that is fantastic. We just returned to the US last July after living in Monza for 2+ years. We traveled 211 days in those 2 years…our motto, NO REGRETS! I wish we would have known about this area!!

  • 3
    Kathy McCabe, Dream of Italy // May 31, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I was just in Puglia a few weeks ago, and also stayed in a trullo. I think you will enjoy this photo of the the reflection of the trulli in my Aperol Spritzer!
    http://on.fb.me/L1egPp

  • 4
    Joan Schmelzle // Jun 1, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I thought this was interesting and it is a place that was on my to visit list, maybe still is, and I wanted to stay in a trullo too. However, right now I am more like the knitting lady too old or oldish to know what “pretty meta” means.

  • 5
    Leigh // Jun 1, 2012 at 4:02 am

    I’ve seen travel pieces on trulli before but it was really fun to hear perspective from someone who stayed in one. Love the photos.

  • 6
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Jun 2, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    @C&C – yay! Glad you guys finally met…now if only we could hook up sometime in the next…12 months? :)

    @Joan – heh, you’re right, it’s a newish phrase and pretty techie, but it basically means circular reference / self-referential :)

  • 7
    Carla Coulson // Jun 6, 2012 at 3:57 am

    When I first saw a trulli I was obsessed with photographing them, now my husband and I have purchased a run down property with a trulli. Will be a huge project but as my husband is an architect he has some great ideas. We just fell in love and will be there in August to visit his family!
    Love your post
    Carla x

  • 8
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Jun 7, 2012 at 9:51 am

    @Carla – oh wow! I can’t wait to see your photos then :) I’ll be in Puglia in August as well!

  • 9
    Carla Coulson // Jun 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Sara ,
    Loved this post so I linked it today on my blog post
    Have a great weekend!
    Carla x
    http://carlacoulson.com/photography-how-shooting-is-different-with-film-versus-digital/

  • 10
    Peggy Braswell // Jun 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    New to your blog because of Carla. Will follow you! Adore all things Italian. Greetings from SCA. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  • 11
    Cherina // Jun 11, 2012 at 8:04 am

    How wonderful! A friend of mine has bought, and it renovating 3 trulli in Puglia. A fabulous excuse to visit Puglia once he’s done, I think! :)

  • 12
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Jun 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks for stopping by Cherina and Peggy, and thanks for linking Carla!

  • 13
    Charlie Hudson // Jun 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Love the description as always. We never made it to Puglia, but will put it on the list for the next trip.

  • 14
    Fabrizia // Aug 30, 2012 at 10:07 am

    nice that you like my place…but the correct spelling is mozzArelline

  • 15
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Aug 30, 2012 at 10:11 am

    @Fabrizia – nice catch! Fixed.

  • 16
    Nadine @ Goowai Italia // Dec 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Beautiful photos of the trulli! I love how these structures are being built. Isn’t it just unique? I’ve never been in Puglia but would really love to go there to see this one of a kind World Heritage and stay in one of the trulli for a good accommodation. I would love to stay here than going on a hotel.

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