Alberobello is a beautiful picturesque town located 60 kilometers South-East of the city of Bari in South of Italy. Alberobello means “Beautiful Tree”. Alberobello is one of the few places in Italy where you can see Trulli. Trulli are dry stone huts constructed with ancient techniques with a cone like roof. These huts are whitewashed and appear incredibly beautiful and eye-catching. They are so famous that as soon as you talk about Alberobello or Puglia region, the first thing that pops up will be the Trulli.
Alberobello has the largest concentration of Trulli, hence also attracts a large number of tourists. I will recommend to properly plan your tour if you visit Alberobello to avoid crowds. If you are planning a day trip, try to reach early morning.
How to Reach Alberobello
Alberobello is located in the Puglia Region and the capital of Puglia is Bari. You can fly to Bari and from there, either take a train to Alberobello or rent a car. The car takes around 1 hour if you drive comfortably. There are multiple paid parking areas around Alberobello. If you reach early, you will get parking easily. You will have to search for parking space if you reach after 11am.
History of Alberobello and Trulli
Alberbello started to get inhabited in the start of 16th century when some farmers families were permitted to live here. In return they had to pay the 10th portion of their crops to the Count of Conversano “Andrew Matteo III Acquaviva d’Aragona”. In 1635 Count Giangirolamo II allowed the construction of few small houses in the town but on a condition that the houses must be built with dry stones and no mortar will be used.
Interestingly, this condition was implied to avoid paying property taxes to the king. These houses could easily be demolished and removed if there was going to be a Royal inspection. When the farmers had no choice but to build the houses with only dry stones, they used this pre-historic architectural technique with the self-supporting cone shaped roof. Many of which remained intact till today, which is itself a great achievement.
During the 1700’s, many farmers tried to deliver their petition to the king about their dissatisfaction with the rulers of Alberobello. The King granted their wishes and Alberobello became a Royal town and free from the feudal lords. Today, majority of the residents of the town don’t stay in the trulli. These wonderful structures are converted into restaurants, bars and shops. Some of them offer accommodation for the tourists.
Today, Alberobello is the only town with more than 1500 inhabited trulli. It was declared as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1996. The Trulli, withstanding the tests of time depict a wonderful tale of the strength of the farmers who built them.
7 Wonderful Attractions of Alberobello
Rione Monti is a complete district of Trulli on a slope which is facing the modern town of Alberobello. Like we talked above, if you are talking about Alberobello, you must be talking about the Trulli as well. The main attraction and the reason why the tourists flock to this town are the Trulli. Trulli is a plural form of the Trullo (Single Dry-Stone Hut). This is the first place all the tourists visit after reaching the town of Alberobello. Rione Monti consists of many narrow and steep streets.
This district is extremely picturesque, and you will find many photographers here. The idea is to roam around in these lanes and find nice spots for your pictures and selfies. There are more than 1000 trulli here and no other type of building which makes a really special site. The place is ideal for walking and most of the trulli are converted into shops, restaurants and bars. The shop owners stand outside and try to lure everyone in with many promises in hope of sales. If you like, you can enter in any of the premises and have a look at the interiors. Some of the terraces have beautiful panoramic views. Despite of being very touristy area, the prices are not as high as one can think because of the heavy competition.
Rione Aia Piccola
This is the second trulli district in Alberobello consisting of around 500 trulli. This area is quieter and has more authentic atmosphere as some of the trulli are still inhabited by the residents. This area is less commercialized, and you can see the old residents walking around these beautiful structures.
Stay in a Trullo in Alberobello
To enjoy the best of Alberobello, I would suggest you think about staying in a trullo instead of a hotel. There are many companies offering tourist accommodation in the trulli. You can feel the amazing experience of staying in a centuries old traditional house and learn how the residents of these houses live. A self-catering trullo is a good and affordable alternative to the hotels.
Trullo Sovrano in Alberobello
Behind the church of Santi Medici Cosma e Damniano, there are small streets lined of trulli which lead to the Triullo Sovrano. This is the biggest trullo standing tall between all the small trullis creating a nice visible contrast. This a two-story building which has been turned to a museum. There are information boards and periodic fittings to help visitors learn more about the history of trulli. There is a spyhole near the door which was used by the residents to scan the visitors. The museum timings are 10 am to 1.30 pm and 3.30 pm to 7 pm.
This beautiful church attracts all the visitors because of its eye-catching white structure. This the active church of the town and is located a bit away from the commercial area. To reach here you need to head up via Monte Michele.
Casa d’amore in Alberobello
This is the house of one of the famous residents of the town of Alberobello, who was responsible for the uprising of the locals against the Acquaviva ruling family. The struggles lead to the end of the rule and the town being converted into a Royal town.
Taste a Pasticciotto in Alberobello
These are the native custard filled pastries to the area of Puglia. You will not find them in such a huge variety anywhere else. There is wonderful choice of flavors ranging from chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla, pistachio, strawberry and many more. This is a popular breakfast choice of the reason. Try the pastry with a cup of hot tea or coffee at a trullo café looking over the beautiful scenery around.