A few months ago bel ragazzo and I went to Puglia - he for work and me as a lady of leisure! We stayed in the not so special town in a not so special hotel (it was free so we could not complain) but we did get to drive around and see some of the beautiful, amazing, Puglian landscape...in particular a town I have always wanted to see - Alberobello - the home of the Trulli.
What are the trulli? I hear you ask.
These are the trulli:
There are many theories on why they were built like this, one of the most popular theories is that the locals - as sly and thrifty as ever - used to build these houses with drystone, so they could be taken down quite quickly and easily if the property tax collector was in the area. Once the tax collector had been and gone (since by this stage the trulli had been dismantled) the locals waited until the tax collector was long gone, before putting together there houses again!
These days Alberobello is the 'trulli capital of the world' and most of the trulli have been converted into shops, restaurants and b&bs. Shop owners call out to you as you walk down the streets, trying to entice you into their shops 'prego - ' they call out as you walk by. It is 'free' to go into most of the trulli but we knew once inside the shop owners would try and pressure us to buy some tacky plastic trulli house...and we had no patience or time for that!
If you want to go inside a trulli then do - you don't have to buy anything...or do like we did: tell them thanks, but you had already been inside one and then just go inside once where you actually do want to buy something. I bought 2 postcards and inside the little shop was just as I had expected. The stone makes the trulli so nice and cool which is a real treat when you happen to find yourself in Alberobello on a very, very hot Puglian summer day.
As you drive out of Alberobello the landscape is dotted here and there with trulli houses, acre upon acre of olive trees which mixed together make a spectacular view. Bel ragazzo and I did not spend as long as we wanted in the area - since it was about 35 degrees and it is sweltering in that area...so we happily left vowing to return one day, and sleep in a little trulli house for a night or two so we can really explore the area.