Alberobello, in Puglia, with its Trulli is one of the 50 Italian sites entered by UNESCO in the World Heritage List.
The name derives from the late Greek period τρούλος, or "dome" and indicates the ancient conical constructions in dry stone of prehistoric origin. The stone used for the buildings was obtained from the calcareous rocks of the plateau delle Murgia.
The Trulli, mainly present in the Valle d'Itria, located between the provinces of Brindisi, Bari and Taranto, are still used today as homes and are a brilliant and long-lived example of spontaneous architecture.
Alberobello, a town in the Bari hinterland, is undoubtedly the capital of the Trulli: the Old Town it is entirely made up of these particular pyramid-shaped buildings that make it unique in the world.
According to some studies, the trulli of Alberobello date back to the middle of the Fourteenth century; in fact, at the time it was common to tear down and rebuild damaged buildings, rather than repair them.
La dry construction, without mortar, seems to have been imposed on peasants in the fifteenth century by Counts of Conversano, to escape an edict of the Kingdom of Naples which imposed taxes on every new urban settlement. These buildings were therefore precarious buildings, easily demolished and not taxable.
In truth, the trulli are far from precarious: the internal structure, although lacking elements of support and connection, in fact possesses an extraordinary static capacity.
The trullo plant it's approximately circular; heavy lime masonry is grafted onto the natural rock base. Generally the trulli are modular units: the interior rooms are distributed around the central compartment. The thickness of the walls and the lack of windows ensure an optimal thermal balance: heat in winter e cool in summer.
The roof it is composed of a pseudo-dome of horizontal limestone slabs positioned in increasingly smaller concentric series - the so-called “chianche” (inside) and the thinner “chiancarelle” (outside).
Very important the keystone, often decorated with character motifs esoteric, spiritual o propitiatory. Ingenious is the presence of a ledge protruding from the roof used for the collection of rainwater in special cisterns.
The trulli are a unique example of ancient construction that survives and is still used today. Visiting the beautiful Alberobello is like taking a trip to a timeless country.