Travel To Do List: The Trulli of Alberobello via

Travel To Do: The Trulli of Alberobello

In the modern world, one city can look much like another, maybe much like your city. That can be disappointing, when you travel half way around the world and find tract housing that is indistinguishable from Anytown, USA. So it’s particularly refreshing when you find someplace that is so drastically different, so unique that it can only be that place.

Luckily, some of those places still exist today: enchanting Eze, France, perched above the Cote d’Azur; Cappadocia’s one-of-a-kind cave dwellings; or the thatch-roofed villages of rural Ireland. Along those lines, we’ve added the village of Alberobello to our Travel To Do list.

What makes this small village in Italy’s Puglia region so unique are the trulli, the mortarless limestone buildings cited by UNESCO in declaring Alberobello a World Heritage Site. Each trullo is built of stones collected from the surrounding fields, and were reportedly built of dry stone with no mortar to avoid paying taxes. (Proving tax loopholes are nothing new!) The buildings are regularly white-washed, and are topped with conical stone roofs emblazoned with family symbols resembling runes. In granting World Heritage status in 1996, UNESCO cited the trulli as an “exceptional example of a form of building construction deriving from prehistoric construction techniques that have survived intact and functioning into the modern world.”

The buildings date at least to the mid-14th century, though there were settlements in the area as early as 1000 AD. Today, there are about 1500 trulli throughout the city, with about 1000 of them filling the Monti quarter. Many of the buildings themselves are filled by shopkeepers who earn their living from thousands of tourists who come to explore the area every year, and to get a glimpse of what could be mistaken for a real-life Gnome town. Though most come for the trulli, you’ll also find museums, parks, agritourismos, a safari zoo, and much more.

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Of course, not all of the trulli are tourist traps; many are still used as private residences, and a few operate as hotels and bed-and-breakfast accommodations. What better way to imagine life in times gone by than moving – at least temporarily – into your very own, traditionally furnished trullo? And we’re not talking modern replicas, these are real deal traditional homes, updated for the modern traveler. And they are adorable, inside and out. Not sure when we’ll be able to get there, but Alberobello (named for the beautiful forests that once covered the hills, “albero bello”) is definitely on our To Do list.

Edit: As though we had not already seen enough of the Trulli to inspire our wanderlust, this beautiful picture from @ThisIsPuglia made its way across our Instagram feed. #swoon!

Travel To Do List - Trulli of Alberobello via

Been to Alberobello? Visited the trulli? Even if it’s still on your Travel To Do list, or if this is the first time you’ve heard of Alberobello, we’d love to hear your thoughts! And here’s a handy Pin for your Bucket List board.

Featured Image: Trulli museum in Alberobello, Italy. Photo:

12 comments on “Travel To Do: The Trulli of Alberobello

    • Aren’t they adorable? I love finding something so unique – can’t wait to see them in person! And thanks for putting #MondayEscapes together – so many fun reads!

    • I had never heard of them either, until I spotted them in the pictures from a friend’s trip. Instantly had to find out more and start scheming on ways to get back to Italy and see them for myself!

  1. Thank you for linking up on Travel Tuesday. Growing up in a city, I know what you mean by one city looking like any other city. Which is why I found myself travelling less to famous cities around the world and more to scenic areas. But then again, I am starting to feel like one beach looks like any other beach and one mountain looks like any other mountain. Hence I agree that these Tulli are definitely bucket list worthy! Makes me regret spending my time in Italy at Milan (when I am barely a fashionista).

    • That’s kind of true: Nature looks like, well, nature. Although, not living near one, any beach is very different than what I see at home. But when it comes to cities, I definitely appreciate diversity and architecture that has become part of the culture. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Oh wow! I thought they looked pretty from the outside, but they’re simply gorgeous on the inside as well! I love unique buildings. Alex and I are planning to build our own house when he have the funds. We want to live in a place with lots of character.

    • Aren’t they great? Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of those Tiny House shows, and when I saw the trulli I thought, hey those could be tiny houses! And they’re in Italy…BONUS! 🙂 Good luck with the house building – and thanks for your comment!

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