In the beginning, i did not know either what a Trullo was, but I saw a picture of one which looked like it came from a fairy tale and I started to look up for more information about it.
In this way, I discovered the little town of Alberobello, the home of Trulli.
What is actually a Trullo house?
Well, it is round stone-build houses with a pointy roof made of limestone.
They are built using a prehistorical technique in which stones are laid one on top of another and no mortar is used. They had a stone that kept the balance of the house. When it has to be demolished only this stone was moved and the whole house was falling apart.
The name Trullo is coming from term “truddu”, from Salentine Peninsula, where it means local agricultural dry stone hut.
The history of these houses started way back, in the 15th century, when farmers were sent by a local Count to settle here, but with no authorization to build, so they made temporary houses that could be easy to be demolished when the tax collector came.
The Trullo may have a circular or a square plan.
In general, for a family house, they were using a group of three, four or five Trullos following a plan.
A Trullo has to have a kitchen, a bedroom, animal shelter, storage room for food or tools, oven and a cistern under the house. In general under each conical roof it is a room, with additional living spaces, in the side. Children would sleep in small spaces made in the wall with curtains hung in front.
Although they had a fireplace, because of their design, trulli are difficult to heat: the walls are too thick and warm air will rise up the interior cone, but heating and air-conditioning are minimal compared to modern homes.
The whitewashed exterior of the trulli reflects the sun while their thick wall keep the interior cool in summer, reducing the need for air conditioning.
During our walk in Alberobello, we saw some trulii with some symbols on the cone, like a pierced heart, cross, etc.
Such symbols may include Christian symbols such as a cross on a heart pierced by an arrow (representing Santa Maria Addolorata), a circle divided into four quarters with the letters S,C,S,D in them (likely the initials of Santo Cosma and Santo Damiano, the two saints, the local basilica is dedicated to) and quite a few others.
The symbols now visible on a row of trulli in via Monte Pertica (cross, pierced heart, host with rays radiating from it, tree, dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit, crescent with a cross) were painted only in the late 20th century and the early 2000s when the roof cones were redone.
How’s to stay in a trullo?
Well, this was the reason of our city break here in Alberobello: To stay in a trullo!
We managed to rent for the weekend Trullo Antico dell Fileria, which is a large house, after trulli standards.
You should see us when the owner presented the house; we were like little children discovering a new toy.
Of course, we did not sleep in a hut since this trulli that was for rent has all the necessary conform for a normal living.
We had two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a cistern under the bathroom which was turned into a wine cellar.
Our room was quite strange. At first glance it looked like any other room, but it has a door that goes outside, on the street, two spaces that looked like the place for wardrobe. One space was turned into a little bathroom. The smallest I have ever seen.
In spite of the central heating, the first night was little cold. It took quite some time for the stones to get warm.
Many people believe that the trulli have magical powers and linked their form to the ancient pyramids “They have a good energy” they say.
Anyway, was a very interesting experience and I recomend you to try it.