Alberobello is a town situated in the heart of the Itria Valley. This valley features lands with red soil, low countryside walls of stone and the original shaped homes: the "Trulli".
The particularity of Alberobello is that the trulli are not scattered in the beautiful countryside, like in other districts in the Valle d'Itria, but they have been built all together, to form a town, unique in the World for its construction style. For this reason they have been declared the town part of the "heritage of humanity" from the Unesco in 1996.
Alberobello is a town of about 10 000 inhabitants and is located on two hills in the province of Bari. The new city has been built on the eastern hill, whilst the settlement composed of trulli remains on the Western one and has been divided into two districts: Monti and Aia Piccola .
To comprehend the constructive logic of the trulli it is a must to know the local history. In the second half of the XVI century the area was known as "La Selva" (forest). To the request of the local farmers, that began to populate those lands, the feudal lord, the Count of Conversano, decided to give them the opportunity to build their houses and settle here.
However, one building condition was posed, the buildings had to be "dry stone" construction without the use of any type of mortar. The reason was that in this way, the inhabitants and their lord avoided the payment of a tribute to the crown, accorded by an old rule, when a new urban area was erected. Such developments had the advantage, in case of royal inspection, that the buildings could easily destroyed, without leaving tangible traces.
The local people believed that the circular shape was the most suitable to employ the "chiancole", flat limestone slabs, typical of the Valle d'Itria, according to the "dry stone" construction technique requested.
In 1797, the inhabitants of Alberobello, tired of these conditions of insecurity, found the courage to ask for help to King Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, who was on visit in Taranto. After their plea, the King declared the settlement a "free city".
Today the largest trulli of Alberobello is the "Sovereign Trullo". It has two floors and often hosts plays and small jazz group concerts. Interesting is also the Church of Sant 'Antonio built like a trullo, too...