Syndication Feature Article :

'The Trulli of Alberobello'

Article Length: 444 words Photographer: Paul Williams Author: Paul Williams  

Trulli of Alberobello | Magazine Article Content Syndication - Images by Paul Williams
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Do you believe in Goblins, Elves and fairy tales? If not, take a walk at sunrise amongst the beehive shaped Truilli of Alberobello in Puglia and you will discover a fairy tale town that looks like it should be inhabited by the little people of fables. The story of Alberobello is also reads like a fairy tale with evil tax dogging feudal Counts oppressing their peasant tenants who are eventually rescued from tyranny by the King of Naples and lived happily ever after.

The feudal Counts of Conversano, who ruled Alberobello, designed the trulli as a tax dodge against their overlord the King of Naples. The peasants of Alberobello were forced to follow the Counts trulli design which included a ban on using mortar to cement the stones together. This allowed the roofs of the Truilli to be easily collapsed by the Counts Bailiffs when the King of Naples Tax Inspectors were about to visit Alberobello. As tax was only paid on complete buildings the ruined Trulli were tax exempt and the Counts avoided taxes at the expense of their poor tenants who had to literally pick up the pieces and rebuild their Trulli.

By 1797 the inhabitants of Alberobello were tired of rebuilding their ruined trulli and complained to the King of Naples, Ferdinand IV, who used the Counts of Conversano tax evasion tactics as an excuse to end their feudal rule altogether. Ferdinand gave Alberobello Royal Status and the ownership of the trulli was given to their occupants and the name of Alberobello was then adopted by the town, taken from the medieval Latin name of the region siva arboris belli.

The trulli are a wonderful example of eco building that has been honed to perfection by centuries of development. In the spring the thick double walls of the trulli are cool from the winter cold which keeps their interiors cool through the summer. By mid Autumn though the Trulli walls have warmed up from the summer sun which keeps their interiors warm through the winter. The walls slowly cool again through the winter and in spring the cycle starts again.

Alberobello has 2 Truilli districts, the Monti quarter, with over 1,030 trulli and the Piccola quarter with 590 Truilli. In 1996 These districts were granted Unesco World Heritage status so the trulli are assured protection for future generations to marvel at. The Trulli have become the savior of Alberobello. What started as a tax dodge, bringing great hardship to Alberobello's inhabitants, now attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year to stay in Trulli hotels, eat in trulli restaurants and buy souvenirs from trulli shops making it a "trulli" unique town.


© Paul Williams 2011. All Rights reserved. Unauthorised copying prohibited. Please contact us for usage license.

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