By admin | May 16, 2016 | Posted in: Borgo Egnazia
Alberobello is situated in the Bari Province of Puglia. Positioned in the neighbouring province of Brindisi, Borgo Egnazia is approximately twenty kilometres way and an obvious, recommended excursion to experience a change of scenery.
‘Il Borgo’, Borgo Egnazia’s sublime vacation village has been built with a luxurious nod to traditional Apulian villages, and it presents many a stunning replication of many stylistic, interior and exterior architectural features of the region’s historical towns, including the renowned UNESCO world heritage town of Alberobello, who’s calcareous sedimentary building blocks were first mentioned in record books dating back from the early 16th century. Halfway between the towns of Bari and Brindisi, the town of Alberobello sat, dry stoned, existing unofficially for nearly two hundred years due to the lack of missing mortar used in finalising the buildings for Lords to escape increased land taxation.
Alberobello is famous for its strange dwellings and buildings, collectively named ‘trulli’ or, singularly, a ‘trullo’. The tourism in Puglia has seen a great amount of regeneration and upkeep of these buildings, becoming a must see fixture on Puglia travel itineraries, and a novel, pretty way to spend a day in the vastly diverse Puglia region.
A ‘trullo’, historically, was built from local limestone, white washed, square shaped and cut without mortar, topped with a distinctively conical roof. These were and are, usually topped with a cross or a spire. The spires themselves were, in a residential trullo, a status symbol of their own – the more decorative or elaborate, the ‘better’ the craftsman, builder or owner responsible.
The origins of the trullo were less status based – the opposite – in fact, in that their beginnings were simple stone versions that were used as ancient store sheds amongst the vast lines and fields of olive groves. Their origins and their construction were a canny and greedy way for land-owners to house temporary dwellings for local workers. The local lord, Count Acquaviva, employed extremely poor workers to clear woodland and and cultivate the olive production in the area. As the dwellings were able to be dismantled quickly, it was possible to dodge taxation and settlement laws whilst this work took place. It took until 1797 for the trulli to be formerly recognised and for Alberobello to become an official town.
The main tourist area of Alberobello is ‘Rione Monti’, an oblique street containing relatively modern structures. It is scattered with museums and full to the brim with kitsch, trulli-shaped souvenirs, pens, ornaments and snowstorms amongst other gimmicky nick-nacks, however, this is all part of the town’s charm and prices remain highly competitive due to the tourist trap that relies entirely upon the town’s charmed visitors. There is an area on the outskirts that holds between one and two thousand original trulli dwellings, with a number even available to wander inside, whilst the exteriors vary slightly with every eye’s turn. Some trulli behold multiple conical roof-tops and spires – an interesting, pretty sight – the familiar white washed stone adorned with bright hibiscus and flourishing olive trees trailing up and down the surreal, hobbit-reminiscent streets.
In essence, this is a sweet, novel place to spend a day, discovering the history of architectural nuances of Apulia whilst still very close to your dwellings at the luxurious Borgo Egnazia. Being so distinctive and famed, and due to world heritage protection and funding to retain these sites of historical interest means it is now possible to visit and wander around the listed trulli when visiting this alluringly, architecturally-historical town.
Perhaps combining your visit to Alberobello with other nearby Apulian towns, the staff at Borgo Egnazia are able to offer excursions that combine visits to ‘Locorotondo’ and ‘Martina Franca’, or indeed help you to realise your own sense of adventure by assisting you with advice with nearby places to roam and in the hiring of a vehicle. Borgo Egnazia provides a stunning and welcoming base to return to in the evening of each Apulian adventure.