Posted by: debrakolkka | July 14, 2010

Puglia – and Alberobello

Puglia is the region in Italy that forms the heel on the boot.  I think it is appropriate that Italy is in the shape of a boot, considering that some of the very best shoes are made there.

Puglia is mostly flat and made up of limestone.  The area is highly fertile and produces olive oil, grapes for the table and for wine, durum wheat for pasta, vegetables, almonds, figs and tobacco.  It is also an important fishing area.  It has been inhabited by Romans, Greeks, Byzantines, Longobards and Arabs, among others. 

 It has been declared that Puglia is the new Tuscany.  I’m never really sure what that means, but I’m guessing it is being said to try to attract more tourists to the area.  It has a way to go with infrastructure, but  Puglia has glorious architecture, gorgeous rugged scenery and a spectacular coastline and let’s not forget the divine food.  It also has some appalling roads, incredibly ugly recently built towns , and some of the worst drivers I have seen in Italy – and that is saying something.

ancient olive tree in rugged Puglia

Our first stop in Puglia was Alberobello, possibly the most well known town, because of the Trulli houses.  Trulli are built from local limestone, stacked without using mortar.  The strange circular buildings with conical stone tile roofs are usually whitewashed.  There are thousands of the houses dotted all over the area but their origins are obscure.  Alberobello has an amazing concentration of Trulli houses, which have been turned into shops and restaurants and even a cathedral.  We drove into the new part of the town, which is beside the Trulli section, which is in turn divided into commercial and residential areas.

looking over the Trulli houses

Trulli houses in the residential area

This Trulli had an ancient aluminium door and plastic curtain - Roman perhaps?

this one was for sale

Trulli shops and restaurants

a pretty street in Alberobello

 

lovely whitewashed Trulli

white wisteria at the entrance of the restaurant where we had lunch

It is obviously a major tourist haunt, but we thought it was beautiful.  We went before the main tourist season and it was still fairly busy.  It must be incredibly crowded and hot in summer.  We were there in early spring, which I think was perfect.


Responses

  1. Did you buy the bread from this area, it is my favourite Roz

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  2. Hi Roz,
    We didn’t buy bread while we were there, but we certainly ate plenty of the delicious food from the area. I’ll have to go back just for the bread.
    Deb

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  3. What beautiful photos, the houses are so enchanting (I love the example of Roman innovation). I’ve just revisited the gelato entry it’s so enticing. My ‘gobbleup goblin’ sits on my shoulder whispering in my ear “we wants it” – fact, it takes more than a 9-grain-Ryvita to beat a gobbleup goblin into submission!

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    • I think the gobbleup needs gelato now!

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  4. Those houses are really fascinating looking! I’ve never seen ones like that! 😮

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  5. ohhh i so wished i knew about this place… how i want to go there but it could be the next place for my brothers family holiday! Great Photos…cheers

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  6. Wow – amazing houses!

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  7. I am looking forward to visiting Alberobello and also staying in a trullo as part of a maseria near Monopoli next May – it looks beautiful!

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