By Daria / May 3, 2013 Share Tweet Pin Share Share It’s not very often that I decide to write about a place I haven’t visited yet. But this morning I came across the images of a small town in SE Italy, near Bari: Alberobello, the only place in Europe with unique trulli houses that look like a fairy tale homes to me. . . Image credit: Nikol, artist, hobbyist, photographer from Greece . . Trulli houses are built of roughly worked limestone boulders from the neighboring fields, laid on top of each other – without mortar. Outside is whitewashed on a regular basis and the roofs are dome-shaped. . . Image credit: John, photographer from United Kingdom . . Some these pyramidal, domed or conical roofs bear mythological/magical/religious symbols in white ash. My guess is they were painted on there for protection. On top of that, the whole construction is ingeniously designed to collect the rainwater in the cistern beneath the house. There’s always a flight of narrow steps for easy access to the roof. . . Image credit: Federica, photographer from Italy . . The walls of the rectangular-shaped rooms are double, using rubble as a core. They feature small windows and fireplaces, alcoves and ovens, recessed into the thickness of the walls. . . Image credit: Matt, photographer from Canada . . The true origins of the construction style remain somewhat of a mystery. One of the explanations suggests that this style of a house was easy enough to be disassembled quickly enough and relocate – for the purpose of avoiding to pay the taxes. . . Image credit: Mikela . . Trulli architectural style which dates back to mid-16th century, was likely adopted due to the local conditions and circumstances. By the mid-16th century the Monti area was already occupied by some forty trulli, but it was in 1620 that the settlement, then still part of the town of Noci, began to expand, when the Count of the period, Gian Girolamo Guercio, ordered the construction of a bakery, a mill, and an inn. By the end of the 18th century the community numbered over 3500 people, and in 1797 they succeeded in bringing the feudal rule of the Acquaviva family to an end by obtaining the status of royal town from Ferdinand IV, Bourbon King of Naples. The name of Alberobello was adopted, taken from the medieval Latin name of the region, silva arboris belli. From this time onwards the construction of new trulli quickly declined. Source . . Image credit: Monica, photographer from Italy . . As stated above, I’ve never visited this part of Italy myself, but I definitely enjoyed my virtual tour – and sharing it with you. To wrap up, here are two testimonies from actual visitors that enjoyed the area: Klaus Freisinger (Austria): Apulia in general is not very touristy, at least compared to other Italian regions such as Tuscany or Campania, but Alberobello is. The place is the highlight of any trip to this region at the heel of the Italian boot, and it’s easy to see why: a nice little town, quaint and very unusual houses and lots of souvenir shops. To avoid those, it is only necessary to wander off into the side streets, where you can find exactly the same kind of trulli. The quarter of Aja Piccola is less touristy than the Monti area. The trulli are not confined to this town, but are rather spread out over a large area, and can be seen far out in the countryside. The houses themselves look pretty similar, but you should take note of the different symbols painted on the roofs (mostly Christian, but also some pagan signs). Alicia (United States of America): The Trulli of Alberobello are absolutely amazing! It was such a beautiful sight after being kept on a bus all day. The narrow streets and the atmosphere created by the locals makes this small town feel like home. If you are ever in Puglia and have a few hours to spare make sure you go to this lovely town. Source . . Image credit . . *** *** *** . . Related articles: Daria, Art, Macrocosm, Places, Uplifting, Whereabouts Trulli Trulli treasures in Puglia Italy Australian Times Australian Times The Trulli of Alberobello Tutto Italy . .