Why is Alberobello so full of trulli?
Curiosities about the birth of the Trullo and the iconic city of Alberobello
In Puglia the trulli are a constant, they have been part of the street furniture since time immemorial. However, there is no evidence of millenary trulli, the oldest examples are dated to the end of the seventeenth century. You can find them almost everywhere, even close to the beaches, but more frequently in the hinterland, near the cultivated fields.
The first Apulian trulli were built in the fields with stones collected on the spot, where therefore the local soil easily provided the building material due to its geology consisting mainly of stratified limestone.
Trulli can now be said to fully characterize us in the world and draw our own skyline, typically Apulian.
Nowadays you can visit them or even spend holidays and holidays there and some are still extraordinarily inhabited.
The first trulli, however, the most primitive ones to be clear, served as a shelter and storage for the tools used by peasants to work the fields, this is the reason for their strong presence in the countryside of the Apulian hinterland.
In short, here the peasants subjected to their feudal lord, enjoyed some benefits including that of being able to rest. Not bad.
It was actually an edict of the kingdom of Naples which, however, gave birth to Alberobello.
Before explaining what this law imposed, a clarification is needed to better frame the historical, social and cultural context of the time.
In fact, we are talking about the period between 1600 and 1700. Alberobello was a wooded area without cultivated land that was tempting at this time of feudal splitting and the search for uncultivated plots of land.
The fiefdom of Alberobello was owned by the Counts of Acquaviva, who allowed some benefits to their peasants, including the possibility of living in the trulli to ensure that they were concentrated in these lands and that these wooded lands became immediately fertile and luxuriant fields.
Returning to the subject, in order to circumvent the " Pragmatica de Baronibus " the law issued by the Kingdom of Naples and which at that time imposed taxes on new buildings, the peasants of the time organized these cone-shaped buildings in the fief of Alberobello and made them habitable for entire families, making them real homes.
Initially the trulli were composed of a single environment, narrow and certainly not welcoming.
From this moment on, the trulli underwent a slow evolution, reaching homes for entire families and several rooms, consisting of a main room, plus other smaller perimeter rooms.
The trullo was therefore born as an interlocking construction, without the aid of hydraulic binders such as common mortar and was, by its very nature, a precarious construction, easily demolished in case of checks and inspections.
This type of construction therefore lent itself well to this historic stratagem of tax avoidance.
Alberobello now had about 3000 inhabitants, so it was already at the time a first community of shepherds and farmers organized in this unique village with a fairy atmosphere and pointed roofs.
It was towards the end of the 1700s that it was completely urbanized and finally freed from the feudal yoke to which it was subjected.