Saturday, August 12, 2017

Trip to Alberobello, Italy (June 2017)

Alberobello is part of Apulia Region where 40% of Italy's olive oil is produced.

Alberobello with 13,000 inhabitants is well known for its unique trullo houses. These houses are built with flat stones including the roofs without any mortar or cement, but with a natural glue made of mud, chopped straws and water. The construction skills are believed to have originated from Asia. Good air flows through walls and bad air flows out through roofs. It is natural ventilation.

In the olden days, house taxes must have been quite heavy. People used a unique technique to avoid the house taxes. How? By dismantling the roofs with donkeys pulling the key stone from the roofs. The tax authority's ruling was that a house without roof was not considered a house, thus not subject to the house tax. Hmmmm... What about the reconstruction cost?

 These days, the replacement cost for a cone of roof is approximately $10,000. So they instead repair the sagging roofs with cements. In time, the number of trullo houses may decrease if they continue this practice.

We entered into one trullo house to see the inside structure. The owner welcomed us and I took a selfie.

On another house, we saw huge garlic available for sale. Wow...

We walked around the town that consists of two parts on both sides of hills with the valley at the center. On one side, trullo houses were densely populated.

We visited Trullo Church of St, Anthony, a small local church.

The stop over in this small town was a unique experience. The 2019 Culture Capital of Europe may expose this small town to the world and may bring tourist traffic. We will see. - Jeffrey  

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