As you arrive in the Itria Valley, a part of the Apulia region in Italy, it is impossible to miss the Trulli, the typical stone houses specific to this area.
Their cone-shaped roofs are covered with layered flat stones, their spire soaring against the mostly blue skies. The walls are normally whitewashed, but can also show the dry stones used to create these unusual houses. The buildings can often been found in groups of two to five or more. And finally, you cannot help but notice the various, mostly Christian, symbols sometimes painted on the roofs: for example, a heart pierced with an arrow has nothing to do with love, but is the representation of Our Lady of Sorrow, or a dove calls to mind the Holy Spirit.
The architecture of these homes is pretty basic. The material used is limestone, which can be found in plentiful quantity in that region. The stones are set to create two rows in a circular shape, to which the conical roof is then added. This structure does not allow for multiple floors, and means that the house will remain comfortably cool in the summer and will be relatively easy to heat during the cold season. Corbelled blocks on the inside, topped with a finishing stone, and slats on the outside render the roof watertight.
Various conjectures have been uttered over the years as explanations for such a simple way to build a house. The fact that the construction could be dismantled quickly and without hard work, therefore stopping inspectors from spotting it and asking for high property tax to be paid, is the most probable.
There are several towns or villages famous for Trulli houses, which are protected under the UNESCO World Heritage law. You should be aware of that fact if it is in your plans to buy and renovate such a house, as you will have to comply with many regulations.
And should you want to avoid the main, bustling tourist places such as Alberobello, you can still find plenty of hidden gems. Beautifully restored houses are available and will offer you a truly relaxing, magical holiday. They offer all the modern commodities while retaining original characteristics. You can therefore enjoy cooking meals in a state of the art kitchen while going to sleep in a cosy, stone alcove. Open fires are the norm, and often an outside swimming pool has been added, perfect for either a summer or a winter stay. You will have the feeling of having been forgotten by the entire world, but gorgeous beaches and restaurants offering superb food and wines will never be far away.
Pretty heavenly region and accommodation, is it not?