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Unusual Stone Houses in Alberobello

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Italians have an old construction technique of dry stone masonry. Without using mortar, they used to build huts made of limestone slabs, enlarging them by domed or conical roofs. Such dwellings were called Trulli. They remained in the town of Alberobello in Bari province, Italy.

Trulli: Unusual Stone Houses in Italian Town of Alberobello

Trulli, small stone houses in Alberobello, Bari province, Italy

Trulli, small stone houses in Alberobello, Bari province, Italy

Trulli houses (which literally means “dome”) are a real landmark of Alberobello. Many travelers come here to look at the unusual architectural structures. Trulli feature is that these homes are strong, but at the same time can be disassembled very quickly. It is believed that for this it is enough to remove a stone from the roof.

In Italy, real estate construction subjected to high taxation for a long time, so the locals had no choice but to invent a structure that could be dismantled as soon as possible. Local officials turned a blind eye to the construction of the trulli, but people had to immediately dismantle the building by the arrival of tax inspectors. It is known that Trulli were dismantled in 1644, when the inspector sent by the King of Naples came to check the Italian cities.

Trulli are built of limestone boulders from the vicinity. A monolithic rock, from which a layer of topsoil is previously removed, is often used as a load-bearing wall. Trulli have small windows, fireplaces, stoves and alcoves “drowned” in the thick walls. Roofs are double layered; they are sealed and protected from the rain. By the way, all the houses are equipped with special gutters to collect rainwater.

The interior is furnished mostly by wooden furniture. Most of the houses are studios, but are arranged in two tiers with the second room on the upper floor. Thick stone walls protect the house against the heat of summer, but in winter months Trulli are very frozen. It is often cold in the rooms because of the high humidity, so many prefer not to close the doors in winter.

Trulli first appeared in the 16th century, the latest – in the early 20th century. Construction declined sharply due to the increase in costs of building materials and pay for work of craftsmen who know how to build such houses. Alberobello has preserved the trulli, built in the period of 18-20 centuries. Today they are mostly used as shops, restaurants. There are about 1,500 such houses in the town. They are listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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