UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Unique charm and character with world heritage status

There is probably nothing more emblematic of Puglia than the grey circular stone roofs and gleaming whitewashed walls of a trullo. These quaint and rather magical limestone dwellings evoke a strong sense of Puglia’s colourful past.

Traditionally used by herdsmen for protection against the elements or by farmers as storerooms, these remarkable roughly hewn buildings use an ancient drywall technique that involves no mortar. Their unique style and ancient construction methods have led UNESCO to award them with world heritage status. The best place to see these unusual buildings altogether is in the Itria Valley surrounding the town of Alberobello, which has been inhabited since at least the 14th century.

It is largely thanks to the locals who continue to reside in and maintain these examples of living history that the age-old building techniques associated with Puglian trulli have been kept alive.  

Although some date back as far as the 16th century, the heyday of the trulli was the 19th century, their flexible construction techniques meant they could be disassembled and reassembled very easily, making them ideally suited to the nomadic lifestyle led by Puglian shepherds, as well as offering a cunning way for locals to avoid paying property tax!

Architecturally Unique

Architecturally unique to Puglia, a typical trullo has a cylindrical whitewashed stone base built directly onto the earth. The rounded stone walls are made up of a double layer of stone blocks, usually sourced from nearby fields, topped by a conical-shaped roof made up of corbelled limestone tiles, and capped with an ornamental flourish. Traditionally, the tiles are not painted but get their grey colour from moss, lichen and natural weathering. Many are decorated with protective symbols designed to ward off evil and bless the occupants with good luck.

Their thick drystone walls provide excellent insulation which keeps them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Some trulli are double-storey constructions, consisting of a single external structure divided in half by a wooden floor built into the walls and reached by means of a staircase. The vast majority, though, are single-storey buildings, sometimes made up of a row of trulli that have been knocked through and linked together via interconnecting passages.  

Inside, many trulli boast rustic finishings and quaint features, such as wooden doorframes, barrel-vaulted niches and wall racks for hanging dried produce. Many still contain traditional wood-fired ovens and stone fireplaces, which only serves to add to their sense of history and distinctive character.

Rurally-located trulli offer plenty of development potential. With the right architect and builders, you have the opportunity of creating a luxurious and tasteful extension designed to seamlessly blend in with the trullo and its surroundings whilst also providing you with some welcome additional living space or entertainment areas.

Rare and Special

Trulli offer property buyers something truly special in a part of Italy that has much to recommend it: culture, history, nature, food, beaches and an outstanding year-round climate. To own your own trullo is relatively rare – today there are thought to be only around 1,600 trulli left.

Secret Puglia is well-placed to assist you in sourcing and acquiring your very own trullo. We also have the expertise required to restore, develop and maintain these unique properties so that they become the charming and character-filled holiday home you’ve always wanted without having to compromise your lifestyle in any way.

If you’d like to explore any of these options further, why not speak to us?

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