Puglia encompasses the “heel” of Italy, and is notable for:
- Its olive oil. The region produces 40% of Italy’s olive oil.
- Its rusticity. It’s one of the least-developed parts of Italy
- Its trulli.
What are trulli?
Trulli are houses with distinctive conical toppings made of stone, like this.
The origin of the trulli (the singular is trullo) is lost to history. They’ve been built in the region since roughly 500 AD, and appear to be indigenous to the area. They were neither copied from elsewhere, nor copied by others.
Still, the trulli work in Puglia, where rocks are plentiful, wood is scarce, and the total rainfall is light. (The region’s name in Italian is Apulia, which means “without rain”.)
There was a period when the trulli was neglected. The stigma of living in primitive conditions led to a flight to the cities and the construction of numerous more modern homes. Without care, trulli fall down, and when down, they resemble nothing more than a pile of rocks.
But since the region has been enjoying a boom in tourism by people, like us, who want to enjoy a less touristy part of Italy, the trulli have been preserved, and many restored.
Here’s the one we stayed in for a week, which was restored seven years ago. Note how uniform the cone is compared to the older structures above.
And the front doorway, bracketed by flowering lavender bushes, smelled heavenly, while the doorway echoed with the sound of buzzing bees.