Talk to others about your plans to visit Puglia and one of the first things they will probably mention are the trulli.
Clustered in pockets of Apulia like wild mushrooms, these unusual whitewashed buildings with conical roofs are a symbol of the region. In fact, this quiet part of southern Italy is the only place where they have ever existed.
It is to see the best and largest concentration of trulli in Puglia that brings people to Alberobello, a town of just over 10,000 inhabitants. As a must-do on everyone's itinerary, the city has inevitably become a bit overcrowded with day trippers and tour groups, but you can still enjoy it if you visit early and live up to your expectations.
Here's our guide to making the most of your time, including the best things to do in Alberobello, things to see, where to park and where to stay if you want to visit for more than a day trip.
A brief history of Trulli
uwords of UNESCO, who declared Alberobello a World Heritage Site in 1996, easily recognizable trulli (the singular istrulli) is:
“Excellent examples of dry wall construction (without mortar), a prehistoric construction technique still used in these areas. The domes are made of rough limestone blocks collected from neighboring fields. They typically have pyramidal, domed or conical roofs built of limestone slabs with ears.'
But how did these unique buildings in Puglia come about? Well, as with many key moments in history, it's all about taxes and money.
In the 1500s, the Acquaviva family, local lords within the feudal system, wanted to avoid paying property taxes to the king. They ordered the local peasants to build their houses and dwellings without plaster, so that, in the event of a royal inspection, the structures could be quickly and easily demolished and the tax kept low. Using local limestone and some clever construction techniques, the locals created the trulli, many of which are still standing today (a double feat, given that their purpose was easy to discern!).
So far so good - for the ruling family.
You can imagine how the farmers of Pula, who had to tear down their houses every time an inspection came, were less than satisfied with the situation. Fast forward to the 1700s and, after many pleas from disgruntled citizens regarding the continued treatment and rule of the Acquaviva family, the king granted their wish to become a "royal" city, and therefore free from the whims (and preferences tax evasion) their feudal lords.
After this decree, it was not surprising that there was less reason to build trulli. However, they stand today as a testament to the lengths to which the powerful will go to preserve their wealth and the tenacity and ingenuity of the powerless to make the most of their situation.
These days, most Alberobello residents don't live in a trulli. Instead, the city's more than 1,500 exquisitely preserved and restored trulli have evolved into gift shops, restaurants and, of course,accommodation for guestslooking for a unique experience.
You can also get onea two-hour walking tourin town to learn more about the history and importance of trulli.
What to do in Alberobello
Without a doubt, the only reason most people come to Alberobello is to wander the trulli streets. besides, there is no other place like it in the world.
When you reach the city center, it's immediately clear where to go - the Rione Monti district within the 'trulli zone'. Along a gentle hill, it contains more than 1000 trulli and almost no other style of construction. It's touristy, with souvenir shops on the other side, but it's also very, very beautiful.
If, like us, you are short, then walking among the trulli here will make you feel like a giant! The best plan is to have no plan at all and just wander and wander to your heart's content, finding the odd quiet street or ridiculously photogenic corner off the main road.
When you're in Rione Monti, shopkeepers will sit or stand outside in the sun and try to entice you to look around - obviously there's the hope of buying something, but it's not a hard sell and it offers a chance to see how these buildings are structured internally. Tourism is clearly the lifeblood of Alberobello's economy, so try to contribute if you find something you like or want a souvenir.
Tip // Don't miss itthe smallest trullo(that's the smaller trullo for those of you who don't speak Italian). Now the gift shop, you can find ithereon Google Maps.
For a more authentic feel of what it means to live among trulli, head to the Rione Aia Piccola area, which has around 500 trulli and is less commercialized. Here we enjoyed the most, getting a glimpse of the locals who still call these dwarf-sized buildings home and the larger groups of Italian men strolling the streets that were theirs long before the tourists arrived. It also gives you the best view of the clustered trulli in Alberobello.
Αν θέλετε να καταλάβετε λίγο περισσότερα για την ιστορία του Alberobello και ειδικά των trulli, σας προτείνουμε μια περιήγηση - αυτήa two-hour walking tourof the two neighborhoods listed above it is incredibly highly rated and really good value for money.
Other points of interest in Alberobello include:
Sovereign Trullo|The village's only two-story trullo, now serves as the small town's cultural heritage museum showing the history of Alberobello and the surrounding area. museum. The museum is open from 10 am to 1:30 pm. & 3.30 - 7.00pm (closes at 6.00pm from November to March) and entry is €2 per adult or €1.50 for concessions. A findhereon Google Maps.
Church of Sant'Antonio | Built in 1927, this is the town church of Aberobello which, you guessed it, was built in a unique style (the only trullo church in the world!). A findhereon Google Maps.
House of love| Built in 1797 by Francesco d'Amore - one of those responsible for the local uprising against the tyranny of the Acquaviva family - using plaster, as opposed to the traditional trulli method, Casa d'Amore began to mark the end of the feudal period. in Alberobello and is therefore of historical importance.Find ithereon Google Maps.
Cool art| If, like us, you believe that every day in Italy should include at least one ice cream, we suggest you go to Arte Fredo, known for serving the best ice cream in town - it's even won an award. You can find ithere.
Try Pasqualino | Since 1966, Alberobello has had its own sandwich, invented by Pasquale Dell'Erba, a local shop owner. With an interesting combination of rosetta or turtle bread and, in that exact order: tuna, capers, salami and cheese, it's obviously not for vegetables, but obviously you can't visit the town of trullis and not try it. Since we don't have personal recommendations, we encourage you to checkthis websitewhich has a list of where to find the best in town.
Join the culinary tour |This popular two-hour food tourit gives you the opportunity to experience the countryside as well as taste some of its culinary delights, such as primitive wine, cured meats and local cheeses. Learn morehere.
Take a cooking class | Join a local woman in her home and learn how to prepare a traditional 4-course meal - then enjoy! Learn morehere.
Sanctuary of Santi Medici Cosma and Damiano| It is located outside the Trulli tourist area (hereon Google Maps), is impressively dedicated to the Medici saints Cosmas and Damianus. Inside you will find relics of both - the reason there is an annual pilgrimage to the church to this day.
Siamese rot | In Via Monte Nero there is the only trullo that has two connected domes and two entrances. hence the nameRotten Siamese. Like many trulli in Alberobello, it is now a souvenir shop. A findhere.
There is also a street market along Via Barsento on Thursday mornings, from 7:30am. until 12:30 p.m.
Find the best of Alberobello
As famous as Alberobello's small streets have become, many of the iconic photos you've likely seen will be from various vantage points dotted around the town. some you'll likely discover on your meanderings, but there are a few you shouldn't miss:
Villa Comunale Belvedere | A small row of trees with places to sit and the most incredible view of the Trulli. A findhereon Google Maps.
Belvedere Santa Lucia | This popular spot is located near the Chiesa di Santa Lucia and is the best place to get a panoramic view of the Rione Monte area. If you have a choice, try to go there in the morning so you can take pictures without looking at the sun - alternatively, it's a great place for sunset! A findhereon Google Maps.
Bar Rione Monti | If you prefer to pair your views with a cold beer or a Golden Hour aperitif, head to this bar overlooking the Rione Monti - findhere.
Overview of the cottage |If you see a sign in front of any Trulli gift shop with the inscriptionpanoramic country house, that means if you buy something from them (it doesn't have to be expensive), you'll be able to access the observation deck from the top of their building for free! There are many around the village
Is Alberobello worth visiting?
We won't lie to you, we were a little disappointed with the weather in Alberobello.
We knew it would be one of the most touristic towns in Puglia, so our expectations were already justified before we arrived. However, it was clear from the first ten minutes that this is a city where tourism is at the core of many things today and, unfortunately, whenever and wherever this happens in the world, it starts to change the character of the place.
We wandered around for a few hours, visited some shops, took pictures and then had a late breakfast at one of the nice sidewalk cafes. However, we were both happy to get back on the road and visit some of the other beautifully named towns nearby - such asLocorotondo- especially as we saw more and more buses of large escort groups arriving after 10.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't visit Alberobello. as we said, this place is unique, contains a very important history and we do not regret visiting it at all. Maybe because we arrived here after a few days in the lesser known west and south of Apuliaour own journeythat a couple of hours was enough.
Our advice is to try to get here before 9am. to get a taste of Alberobello before the crowds arrive or later in the afternoon after most have left.
Where to stay in: Alberobello
An alternative way to escape the crowds in Alberobello is to stay the night.' and if you do, then it must be in a sweet and cozy traditional trullo. Here are our favorites:
Boarding schools and boarding schools
Budget | For £56 per night,Pansion Trullieuoffers one of the most affordable options for staying in a trullo. Clean and nicely decorated, it is a great choice for couples or families looking for a quiet location close to the tourist area. To check prices and availability or learn more,Click here.
Mid-range |Trulli Casa offers self-catering facilities and a garden for 2-4 people in a prime location just outside the trulli zone. Prices for two people start from £68 per night - check availabilityhere.
TheLovely Bed and Breakfast TrulliHowever, if available, it is one of the best options in town for those looking for a base for a few nights, with a unique trulli experience. Two minutes walk from the church, on two floors, with a beautiful en-suite bedroom on the conical roof, a lovely outside terrace and breakfast. Prices start from £80 per night for two people, but can accommodate up to four people.Check the latest prices and availability.
Luxury | If your budget is over £100 per night then you have two great options. First,Astra, is a 16th century trullo in a wonderfully quiet and romantic location, run by Giuseppe & Anna-Maria. It's the perfect choice for couples or honeymooners, with prices starting from £117/night. Check availability and view photos,here.
With its rustic luxury ambiance and exquisite design features,Farmerov Trulloexudes authentic Italian charm and offers a uniquely beautiful trulli experience in Alberobello for £126 per night.See prices and availability here.
There are many trulli available on Airbnb, both in Alberobello and the surrounding area. We chose four within the village to cover all calculations.
sister relay| By far the most luxurious option in the center of Alberobello (and price to match - £172 per night for two people), this has been beautifully renovated into a high-end boutique hotel atmosphere. clickhereLearn more.
Trullo of Massaia| Amazingly large, this 400-year-old trullo is a perfect blend of new and old. With authentic features, it has been exceptionally well updated to meet the needs of the modern traveller. clickhereLearn more.
The Trulli bake Totò| Located just outside the village, you get a lot for your money here! Recently renovated, it has all the modern comforts and a nice little terrace. From £55 per night. clickhereLearn more.
How to get to Alberobello
how to get to Alberobello by car
If you are visiting Alberobello as part of a longer trip to Puglia, the easiest way to get around is with your own vehicle. We visited the area three times and rented a car each time. While it's certainly possible to negotiate the area with public transport, without a rental car we wouldn't have been able to access some of the smaller off-piste locations or simply visit more than one place in one day - like combining trips to Alberobello with other towns and villages in the Val d'Itria.
If you rent a car and make onetrip to Apulia, then you will find two paid car parks (€6 per day) near Rione Monti - just follow the signs when you enter Alberobello or head towardsthis placeon Google Maps. Note that it was completely empty when we arrived just before 9am, but full by 11am.
If there is no space, there are plenty of other parking options within a few minutes' walk.
Top tip // We don't stick to one car rental company when renting our vehicles for our trips, but always look, compare and book through a big aggregator likeAutoEuropetheRentalCars- this often ensures greater availability and allows us to get the best vehicle for us, at the best price. We have used both of these companies exclusively for all of our travels and highly recommend them.
For more tips on reducing the stress and cost of renting a car, read these posts:9 essential tips for car rental travelers, Ourstravel itineraryand our post furtherdriving tips for Puglia.
how to get to Alberobello by train
If you can't rent a car in Puglia or prefer not to rent a car, the good news is that Alberobello is accessible by public transport.
To get to Alberobello from Bari, you will need to change trains at Putignan. Take the train from Bari Centrale that runs every two hours and transfer to the direct train to Alberobello. This takes just over two hours, which means that a regular direct bus between the two of you (journey time around one hour) may be more efficient.
The easiest places to reach Alberobello by train are the neighboring beautiful towns of Martina Franca and Locorotondo, which have regular trains and take 10 - 20 minutes.
Check the trainshereon the official website of Trenitalia.
how to get to Alberobello by bus
There is a direct bus from Bari to Alberobello. It departs regularly from the new city station.
Visit to Alberobello with a guided tour
There are also a growing number of organized trips to Alberobello from other parts of the region (or nearby):