Far from the shadows of the Colosseum and Italy’s other famous sites lies a land of gently rolling hills, fields of olive trees, and round white houses that look like something out of a fairy tale.
Dotting the countryside, their conical limestone roofs pop up amid the tall grass and trees, often sitting just behind low stone walls. The name for these curious little homes is “trullo” (the plural is trulli) and they’ve been a feature of Puglia’s Valle d’Itria on the heel of Italy’s boot for centuries.
Legend has it that during the Medieval period when this area was ruled by feudal overlords, the peasants built these homes because they were easy to dismantle. When the tax collectors came, they would pull a cord in the roof and the trullo would fall to rubble. When the tax collectors left, they would rebuild the homes in a few hours’ time. The original trulli, which date back to the 11th century and were used as storage or refuges, were made using dry-stone techniques without using mortar or cement, but their construction method has been lost to time. They can be repaired using cement, but no new trulli can be built.
On a recent trip to Puglia with my family, I had a chance to stay at Trullo Melograno, which is available to rent through The Thinking Traveller, a luxury villa rental company with properties in Puglia, Sicily, Corsica, and the Greek islands. Nestled deep in the countryside, it was really several trulli combined to…
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