The Land of the Trulli

One of the most picturesque parts of Puglia, and the one that some foreigners have already discovered, is the Valley of Itria. This, in the northern reaches of the Brindisi and Taranto provinces, is the land of the trulli. They are concentrated in or near the towns of Martina Franca, Cisternino, Ostuni, Fasano, and Alberobello.

The last is considered the trullo capital of Puglia, with more than 1,000 specimens, as well as the oldest ones, most notably the Trullo Sovrano (Supreme Trullo), which was built on two stories. Most of the structures are only one story high, perhaps because the stone domes act as a sort of natural airconditioning. The conical roofs are still built today using the same sort of fieldstones, because there is a certain local pride associated with owning a piece of Puglian culture. Newly built trulli are, of course, less expensive, and can be had for as little as ‚40,000. You might pay about the same for one that has fallen apart at the seams. Then there are the real gems: huge, 14-room estates in an olive grove, featuring a swimming pool with an adjacent trullo-style cabana, for just north of ‚1 million.

These big country estates are called masserie. The word comes from mas, the Celtic term for house. There are other palaces with nearly that level of luxury at about half the price, which would be a steal anywhere north of Naples. In general, expect to pay about ‚200,000 for a large, rustic estate, and as little as ‚60,000 for a villa in an olive grove, though the building will at the very least need some cosmetic work.

The Land of the Trulli Photo Gallery

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