We arrived at our Trulli which was to be home for a week, and were awestruck by its beauty. A Trulli is a traditional Apulian dry stone hut with a conical roof. It’s specific to the Itria Valley in the Italian region of Apulia. Ours wasn’t drystone, and had been made into a very comfortable house for us, and was stunning. The two conical roofs were over the lounge and bedroom, and are magnificent to look up into from the inside.
Apulia is in the south of Italy, at the ‘top of the heel’. We knew very little about the area, but have learnt that this is an area where there are loads of olive groves, and lots of farms. The area is very cheap, for Italy, which was a nice surprise and the food has been great .
We headed to Alberobello, where there are so many Trullis and were dazzled by so many in such a small area. All occupied, and many used as shops and cafes for the tourists to visit. Stunning to see so many together.
We also visited Monopoli, a coastal town. There was a lovely thriving fishing port where the boats were loading bait, and preparing to go out to sea. The old town here was quaint, with the typical narrow lanes and a beautiful view of the Adriatic Sea. We went north up the coast to Polignano A Mare. A coastal town, built right on the edge of the cliff, with the path weaving in and out around the houses and then out to the coast. Quite lovely.
We also visited the Sassi in Matera. A stunning town and UNESCO World Heritage site. The Sassi are ancient cave dwellings in the ancient city and are suspected to be the among the first human settlements in Italy. They are houses dug into the Rock. Many of the dwellings are only caverns and they are sited on top of each other, jammed in. Whole families lived together in these caves together with their animals. They were occupied until 1950’s when the government forceably relocated most of the residents to areas in the modern city. The occupants were riddled with malaria and were very unhealthy. Some of the Sassis are now reoccuppied and many have been returned to how they were in the 50’s. So interesting and such recent history. Amazing to think that families lived in such conditions up until relatively recently. Unsurprisingly there were a number of churches carved out too. These were surprisingly ornate with frescoes, many of which were still intact. A stunning place to visit.
Other towns were also beautiful and include Ostuni, the White city, Locorotondo and Martina Franca. This area is so lovely and seems quieter than other parts of Italy that we’ve visited. The prices were great too.
We’re now about to leave and start on the journey north. It feels like we’re starting our journey home.