When I first heard of Alberobello, I don’t think the actual name of their buildings was mentioned. It was a place where I could wander among white, cone-domed, round houses made of limestone. These are the trulli.
Getting to this UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Puglia region of Italy from Nardo was an all day affair but is a simple day trip from Bari or Brindisi. Alberobello is a touristic site, to be sure. However, it is a very enjoyable town in which to wander the small, narrow streets among houses that you can imagine hobbits living in!
Before arriving, I had booked a hotel that was further from town than I realized. The Hotel Donatello was wonderful as were it’s owners! They picked me up from the train station and shuttled me to town and back at no extra charge. However, I wanted to be more central so, the following day, I moved to Hotel Sant’Antonio. It was perfectly situated and is attached to the trullo church, Chiesa di Sant’Antonio, but it didn’t have the family feel of Hotel Donatello. If you have a car, I recommend Hotel Donatello!
Completely free to wander at my leisure now, I explored every street that I could. Some of the 1500 trulli are still functioning as homes and some are rented out to visitors. Others are shops, bars, and restaurants; these are the ones that offer you a glimpse at the interior of a trullo…that is, unless you’ve rented one!
The center of Alberobello is a typical Italian town with large piazzas, cobblestone streets, and churches (including the Basilica of Saints Cosmin and Damiano) but with trulli spattered throughout. My first night in the town square, it seemed the entire town turned out to watch a soccer match on a giant screen! That was the extent of nightlife in Alberobello!
A quiet stroll among the truly unique trulli of Alberobello may be hard to come by in high season (May to October), especially in Rione Monti, the commercial section of the trulli. It is possible though if you find yourself in the less touristic area of Aia Piccola, the inhabited section of the trulli. You might just be invited in!