Friday, 16 October 2015

Trulli, Madly Steepley

Wednesday, 14th October

Much of Italy's landscape is dramatically mountainous. Consequently, the gentle plains of Puglia can seem a little underwhelming and workaday. In time its quiet charm grows on you; it is a generous landscape of abundance, bucolic, rather than sublime. Just how abundant our National Geographic guidebook reveals when it mentions that the region produces  80% of the pasta consumed in Europe and 20% of Italy's wine. Olive oil too is produced in abundance; looking at the coastal plain from the hills south of Bari, then the entire area is an endless forest of olive trees stretching to the horizon. On a breezy day like today the fleecy olive leaves shiver and shake, alternating in colour between a silvery grey and a deep green. It's hypnotically beautiful.

Yesterday we headed towards Alberobello and the Trulli country. Once off the main road then it's a lovely drive though undulating countryside of neat fields of red-soiled earth enclosed by well maintained greyish dry stone walls. Here and there clumps of dark green umbrella pines signal the presence of prosperous looking farmsteads. It's all very tidy and productive looking - countryside, in the English sense of the word.

At times Puglia can look surprisingly like England, on a sunny day.
Perhaps so far I've given the impression that Puglia is primarily a rich land that satisfies rather than surprises. This is largely the case with the exception of the Trulli town of Alberobello, and the area that surrounds it. It's got an excellent aire within easy walking distance of the main monuments. Take care with the narrow streets and tight entrance though, Maisy is 7.1m, if you've got a Cathargo...use the nearby campsite!

Great service point

With unique Italian designed robotic Thetford Cassette sanitiser!

Full yet?  (gauge inside buggered!)

The Trulli are a 'must-see site' like The Parthenon, Alhambra or Stonehenge. These structures are simply astonishing, mysterious, beautiful, unique and human; buildings that put a smile on your face. It's no surprise when I posted some pictures on Facebook and posed the question, "Where am I? an American friend suggested I may have emigrated to The Shire. It's true, there is something of Hobbiton on the Hill about Trulli. We took hundreds of photos, here's a small selection. Anyone for second breakfast?

Italian icons

Trulli tourism is big business - many gift shops

selling junk (we bought a fridge magnet!)

Other parts of Alberobello are quieter, you get a sense of how the streets may have looked in the past.

Some Trulli have been turned into self catering accommodation.

The curves of the roof are organic, corporeal rather than architectonic.

they are human scale buildings, their form evokes a sense of belonging, it's odd.

simply beautiful

and astonishing that anything so primitive can be used on an everyday basis......the houses are cute too.

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