Alberobello is located at 426 metres above sea level, on two hills at just over 20 kilometres from the Adriatic Sea (at the top of the 'heel' of Italy).
The key feature of the town consists of the trulli, a word that derives from the Greek "tholos" ("dome"), the typical shape of the buildings of local stone. Each “trullo” consists of a square central compartment, communicating through arcades with the kitchen and other rooms.
Your visit to Alberobello can start with the 'trulli' in the central area of the town between the Aia Piccola District and Piazza del Popolo.
The fully restored group of trulli here can be visited by tourists, the oldest of which date back to the 18th century, and is the main attraction in Alberobello.
The tallest and biggest trulli is the so-called 'Sovereign Trullo', a two storey building located in a small square behind the Cathedral Church that plays host to cultural events and entertainments during the summer.
Truly unique and in some respects similar in shape to the trulli of Alberobello is the Church of San Antonio. In 2004 the Church, in the form of a Greek cross, underwent a complete restoration.
On a cruciform here there stands a 21 metre high dome in the shape of a “trullo”, which integrates perfectly with the surrounding buildings.
Folklore and traditions
The town of Alberobello is very tied to ancient traditions and has developed a flourishing handicraft industry, especially related to the manufacture of iron, the production of baskets in olive wood, and the production of a renowned wine and oil.
For those who love folklore, in Alberobello every year there are feasts linked to the town's history, such as that which takes place among the Trulli and recalls the the liberation of the residents from feudal servitude in 1797.
The town held its first Assembly under a big tree next to the church, where the first mayor was elected and at which it was decided to keep the old name "arboris belli", changing it in Alberobello, in tribute to the great oak tree (tree:arboris) below which they had gathered to gain their freedom.
The municipal coat of arms also recalls this event, with a large oak tree beneath which a Knight, armed with armour fights with a rampant lion (representing the feudalism). About the oak fly two doves, symbols of love and peace.
The area around Alberobello is very charming and full of farms where you can enjoy not only the landscape, but also the local cuisine. The supremacy, for both quantity and quality, goes to the hand-made pasta, produced in all formats, even the most curious, such as the “orecchiette”, “laganelle”, “lasagne”, and “strascinate”.
Among the first courses to enjoy we suggest the "green" soup (with cabbage, celery, chard, fennel and pork broth), mashed Fava Beans and broad beans and chicory soup. The local breads are also excellent (taralli, buns, stuffed pizzas).
You can also enjoy the dairy products, especially the "manteche" and the “burrate”. Among the main dishes local to the region are the "gnemeridde", offal of lamb or kid, cut into strips and wrapped in a ball with guts, and finally the "turde 'n zulze" (thrush in jelly), cooked and preserved in dry white wine.
The typical specialities of sweets at Alberobello are the so-called "pettole" (rustic fritters of sweet dough), the "cartellate" (paste composed of flour, sugar, marsala, honey, cinnamon, oil and a little liquor, used at Christmas time) and the “amaretti”.
See also history of Alberobello.