The Trulli

Trulli in località Figazzano
Trulli in località Figazzano

The territory of the Valle d’Itria does not have a precisely defined border, moreover even the name Valle d’Itria itself is not confirmed with absolute certainty. “Itria” or Idria certainly derives from the name of the Madonna of Odegidria, protector of the wayfarers who passed through through this plateau located between Paucezia and Salento. The definition “Valley” probably refers to the karst dip, with poorly defined borders, which extends, in direction from north-west to south-east, looking north from Martina Franca.

The trulli

What can be affirmed with certainty is the fact that the Valle d’Itria extends as far as there is a presence of a trullo, the unique building that has no equals in the world. The trullo testifies that that dwelling, that piece of land belongs to the community of Valle d’Itria as in that place we find the same mix of traditions linked to farming culture, religion and care for food preparation.

Il trullo,, schizzo dell'arch. Bradascio
Studio al vero di un trullo, arch. Bradascio

Originally born to store the agricultural tools, the trulli later assumed the function of dwelling. It cannot be excluded that the trullo has indigenous origins with no similar in the world, although many scholars emphasize the similarity of the conical shape to Tholos, a typical Greek construction of the Mycenaean period (1500 BC), thus hypothesizing its Hellenic origin.

Whatever the origin, it is rather strange to note that the very original construction remained confined to a rather circumscribed area corresponding to the southern edge of the Murgese plateau. This remains quite inexplicable to signify that this conical construction was accepted only by a restricted community that find it suitable to use it for various needs: dwelling, shelter for agricultural tools and fodder and as a winery. In neighboring areas this type of construction, considered valid and versatile only by the inhabitants of the Valle d’Itria, inexplicably did not take root.


It is also for this reason that the trullo symbolizes a way of conceiving the rural living, the countryside and the spaces in an original way and according to a singular vision, a sort of Valle d’Itria style, based on the versatility and interchangeability of living and working spaces, thus demonstrating great flexibility and open-mindedness.

One of the characteristics of the trullo is that of having a good insulation capacity. Both the thick walls that make up the base, and the covering cone are raised dry, without binders, so that between one stone and another the intersizial spaces remain empty forming an air chamber capable of mitigating temperature changes.

The trulli: a selection of pictures