Alberobello: The Complete Guide

Italy-Alberobello

Alberobello, a picturesque town in the Puglia region of southern Italy, is renowned for its unique trulli buildings—traditional dry stone huts with conical roofs. These trulli date back to the 14th century and were originally constructed without mortar to evade taxes on permanent dwellings. In 1996, Alberobello’s trulli were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their historical and architectural significance.

Visitors to Alberobello should explore Rione Monti, the more touristic area with over 1,000 trulli, offering shops, restaurants, and museums. Aia Piccola, a quieter district with about 400 trulli still used as residences, provides a more authentic experience. Key attractions include the Trullo Sovrano, the largest trullo now functioning as a museum, and the Church of Saint Anthony, a trullo-style church located at the top of Rione Monti.

For photography, the golden hour—early morning or late afternoon—provides the best lighting for capturing the trulli and the charming streets. Seek higher vantage points in Rione Monti and Aia Piccola for panoramic views of the trulli roofs. Visiting Alberobello offers a unique glimpse into Italy’s architectural heritage and cultural traditions, making it a memorable destination in the heart of Puglia.

Taking a guided tour can enhance the understanding of the trulli’s history and construction. Rione Monti’s trulli shops sell local crafts, souvenirs, and regional products like olive oil and wine. Dining in Alberobello is a delight, with local specialties such as orecchiette pasta, fresh seafood, and regional wines available at many restaurants.

Top Tip: Casolare Panoramica – If you see a sign outside any of the Trulli souvenir shops saying “casolare panoramica,” it means that with any purchase (even something inexpensive), you’ll gain access to a free viewpoint from the top of their building! These shops are scattered throughout the village, offering a wonderful opportunity to enjoy panoramic views while shopping for souvenirs.

History of Alberobello

Alberobello, located in the Puglia region of southern Italy, has a rich history that dates back several centuries. The town is best known for its distinctive trulli buildings, which are traditional dry stone huts with conical roofs. Here is an overview of the history of Alberobello:

Early History

The area where Alberobello now stands was sparsely populated in ancient times. It was primarily covered with forests, which were gradually cleared for agricultural use. The first recorded settlement dates back to the 14th century when the land was under the control of the Counts of Conversano.

Establishment and Growth

In the mid-16th century, the Counts of Conversano, specifically Count Gian Girolamo II, also known as “the Squinter,” began encouraging the development of the area to increase agricultural productivity. He offered peasants the opportunity to settle and cultivate the land. These new settlers began constructing the unique trulli buildings, which were built using local limestone without mortar. This construction method was practical for dismantling the buildings quickly to avoid paying taxes to the Spanish Viceroy of Naples on permanent dwellings.

The Trulli

The trulli are the most distinctive feature of Alberobello and are believed to have origins in prehistoric times. However, their widespread construction in Alberobello began in the 17th century. These structures were easy to build and maintain, using the abundant limestone from the surrounding area. The conical roofs are made of overlapping stones, and the interiors are cool in summer and warm in winter, providing an ideal living environment.

Tax Evasion Strategy

One of the key reasons for the construction of trulli was to avoid taxes. The feudal lords instructed peasants to build these dry-stone huts so they could be quickly dismantled when royal inspectors were nearby, thus avoiding property taxes imposed by the Kingdom of Naples. This ingenious method allowed the inhabitants to evade heavy taxation and helped the town grow without significant financial burdens.

From Feudalism to Independence

By the late 18th century, the residents of Alberobello grew tired of feudal oppression and sought independence. In 1797, they petitioned King Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, who granted Alberobello the status of a royal town, freeing it from feudal rule. This decree marked the beginning of a new era for the town, allowing it to develop more freely and independently.

Modern Era and UNESCO Recognition

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Alberobello continued to grow, albeit slowly. The town’s unique architecture began to attract attention beyond Italy. In 1996, the trulli of Alberobello were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This recognition helped to preserve the historical and architectural integrity of the trulli and boosted tourism, transforming Alberobello into a popular destination for visitors from around the world.

Today, Alberobello is celebrated for its rich history and unique cultural heritage. The town’s trulli remain a testament to the ingenuity and resilience of its early settlers, and they continue to fascinate and attract tourists, historians, and architects alike.

Visiting Alberobello for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Alberobello on the first visit. To help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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5 Best places to See in Alberobello

This complete guide to Alberobello not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Alberobello and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Casa d’Amore

Alberobello Casa Damore
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Istvánka
Before the official recognition of Alberobello as a city in 1797 by King Ferdinand IV of Naples, the local Counts prohibited the construction of stable buildings, mandating that they be built only with dry stone. This was a strategic measure to avoid taxes on permanent structures. The D’Amore House marks the significant transition from an […]
Location: Casa D'Amore, Piazza Re Ferdinando IV di Borbone, Alberobello, Metropolitan City of Bari, Italy | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Casa d’Amore

Belvedere Santa Lucia

Alberobello-Belvedere Santa Lucia
The Belvedere Santa Lucia or Trulli Panoramic is a picturesque viewpoint inviting visitors to soak in the beauty of Alberobello’s Monti neighborhood. Perched atop a hill, this scenic spot offers a captivating vista of the quaint trulli homes that grace the landscape below. Accessible via a staircase that winds its way down to the Monti […]
Location: Trulli Panoramic View Piazza Plebiscito 70011 Alberobello BA Italy | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Belvedere Santa Lucia

Trullo Sovrano

Trullo Sovrano
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Mooonswimmer
Dating back to the early 17th century, Trullo Sovrano stands out as Alberobello’s only two-floor trullo, making it an exceptional architectural gem. Its innovative design marks a pivotal moment in trullo construction techniques, featuring a raised floor accessible via an interior masonry staircase. Notably, Trullo Sovrano was one of the first trulli to use mortar, […]
Location: Trullo Sovrano, Piazza Sacramento, Alberobello, Metropolitan City of Bari, Italy | Hours: 10 a.m. - 1.30 p.m. & 3.30 - 7 p.m. (closes at 6 p.m. November - March) | Price: €2 | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting Trullo Sovrano

Trullo Siamese 

Alberobello Trullo Siamese
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Istvánka
Nestled in the heart of Alberobello, Trullo Siamese captivates visitors with its unique dual-domed structure and intriguing history, making it a standout among the town’s traditional single-domed trulli. This architectural masterpiece tells a tale of love, rivalry, and ingenious design, being one of the oldest and most fascinating trulli in Alberobello. According to local legend, […]
Location: Trullo Siamese monumento (negozio souvenir), Via Monte Pasubio, Alberobello, Metropolitan City of Bari, Italy | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting Trullo Siamese 

Chiesa di Sant'Antonio, Alberobello

Chiesa Di Sant Antonio,Alberobello
Perched atop the Monti district in Alberobello, the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua stands as a unique architectural gem that tells a story of both tradition and progress. This remarkable church is a testament to the town’s rich history and its distinctive trulli architecture. Built in 1927, the Church of Sant’Antonio is a Greek […]
Location: Parrocchia di Sant'Antonio da Padova – Chiesa a Trullo, Via Monte Pertica, Alberobello, Metropolitan City of Bari, Italy | Distance: 0.80km
Visiting Chiesa di Sant'Antonio, Alberobello

Best Time to Visit Alberobello

Spring (March to May): Spring in Alberobello, brings mild temperatures and blooming flowers, making it a picturesque time to visit. The weather is perfect for walking and exploring the town’s unique trulli houses. Spring also features various local festivals and events, adding cultural richness to your experience. With fewer tourists compared to the summer months, the atmosphere is more relaxed and enjoyable.

Summer (June to August): Summer, is the peak tourist season in Alberobello. The weather is hot and sunny, ideal for those who enjoy warm climates. However, the town can become crowded with visitors, and prices for accommodations and attractions tend to be higher. Despite the crowds, summer offers a vibrant atmosphere with numerous outdoor events, concerts, and festivals, making it a lively time to explore the area.

Autumn or Fall (September to November): Fall, provides warm but not overly hot temperatures, making it comfortable for sightseeing. This season coincides with the harvest period for wine and olives, offering visitors the chance to taste fresh local products. The number of tourists decreases compared to summer, allowing for a more peaceful and relaxed visit. Fall is also marked by cultural festivals, enhancing the overall experience.

If you visit in late September, you might experience the Festa dei Santi Cosma e Damiano, a local festival with religious processions, music, and food stalls. Italians appreciate politeness, so greeting locals with a “buongiorno” (good morning) or “buonasera” (good evening) is always welcomed.

Winter (December to February): Winter in Alberobello, is the off-peak season with cooler temperatures and occasional rain. The town is much quieter, with fewer tourists and lower prices for accommodations. While some attractions may have reduced hours, the serene atmosphere allows for a more intimate exploration of the trulli and local culture. The Christmas season brings festive decorations and events, adding a special charm to the winter months.

Average Temperatures in Alberobello

  • January 14°C 8
  • February 16°C 8
  • March 16°C 9
  • April 20°C 7
  • May 24°C 6
  • June 30°C 5
  • July 33°C 2
  • August 31°C 2
  • September 28°C 6
  • October 24°C 10
  • November 19°C 12
  • December 15°C 5

How to get to Alberobello

Getting to Alberobello involves a combination of air, rail, or road travel, depending on your starting point. Here’s a detailed guide on how to reach this charming town in southern Italy:

By Air

The closest airports to Alberobello are Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI) and Brindisi Salento Airport (BDS). Both airports are well-connected with major European cities.

  • From Bari Airport:
    • By Train: Take a train from Bari Centrale to Alberobello. This route typically requires a transfer at Bari or a nearby town like Putignano. The total journey can take around 1.5 to 2 hours.
    • By Car: Rent a car at Bari Airport and drive to Alberobello, which is approximately a 1-hour drive (70 km).
  • From Brindisi Airport:
    • By Train: Take a train from Brindisi to Alberobello, usually requiring a transfer at either Taranto or a nearby station. The journey typically takes around 2 to 2.5 hours.
    • By Car: Rent a car at Brindisi Airport and drive to Alberobello, which is about a 1.5-hour drive (90 km).

By Train

Alberobello has a small train station with connections to regional hubs. Trenitalia and Ferrovie del Sud Est (FSE) are the main operators.

  • From Bari: Take an FSE train directly to Alberobello. Depending on the schedule, you may need to transfer at Putignano or another intermediate station.
  • From Brindisi: Travel via Trenitalia to a connecting station like Taranto, then transfer to an FSE train to Alberobello.

By Car

Driving offers flexibility and the opportunity to explore the scenic countryside of Puglia.

  • From Bari: Follow SS16 towards Fasano, then take the SS172 to Alberobello. The drive is straightforward and takes about 1 hour.
  • From Brindisi: Take the SS379 north towards Fasano, then the SS172 to Alberobello. The journey takes around 1.5 hours.

By Bus

Buses provide an alternative to trains and cars, with several regional and local operators.

  • From Bari: Buses operated by Ferrovie del Sud Est connect Bari with Alberobello. The trip takes around 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • From Brindisi: While less frequent, buses from Brindisi to Alberobello are available and typically require a transfer at a major town like Taranto.

By Taxi or Private Transfer

For convenience, especially if traveling with luggage or in a group, you can hire a taxi or book a private transfer from either Bari or Brindisi airports directly to Alberobello.

In summary, reaching Alberobello is relatively straightforward with several options available depending on your starting location and preferred mode of travel. Whether you choose to fly, take a train, drive, or use a combination of these methods, the journey will lead you to the heart of one of Italy’s most charming and unique destinations.