Valle d’Itria is a region in Puglia famous for the trullo dwellings (more about them in this post), olives and wines (surprisingly: white ones and not the red primitivo and nero d’avola for which the Southern regions of Salento and Manduria are famous). The official website of the Itria Valley is http://www.valleditria.it/.
Locorotondo is a town in the Itria Valley in the province of Bari with a circular historical centre (hence the name: loco rotondo – the round place). It is a calm place with whitewash houses and narrow streets. The last two pics show a festival of Apulian food which takes place in Locorotondo every September. The official website of the Locorotondo municipality is: http://www.comune.locorotondo.ba.it/comune-di-locorotondo
Ostuni is situated on a hill just around eight kilometres from the Adriatic coast and is an architectural masterpiece, with practically all buildings built from white stone and painted with bright white paint. It is thus often referred to as La Città Bianca (“the White Town” in Italian). The official website of the Ostuni municipality: http://www.comune.ostuni.br.it/.
Pilone is a fantastic beach just a couple of kilometres from the town of Fasano.
Castel del Monte is a unique piece of medieval military architecture, built by Emperor Frederic II in the 13th century in the middle of nowhere. It was built in an octagonal shape, with each of the eight corners also having an octagonal tower.
Trani, also known as the ‘pearl of Puglia’, is a beautiful small seaport town on the Adriatic Sea. Apart from the harbour, it boasts a huge cathedral (Basilica Cattedrale di Trani) and a castle (Castello Svevo).
Bari is the capital of Puglia and its largest city. It boasts two remarkable churches: Basilica San Nicola and the cathedral (Duomo di Bari or Cattedrale di San Sabino) and a castle (Castello Normanno-Svevo). Because we only reached Bari late in the evening and it was raining, my pictures are limited to Bari’s monuments and streets at night.
Alberobello is the capital of the trulli houses, limestone dwellings common in the Puglia region in Southern Italy.
It is not crystal clear how old the trulli houses are and there is a couple of interesting theories regarding their potential origin:
due to deforestation (forests were cut to make room for vineyards, olive trees and citrus groves) there was not enough wood to construct wooden structures, whereas limestone was abundant;
they were built by the ancients, similar to the nuraghi towers in Sardinia and the tholoi tombs of Mycenae;
they were built by the peasants as means of tax evasion, since only ‘permanent structures’ were taxed (whereas a trullo can be literally demolished in a couple of minutes: the stone can be pulled out of the roof because it is not connected with a cement or anything else);
they were built by poor peasants because, again, ‘permanent structures’ were forbidden by landlords to whom the land in Puglia generally belonged until 19th century.
For me the last one is probably the most convincing.
It seems that until recently people of Puglia were ashamed of living in trulli houses and were trying to move out to more ‘permanent’ structures as soon as possible. It is only a couple of years ago that the trulli houses were rediscovered as a tourist attraction and appreciated by UNESCO by being listed as world heritage.