Alberobello Introduction Walking Tour, Alberobello

Alberobello Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Alberobello

Thinking of Apulia, the picturesque region in southern Italy, also known by its Italian name Puglia, the first place that may spring to mind is Alberobello.

The name Alberobello, derived from the Latin words "alber" and "bellum," meaning "beautiful tree," hints at the lush surroundings and natural beauty. Indeed, the insanely beautiful authentic heritage of this charming old town, immersed in the greenery of olive trees, vineyards, and valleys, makes Alberobello a true gem of Italy!

Stepping into Alberobello, replete with its white houses and weird but beautiful cone-shaped homes in the middle of a valley, makes one feel the breeze of the past times. The town's history dates back to the Middle Ages when it was founded by the Counts of Conversano.

The enchanting Trulli, traditional Apulian dry stone huts with conical roofs dotting the landscape, have earned Alberobello recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and become an enduring symbol of the region. Back in the day, these distinctive houses were built without the use of mortar to evade taxation.

Among them, the iconic Trullo Sovrano stands out as the only two-story Trullo in existence, providing a glimpse into the past with its furnished rooms and artifacts.

Religious heritage is also integral to Alberobello, and the Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian is a prime example. This Baroque-style church is a marvel of architecture and houses precious religious relics.

Strolling along Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, the town's main street, you'll find a delightful blend of cafes, shops, and restaurants offering a taste of Apulian cuisine and crafts. For panoramic views of Alberobello and its Trulli, head to Belvedere Santa Lucia, a scenic viewpoint that provides a perfect photo opportunity.

Exploring the Aia Piccola District, you'll encounter a maze of narrow streets lined with Trulli homes, offering an authentic glimpse into local life. Via Monte San Michele, named after the Archangel Michael, is another charming street adorned with Trulli and boutiques.

One of the most intriguing Trulli in Alberobello is the Trullo Siamese, two conjoined Trulli that evoke curiosity and wonder. Nearby, the Church of Saint Anthony (Chiesa di Sant'Antonio) showcases stunning architecture and historical significance.

Perhaps one of, if not the best thing to do in Alberobello is to enjoy every corner of the town, meet the locals, and explore the history behind those cute and iconic houses! Join us on this self-guided walk and prepare to fall in love with this gorgeous place!
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Alberobello Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Alberobello Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Italy » Alberobello (See other walking tours in Alberobello)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Author: nataly
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Trullo Sovrano
  • Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian
  • Corso Vittorio Emanuele II (Vittorio Emanuele II Street)
  • Belvedere Santa Lucia
  • Aia Piccola District
  • Via Monte San Michele (Mount Archangel Michael Street)
  • Trullo Siamese (Siamese Trullo)
  • Chiesa di Sant'Antonio (Church of Saint Anthony of Padua)
Trullo Sovrano

1) Trullo Sovrano (must see)

Dating back in parts to the early 17th century, Trullo Sovrano holds the distinction of being Alberobello's only two-floor trullo, making it a unique and exceptional architectural gem.

What sets Trullo Sovrano apart is its innovative design. It represents a pivotal moment in the development of trullo construction techniques. Unlike traditional trulli, Trullo Sovrano features a raised floor, accessible from the interior via a carefully crafted masonry staircase. It is also noteworthy for being one of the first trulli to incorporate mortar in its construction, signifying a departure from earlier dry-stone building methods.

The trullo's majestic conical dome, towering approximately 14 meters high, commands attention at the center of a cluster of twelve cones. This architectural marvel is a transitional structure that foreshadows the broader changes in trullo construction techniques. Its master mason, although unknown, implemented innovative solutions that distinguish Trullo Sovrano as one of the most advanced and awe-inspiring interpretations of trullo architecture.

The original nucleus of Trullo Sovrano can be traced back to the early 1600s, while additional sections were added in the first half of the 1700s. These expansions were commissioned by the affluent Perta family, specifically by the priest Cataldo Perta (1744 – 1809), adding to the trullo's historical and architectural significance.

Today, Trullo Sovrano serves as a "living" museum that offers visitors a captivating glimpse into trullo life. Its rounded rooms have been meticulously recreated to provide an authentic experience, complete with spaces resembling a bakery, bedroom, and kitchen. As you explore this unique trullo, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the daily life and traditions of the past.

Additionally, the souvenir shop within Trullo Sovrano offers a wealth of literature about the town of Alberobello and its surrounding areas, as well as Alberobello recipe books, allowing visitors to take home a piece of the town's rich culture and history.
Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian

2) Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian

The Basilica dei Santi Medici Cosma e Damiano stands as a grand architectural masterpiece, gracing the landscape with its twin bell towers and neo-Renaissance interior. This majestic basilica is a prominent landmark that can be admired from various vantage points throughout the town.

Located on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the Basilica of Cosma and Damiano offers visitors a captivating departure from the well-trodden path.

Stepping inside, you'll be immersed in the neo-Renaissance interior, a harmonious blend of architectural grandeur and artistic beauty. The basilica invites both locals and travelers to explore its sacred spaces and admire the intricate details that adorn its walls and ceilings.

One of the basilica's notable traditions is the annual pilgrimage held in honor of the statue of St. Cosma. This pilgrimage, with its origins dating back to 1782, is a time-honored event that brings the community together to pay homage to the saint. Legend has it that in 1782, St. Cosma's statue played a role in alleviating a severe drought that plagued Italy, earning the gratitude and devotion of the people.

The Basilica dei Santi Medici Cosma e Damiano provides a tranquil respite from the bustling tourist areas, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the serene ambiance of this sacred space. It offers a unique opportunity to escape the chaos and experience a more contemplative side of Alberobello.
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II (Vittorio Emanuele II Street)

3) Corso Vittorio Emanuele II (Vittorio Emanuele II Street)

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, a central thoroughfare in the picturesque town of Alberobello, weaves a historical tapestry that connects some of the most iconic landmarks in the area. This road's alignment, thought to be orchestrated by Mayor Giulio Ernesto Acquaviva and quite possibly executed by the architect Antonio Curri, serves as a significant artery that links together Alberobello's key edifices: Palazzo Acquaviva, the Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian, and the Town Hall (Municipality).

Palazzo Acquaviva and the Town Hall bookend Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, effectively framing this bustling street. Meanwhile, the Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian stands as a spiritual sentinel, adding to the street's historical and architectural charm.

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II played a pivotal role in the transformation of Alberobello during the 19th century. As the town evolved, gradually replacing its iconic trulli with more contemporary structures, the street became a focal point of this transition. This period also marked a shift in power, with the traditional aristocracy yielding influence to the emerging wealthy landowning bourgeoisie.

The aspirations of this new social class for prestige and distinction found expression in the construction of elegant and imposing residences, notably in contrast to the surrounding architectural landscape. The elegance and historical significance of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, framed by these stately buildings, offer visitors a glimpse into the evolving tapestry of Alberobello, where the past and present coalesce in a harmonious blend of architecture, culture, and prestige.
Belvedere Santa Lucia

4) Belvedere Santa Lucia

The Belvedere Santa Lucia is a picturesque viewpoint that beckons visitors to soak in the beauty of the Monti neighborhood. Perched atop a hill, this scenic spot offers a captivating vista of the quaint trulli homes that grace the landscape below.

The Belvedere Santa Lucia is easily accessible via a staircase that winds its way down to the Monti district. As you ascend to this vantage point, you'll find yourself greeted by the stunning panorama that unfolds before you.

The Belvedere Santa Lucia is celebrated for its expansive terrace, providing an ideal setting to admire the unique architecture of the trulli. These traditional stone huts, with their conical roofs, create a charming and distinctive ambiance that characterizes Alberobello. Whether you visit during the day or at night, the views from this belvedere are nothing short of breathtaking.

As with any popular viewpoint, it's advisable to be patient while waiting your turn to capture that perfect photograph. The allure of the trulli-dotted hillside is undeniable, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the enchanting town of Alberobello.

Belvedere Santa Lucia is not only a place to admire the architectural marvels of Alberobello but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the unique ambiance and charm of this picturesque Italian town.
Aia Piccola District

5) Aia Piccola District

Nestled on the enchanting southeastern side of Alberobello lies the charming Aia Piccola district, a neighborhood steeped in history and characterized by its serene and residential atmosphere. This district derives its name from its historical significance, as it once housed a "small" threshing floor, primarily utilized for the collection of tithes. This distinguishing feature set it apart from another "larger" threshing floor in the vicinity.

Today, Aia Piccola stands as one of the most distinctive and tranquil corners of the city, offering visitors a glimpse into the authentic life of Alberobello. Unlike the bustling bazaars found in other trulli districts, Aia Piccola exudes a quiet charm that harks back to a time when these unique structures were primarily inhabited by the town's residents.

The district's allure is further accentuated by its status as a national monument since 1930 and its inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. For those exploring Alberobello, Aia Piccola is an essential stop on the journey, offering a peaceful and authentic experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the captivating world of these iconic trulli.
Via Monte San Michele (Mount Archangel Michael Street)

6) Via Monte San Michele (Mount Archangel Michael Street)

The captivating district of Monti is a place where history, culture, and architecture blend seamlessly to create a unique and picturesque atmosphere.

Nestled on the southern side of the town, Monti district boasts the highest concentration of trullo cones, making it one of the most panoramic and characteristic neighborhoods in Alberobello. Its historical significance is underscored by its recognition as a National Heritage Site since the 1920s and its inclusion, along with the "Aia Piccolo" district, as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site encompassing the historic city center.

As you explore the winding streets of Rione Monti, you'll encounter a remarkable sight: more than a thousand trulli, each with its distinctive conical roof, cascading down the hillside. While many of these trulli have been transformed into charming souvenir shops, the area retains its tranquil and atmospheric charm, particularly in the late evening after the day trippers have departed and the bustling market stalls have been put away.

Rione Monti's allure extends to its seven streets that ascend to the hill's summit from the Largo della Forgia square. Among these, Monte San Michele (Mount Archangel Michael) street stands out as the most picturesque. The street has faithfully preserved its medieval appearance, providing visitors with a glimpse into the 17th-century era of Count Aquaviva.

Monte San Michele street has evolved into a vibrant hub of activity, primarily catering to tourists. Here, you'll find a bustling bazaar filled with an array of captivating souvenirs, attracting thousands of visitors each year.

To fully appreciate the charm and authenticity of Rione Monti, it's recommended to visit during the late evening hours when the district takes on a serene and magical ambiance, allowing you to savor the timeless beauty of Alberobello's iconic trulli against the backdrop of the starlit sky.
Trullo Siamese (Siamese Trullo)

7) Trullo Siamese (Siamese Trullo) (must see)

Nestled in the heart of Alberobello, Trullo Siamese stands as a captivating architectural masterpiece that tells a tale of love, rivalry, and ingenious design. This unique trullo, one of the oldest in the town, stands out for its distinctive dual-domed structure, setting it apart from the traditional single-domed trulli that dot the landscape.

But what truly adds intrigue to this trullo is the captivating story that lies behind its creation. According to local legend, two brothers once shared this trullo, and both fell deeply in love with the same woman. Tradition dictated that the woman be promised to the elder brother, yet fate intervened as she found her heart drawn to the younger sibling. The ensuing love triangle within the confines of the trullo led to tension and discord that became increasingly unbearable.

In a dramatic twist, the elder brother, holding the right of primogeniture, decided to evict the two lovers from the shared dwelling. However, the younger brother, unwilling to accept this fate and determined to assert his inheritance rights, stood his ground. As a result, the trullo was ultimately divided in half, with each brother securing their own independent entrance.

Today, Trullo Siamese stands as a physical embodiment of this dramatic love story, allowing visitors to marvel at its unique architecture while imagining the emotional turmoil that once unfolded within its walls. The trullo's interior, like others of its kind, boasts a simple layout with only a hearth near the door and no windows, reflecting the practicality and resourcefulness of the people who crafted these distinctive structures centuries ago.
Chiesa di Sant'Antonio (Church of Saint Anthony of Padua)

8) Chiesa di Sant'Antonio (Church of Saint Anthony of Padua)

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 true testament to the town's rich history and its distinctive trulli architecture.

Built in 1927, the Church of Sant'Antonio is a Greek cross church, a rarity in itself. What truly sets it apart is that it is entirely constructed of trulli, making it a one-of-a-kind religious structure. In the early 20th century, Alberobello was experiencing a shift in its urban fabric, with the northern side of Largo Martellotta embracing a more "advanced" and modern character, while the southern side retained its traditional trulli architecture.

The Monti district had a unique status, as it was designated a national monument in 1910. Consequently, building regulations dictated that only trulli-style structures could be constructed within its boundaries. This designation further solidified the district's identity as a symbol of Alberobello's traditional heritage and culture.

During the post-war years up until the 1980s, trulli were often associated with poverty and backwardness, leading to the demolition of many trulli outside the designated monumental areas. Modern construction began to replace these historic structures, causing neighborhoods like those around the Church of Santi Medici to disappear from the town's landscape.