Here is the complete guide with the best things to see and do in Alberobello and all the information for an unforgettable trip.
Today we take you with us to Alberobello, a charming town in the province of Bari, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Located in the heart of the Itria Valley and the Murgia dei Trulli, Alberobello is a place you should absolutely visit, if you are planning a holiday in Puglia.
When? Alberobello is a destination for any time of year: beautiful in spring, evocative under the snow, unforgettable at Christmas, perhaps a little too crowded in the high summer season. It is perfect for a day trip or as a base from which to explore its interesting surroundings, filled with art, culture, food and wine, but also with natural beauty and moments of absolute relaxation.
Also suitable for children, it offers many unique views and vantage points for photography enthusiasts. And if you love cinema, well, all you have to do is read on! 😉
What to see in and around Alberobello town centre
In this guide, we will offer you a complete itinerary to visit Alberobello and its famous trulli, all in one day: with a two-hour walk, you can see the most important monuments of this enchanting village and taste its specialities.
On the other hand, if you have more time at your disposal and, in addition to visiting the Trulli of Alberobello, you would like to discover the splendid surrounding area, we will suggest what to see and do to extend your stay. 👇
Visit Alberobello in one day
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1. MONTI DISTRICT
When you come to visit Alberobello, the starting point must be the Monti district, a tourist spot par excellence, from which you can admire all the town’s trulli at a glance, as well as an excellent opportunity to shop among the many wonderful little shops selling handicrafts and local food and wine specialities, or to stop at one of its typical Apulian restaurants.
2. PEZZOLLA HOUSE AND TERRITORY MUSEUM
Just a few minutes away from the Monti district, you will have the opportunity to enter a trullo and visit no less than 15 of them, all interconnected. This is the Museum of the Territory that will allow you to learn about local customs and traditions while admiring the display of tools, objects and testimonies. A must-see, if you love popular traditions.
3. OLIVE OIL MUSEUM
Situated in the inhabited area of Alberobello, a 4-minute walk from the railway station and not far from the Museo del Territorio, the Olive Oil Museum offers a structured itinerary highlighting the different qualities of olives grown in the area, all the stages of preparation and also comparing the different production techniques. You can discover the tools used in the past such as stone mills, cast-iron presses or natural fibre filters. Equipped with multilingual legends and interactive videos, it also offers local food tastings.
4. LOVE HOUSE MONUMENT
As the Latin inscription on the building’s gable reads – “By royal authority, this building the first to be erected” – Casa D’Amore is the first trullo to be built using mortar, a mixture of lime and “vuolo”, a typical reddish local earth. It owes its name to its owner, Francesco D’Amore.
5. TRULLO SOVRANO
At 14 metres high, the Trullo Sovrano is the most imposing trullo and the only one with only one floor. It was one of the first trulli to be built with mortar, showing how trulli construction techniques have evolved. Being a museum house, inside you can admire period furniture and objects that tell the story of everyday life. Initially this trullo was known as “Corte Papa Cataldo”, named after the priest who lived there, and was later used as a courtyard, chapel, monastery and country oratory. In summer, the Trullo Sovrano hosts small theatre performances, concerts and numerous other cultural events.
Open all year round, admission € 1.50
6.BELVEDERE TERRACE SANTA LUCIA
This is a wonderful scenic spot over the Monti district and its many trulli, perfect for photography enthusiasts, and definitely atmospheric in the evening. It is reached via the staircase with hearts and inscriptions that starts next to the church of Santa Lucia.
7. THE TRULLO CHURCH – Church of St Anthony of Padua
It was built between 1926 and 1927 to become Alberobello’s second parish church. With a Greek plan, the building reproduces the typical shapes of trulli, with a 21-metre high dome and a six-bell bell tower over 18 metres high. Inside, works by the Apulian Adolfo Ugo Rollo.
8. TRULLO SIAMESE
Situated at the top of Via Monte Nero, they stand on the rock outcropping and are bordered by a buttress, with foundations made of boulders. It is 90% among the oldest trulli houses in Alberobello. It has the peculiarity of the double shape of the roofing, a continuous double cone, a feature not found in more recent trulli and thus confirming the archaic nature of the construction. Inside there is only a low hearth and no windows, and two entrances, one on a different street.
Legend has it that this trullo was inhabited by two brothers: the eldest was betrothed to a girl who, however, fell in love with the younger brother to the point that the two became lovers; the elder brother claimed primogeniture and eventually the trullo was divided into two equal parts.
9. BASILICA OF SAINTS MEDICI, COSMA AND DAMIANO
Dedicated to the patron saints of Alberobello since 1854, the Mother Church was built on a chapel dating back to the first half of the 17th century, probably consecrated to the Madonna delle Grazie. The chapel houses the relics of the patron saints celebrated from 25 to 28 September.
10. AIA PICCOLA DISTRICT
If you want to get off the beaten track and get a taste of the real Alberobello, you must visit the Aia Piccola district, with fewer shops and restaurants but an authentic residential area of trulli. Today, it is estimated that only one third of the existing trulli are in residential use, one third are completely dedicated to tourism, and the rest are abandoned.
The origin of the Trulli: when and why were they bult?
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The urban settlement in Alberobello
Its name is said to derive from “Silva alboris belli”, meaning “forest of the tree of war”. But saying “Alberobello” is the same as saying “trulli”: the typical stone and lime-covered dwellings, famous for their cone-shaped roofs decorated with special symbols. In fact, this is the only town where there is an entire district of trulli. That’s why the town has also been awarded the title of “cultural capital of the trulli of the Murgia”. The term “trullo” comes to us from the Greek language and means “dome”.
It was the Count of Conversano Andrea Matteo III Acquaviva d’Aragona who, in the early 16th century, introduced around forty families to this area, with the task of reclaiming the area and cultivating the land, and the obligation to hand over the tithe of the harvests. However, in order to prevent this new settlement from falling under the practice of “De Baronibus”, an edict of the Kingdom of Naples that demanded taxes for every new urban settlement, the Counts of Acquaviva of Aragon ordered the peasants to build their dwellings without mortar, so that they could be considered temporary and not permanent. Since they had to build without mortar, the peasants adopted the round or square shape of the building with a false dome roof made of overlapping circles of stones.
Alberobello remained a fief of the Acquaviva d’Aragona family of Conversano until Saturday, 27 May 1797, when King Ferdinand IV of Bourbon granted the request of a delegation and issued a decree elevating the small village to a royal town, freeing it from feudal servitude.
A curiosity: Alberobello and the cinema
Precisely because of its characteristic dwellings, you should know that Alberobello has been the protagonist of several films. Among these, the most famous are “Idillio Infranto”, the last silent film of Italian cinema from the 1930s and the fourth film produced in Apulia; “Casanova ’70”, shot by Mario Monicelli in the Trullo Sovrano with Marcello Mastroianni as main actor; “Che bella giornata”, by and with Checco Zalone. While in May 2012, the troupe of the American soap opera “the Bold and the Beautiful” even arrived.
Alberobello and its surroundings, between nature & enchanting villages
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Among the landscape and naturalistic must-sees, we recommend the Bosco Selva di Alberobello, about 2 km from the town centre, an equipped public green area, ideal for spending days in the open air, with picnic tables, children’s area and exercise equipment. The 1B Alberobello-Martina Franca cycle route also starts here. Not far away is also the Water Cycle Route, also known as the Apulian Aqueduct Cycle Route, a section of which extends right near Alberobello, between Ostuni and Cisternino.
Alberobello lies in the heart of the Itria Valley, where in 2010 the Ecomuseum was created. It is an open-air museum consisting of the municipalities of Alberobello, Cisternino with its oriental-style village, Fasano known for its safari zoo, Locorotondo one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, Martina Franca with its splendid Baroque architecture, and Monopoli, rich in coves and beautiful beaches, and small and evocative courtyards, the “claustri”. When you come to visit Alberobello, you will necessarily pass through this valley, which deserves all the time you need to admire its landscapes, including excursions on foot, by bicycle and why not even on horseback.
To the south you can admire Monte Fellon and Monte Castello, while inside the valley you can visit the area’s characteristic caves, the Grotte di Castellana and the Villa Castelli gorges. In particular, the Grotte di Castellana are an interesting complex of underground cavities of karstic origin, a destination for both tourists and speleology enthusiasts. The visit takes place along a route of about 3 kilometres at a depth of 70 metres.
Other places not to be missed are Ostuni, known as the white village, Noci, a picturesque village characterised by the “gnoste”, the blind alleys of the old town centre that in November are set up for the Sagra delle Caldarroste (festival of roast chestnuts) and the Sagra del vino novello (festival of new wine), Putignano famous for its carnival, Polignano a Mare famous for its small beach with turquoise waters. The latter is certainly one of the most photographed places in all of Apulia as well as the birthplace of the famous Domenico Modugno, with its castle and the monastery of San Benedetto, Grottaglie and its ceramics, and Matera with its Sassi.
If you have a particular interest in the history and archaeology of Apulia, we also recommend visiting the Museum of Preclassic Civilisation of the Southern Murge and the Archaeological and Natural Park of Santa Maria di Agnano, just 2 kilometres from Ostuni.
What to do, what to eat and what to buy in Alberobello
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The cuisine of Alberobello recounts the traditions of a peasant land that is poor and simple, but made up of dishes that are always flavourful and tasty. You can taste the different Alberobello specialties in its restaurants inside the trulli or in the many places that offer street food.
Don’t miss the typical taralli, crispy rings made with flour, salt water, EVOO and white wine, perfect as a snack or aperitif, or the puccia pugliese, the typical sandwich made with pizza dough and then stuffed or “cunzato” in various ways, and then move on to the typical Apulian fresh pasta such as orecchiette, cavatelli or capunti, seasoned with turnip tops, garlic, anchovies and fried crumbs, or cod lasagna, cr’sciaul in dialect.
There are many recipes based on chicory, onions, peppers, cardoons and purple artichokes, all local vegetables that you can buy directly at the weekly food market or enjoy as an accompaniment to meat or fish dishes, such as breaded and fried mussels. Among the desserts, don’t miss the pettole, fritters of leavened dough served drizzled in honey or sprinkled with sugar. You can then wash down each dish with traditional Apulian wines, such as those made from Primitivo grapes, or artisanal white beer. And of course you absolutely must try the locally produced EVOO. And if you have a real passion for cooking, visit Alberobello and don’t miss the opportunity to attend one of the many cooking classes organised in the trulli: it will be the perfect opportunity to learn how to make orecchiette pasta!
Shopping and local handicrafts
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On a trip to Alberobello, you cannot miss shopping while strolling among the trulli, with the picturesque streets of the town providing the backdrop for numerous businesses of all kinds. You will be able to buy the best local food and wine specialities in the numerous shops and enjoy fantastic artisanal ice creams. Local fruit and vegetables can be bought at the weekly market on Thursdays.
There are many shops inside the trulli where you can buy classic or handcrafted souvenirs, such as bags, leather, wood or stone objects, paintings, jewellery and textile artefacts, especially linen. But also ironwork and baskets and other olive wood furnishings.
Alberobello by night: nightlife and picturesque walks
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If you have decided to stay a few days in Alberobello, perhaps to visit its surroundings, you can experience the emotion of sleeping in a trullo, because there are several hotels and B&Bs set up inside the trulli. The town at night is particularly atmospheric, with the trulli illuminated and the shops open. Just outside the centre, less than half an hour’s walking, you will also find discos and disco bars where you can enjoy long drinks and listen to music in excellent DJ sessions or take part in theme nights.
Events not to be missed
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- Alberobello at Christmas, with its nativity scenes, typical markets, trulli and streets lit up and decorated for the holidays
- Easter in Alberobello with the performance of the Living Passion on Good Friday
- Tarallucci and wine festival in April
- Light Festival in August and September
How to get to Alberoello
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The nearest airport is Bari, which is connected to Alberobello by several bus companies; you can also reach the town of the trulli from Bari by train or bus.
Alberobello is an open-air museum to be visited completely on foot; if you arrive by car from the A14 motorway, you can leave it in the pay car parks of Largo Martellotta or Via Indipendenza or free of charge towards Via Viterbo.
Now that you know what to see in Alberobello, you just have to organise your trip to Puglia. Run and visit the trulli of Alberobello! 🧳😎
Cover photo: pixabay, jaccy007
Featured photo: pixabay, Jack78