What’s in this article
Discover Alberobello, the charming “Trulli Town” in the picturesque region of Puglia, southern Italy, where history and architecture collide.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is best known for its cone-shaped houses made of dry stone, also called trulli.
But don’t stop at exploring the trulli houses, as the town has so much more to offer!
Discover the winding streets of its historic center, indulge in the region’s delectable cuisine and immerse yourself in its rich history.
In this guide, I will delve into the best things to do in Alberobello, ensuring that your visit to this magical town is one for the books.
The story behind the trulli houses in Alberobello
Did you know that the trulli construction method dates back to the 14th century when farmers built these unique homes as a way to escape taxes?
They were cleverly constructed using dry stone, so they could be quickly dismantled and rebuilt as needs arose.
The town’s history can be traced back to the early 16th century when the area was under the rule of the King of Naples.
The king granted the land to the people of Alberobello, and in return, they had to pay a yearly tribute to the king.
To avoid paying taxes, the people of Alberobello built their homes using the trullo construction method.
These homes were easily dismantled, making them difficult to tax.
The homes were also built without mortar, making them easy to take apart and rebuild.
Today, the trulli have become an emblem of the town’s ingenuity and resourcefulness.
Be sure to add a visit to Alberobello to your travel itinerary if you want to experience the timeless charm of southern Italy.
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Here are the top things to do in Alberobello
When visiting Alberobello, there are plenty of sights to see and experiences to have!
The area is filled with colorful additions, like souvenir shops selling unique crafts, museums, and vibrant flowers that add to the charm of the stunning white walls and grey roofs that make up the town’s monumental area.
If you’re wondering what to see in Alberobello, look no further!
I have some great suggestions for a perfect itinerary.
One idea is to simply wander among the trulli, taking in the lovely scents of the flowers and imagining what life used to be like in this historic area.
Another option is to take a guided tour, which can help you better understand why the town’s inhabitants built their homes in this distinct style.
Check availability here!
Explore Alberobello’s Trulli Houses
One of the main attractions of Alberobello is its trulli houses, which are unique to this region of Italy.
Trulli houses are traditional Apulian dwellings made of dry stone and have a conical roof that resembles a beehive.
These houses are typically whitewashed and have symbols painted on the roof, often in religious or mystical motifs.
Exploring Alberobello’s trulli houses is an experience that should not be missed.
One of the best ways to explore Alberobello’s trulli houses is on foot.
Take a leisurely stroll through the town’s narrow streets, and you’ll come across numerous trulli houses.
Some of the best areas to explore include Rione Monti and Aia Piccola, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
To start off your tour of Alberobello, I highly recommend exploring Rione Aia first.
Although it may seem small with “only” 400 trulli, this residential area will gently lead you towards some of the town’s most stunning attractions, which are concentrated in Rione Monti.
One of the best things about Rione Aia Piccola is that it’s completely residential.
This means that no commercial activities are allowed, giving you a truly authentic experience as you stroll through the area.
You’ll get a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals and feel like you’re stepping back in time.
The Territory Museum (Museo del Territorio) – Casa Pezzolla
The Territory Museum is located in Alberobello’s Aia Piccola district.
This museum is truly one-of-a-kind, as it’s made up of 15 interconnected trulli, each with its own story to tell.
Inside, you’ll discover the fascinating traditions and history that have shaped Alberobello and the surrounding areas.
As you explore the exhibition halls, you’ll get a glimpse into rural life in the past, including weaving, terracotta making, copper and stone work, and even grape cultivation.
But perhaps most intriguing of all is the museum’s focus on the technique of building trulli, with dedicated rooms showcasing the symbols seen on the roofs of some of these unique homes, as well as the pinnacles on top.
It’s a truly immersive experience that will leave you with a deep appreciation for Alberobello’s rich cultural heritage.
Belvedere e Santuario di Santa Lucia
You absolutely can’t miss out on the Terrazza del Belvedere Saint Lucia when you visit Alberobello!
This stunning panoramic terrace is located a short distance from Villa Comunale, on the border of Rione Aia Piccola, and offers breathtaking views of the iconic Rione Monti district.
This is the terrace at the foot of the same-named church and is the most famous viewpoint in Alberobello.
From the terrace, you’ll be able to see Alberobello in all its fairy-tale glory, with its charming stone houses, cone-shaped roofs, and unique pinnacles.
It’s like stepping into a storybook!
Once you’ve taken in the breathtaking views from the Terrazza del Belvedere Santa Lucia, make your way down the Scalinata dell’Amore (Stairway of Love.)
This enchanting staircase is adorned with hearts and lines of poetry, making it the perfect spot for a romantic photo.
The staircase will lead you to Largo Martellotta, which is not only Alberobello’s main square but also its beating heart.
From here, you can begin your journey through Rione Monti, and while you may wonder which road to take, the truth is that all roads lead to the trulli!
This charming district is home to over 1,000 trulli, the majority of which are used as souvenir shops, workshops, and restaurants.
So, take your time to wander and explore this enchanting area.
Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir or a delicious meal, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.
While strolling through Rione Monti in Alberobello, keep an eye out for the Trullo Siamese.
It’s one of the oldest trulli in the area, and you’ll spot it nestled between Via Monte Pasubio and Via Montenero.
This unique building is made up of two trulli that are connected by the ceiling.
It’s said that originally, the trullo was just like all the others in Alberobello.
But, as the story goes, there’s a fascinating legend behind its distinctive design.
A father built the trullo for his two sons, but trouble arose when they both fell in love with the same woman.
She was promised to the first son, but she was smitten with the second.
The three tried to coexist, but jealousy eventually took over, and the eldest brother kicked out the couple.
The second-born son refused to leave, claiming legal ownership of the trullo as his inheritance.
So, to settle the dispute, the building was divided into two parts, each with its own entrance facing a different street.
Today, the Trullo Siamese is open to the public for free and houses a souvenir shop, among many other shops in the area.
It’s a must-see for anyone visiting Alberobello and a great spot to learn about the unique architecture and intriguing local legends.
Here’s a hint: Many of the souvenir shops in the area offer free access to trulli, including some with unique features or other distinctive architectural elements.
So, keep your eyes peeled for signs inviting visitors to check out these trulli.
Trullo Church of St. Anthony ( La Chiesa Trullo di Sant’Antonio)
The Trullo Church is dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua.
You’ll find it at the highest point of Rione Monti, just on the outskirts of the historical center.
Many people believe that this church is quite old, but it was built in just a matter of months and consecrated only in 1927.
Since a ban on new structures with modern forms had been in effect in the Rione Monti district since 1910, it was decided to adopt the specific architectural style of the trullo, which blends in beautifully with the other buildings in the area.
It’s open to the public, and inside you’ll discover some amazing works of art that were created during the same time period as the church’s construction, between the 1920s and 1930s.
Outside, you’ll find a charming public garden directly in front of the church.
It’s the perfect spot to take a break, enjoy a picnic, or simply seek some shade from the sun on hot summer days.
Don’t miss Vicolo Gabriele D’Annunzio, on your right just before the church, and the string of beautiful trulli with the famous symbols on the roof.
Villa Comunale Belvedere: Alberobello’s Best Kept Secret
Villa Comunale Belvedere in Alberobello is a hidden gem that not many people know about!
As you make your way up from Rione Monti toward the beautiful Via Brigata Regina, you’ll come across a small gate between the trees and souvenir shops.
This gate leads you to the fantastic Villa Comunale Belvedere, which is the gateway to the old, hidden white town of Alberobello.
It’s a multi-level garden that separates the two districts of the historic center and offers one of the best views of the city.
From the terrace, you can see the entire Monti district, with its beautiful stairways, domes, and pinnacles.
If you’re in need of a break, there are plenty of shaded areas to relax in, and you can grab a refreshing drink at the small bar inside the free park, known as “bar Villa Belvedere.”
So, next time you’re in Alberobello, make sure to check out this amazing spot!
You won’t regret it.
If you’ve got some extra time to spare in Alberobello, there are plenty of other things to check out beyond the typical tourist spots.
One unique spot worth exploring is Casa d’Amore, a building that was built way back in 1797 by the town’s mayor at the time, whose last name was Amore.
Located at Via Monte Nero 3 in the Rione Aia Piccola district, this building is famous for being the very first house built in Alberobello after the King granted settlers permission to build houses however they wanted, without any meddling from the Count of Conversano.
Nowadays, Casa d’Amore serves as the town’s tourist office and is an iconic symbol of the transition from simple, mortarless structures to more intricate, two-story buildings.
Fun fact: in 1930, this historic structure was even designated a National Monument!
So if you’re up for some historical sightseeing, be sure to swing by Casa d’Amore and take in all its fascinating history.
The Basilica Santuario dei Santi Cosma e Damiano
This Church is not far from the Trullo Sovrano, and it definitely stands out from the other buildings in the area!
With its warm colors and impressive size, this church is sure to catch your eye.
The church is not very old: it appears to have been built in the 17th century, but its current features are the result of a 19th-century renovation.
One particularly interesting thing to note is the neoclassical façade, which is adorned with two big bell towers.
Take a look at the right side to see a clock, and the left side to spot a sundial on the second level of the towers.
Inside the church, you’ll find some beautiful works of art, including a painting of the Madonna of Loreto on the altar, as well as frescoes by Francesco De Biase depicting the Martyrdom of the Saints and the Ascension to Paradise.
It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in history and religious art!
Trullo Sovrano in Alberobello is definitely one of the coolest sights to see in Alberobello, located not too far from the Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian (it’s a bit removed from the historic center).
What makes this trullo so special is that it’s the only two-story one in the entire town, standing tall at 14 meters high.
Plus, it was actually built using mortar instead of the traditional dry technique that was typically used.
The construction of the Trullo Sovrano took place in stages over a really long period of time, from the early 17th century all the way to the second half of the 18th century.
Throughout history, this trullo has served a variety of functions, including being a private residence, an oratory, a chapel, and even a place to house the relics of Alberobello’s patron saints, the Medici saints Cosma and Damiano.
Nowadays, it’s one of the town’s most important museums, and you can check out the original ancient furnishings inside.
To get in, all you need is a €2 admission ticket, which gives you access to all the different rooms in the complex (both on the ground and upper floors), as well as the lovely garden.
For more detailed information, be sure to visit the dedicated page.
Restaurants in a Trullo
After walking around Alberobello’s charming trulli and exploring all of its wonderful attractions, you may find yourself with a rumbling stomach.
Why not indulge in a delicious dinner, perhaps even in a trullo?
Alberobello is known for its mouth-watering specialties, such as orecchiette pasta with turnip tops or tomato sauce, and Panino Pasqualino, meat bombette, focaccia alla barese, or stuffed focaccia.
Appetizers like cold cuts platters and bruschette are plentiful, and local vegetable dishes, such as chicory with broad bean puree, as well as fish dishes, are also very popular.
With such a variety of dishes, there’s something for everyone!
If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Alberobello, I highly recommend you check out the following options:
La Nicchia is a delightful restaurant located near the entrance of Alberobello, situated in a completely renovated trullo.
The name of the restaurant is derived from a niche in the wall where sacred statues were frequently displayed, preserving an ancient popular Christian tradition.
The menu features dishes that reflect the rural tradition, with a focus on vegetables and legumes.
It also includes fresh pasta, meat, fish, pizza, an inimitable Apulian burrata, and other regional cheeses.
It’s closed on Mondays, find more info here!
If you’re in the mood for pizza, you might want to check out Il Pinnacolo, a pizzeria restaurant that serves not only traditional Apulian dishes but also a wide variety of pizzas.
I highly recommend trying the antipasto platter with salami and cheese as well as the orecchiette alle cime di rapa (ear-shaped pasta with turnip tops).
In addition to dining inside the trullo, you can also choose to dine on the terrace and take in the breathtaking view while enjoying your meal.
It’s in Via Monte Nero 30, and is closed on Wednesdays. More info here!
Sweet stops while exploring Alberobello
If you’re looking for something sweet to satisfy your cravings while exploring Alberobello, then make sure to visit Pasticceria Martinucci.
It’s an absolute must-stop on your way up Via Monte San Gabriele, which is an easy stroll (you can easily spot it on the right side of the road).
Pasticceria Martinucci is renowned for their incredible pasticciotti, which is one of the traditional sweets of Puglia.
These small portions of shortcrust pastry are filled with custard, but they come in many variations, such as with sour cherries, pistachios, chocolate, and other ingredients.
They are so delicious that you’ll want to try them all!
And if you’re visiting Alberobello during the hot summer months, then you cannot miss out on the quintessential Italian treat: Gelato! (ice cream!)
But not just any ice cream; you want the best gelato, right?
Then look no further than Gelateria Gentile.
Located in the heart of town, this homemade ice cream gelateria is a must-visit on your itinerary.
With a wide range of flavors, including the classic creamy ones and more adventurous options, there’s something for everyone.
Things to do near Alberobello
I have some awesome suggestions for exploring the area around Alberobello.
If you’re interested in touring the most beautiful places in Apulia, you simply cannot miss out on these amazing historical sites!
Just 15 kilometers (9 miles) away from Alberobello, you’ll find Castellana Grotte, a complex of karstic underground cavities that are among the most spectacular in Italy.
And only 13 kilometers (8 miles) from Alberobello is Noci, which boasts a distinct historic center full of alleyways and is part of the municipalities of the Itria Valley and the Land of Trulli.
Putignano is another great spot, located just a bit further away, where a famous Carnival is held and the relics of St. Stephen are guarded.
Cisternino, only 19 km (12 miles) away, is a unique area located among hills of olive groves, vineyards, and ancient trulli with a beautiful historic center and excellent meat.
And don’t forget Locorotondo, just 9 km (5,5 miles) away, which is still in the Valle d’Itria and is distinguished by its circular shape and abundance of trulli and whitewashed houses.
You may also want to read my Locorotondo guide!
If you’re looking to venture a little further out, there are some important cities worth exploring, such as Matera (65 km – 40 miles) with its famous sassi, Ostuni (32 km – 20 miles), and Polignano a Mare (30 km – 18,5 miles), the birthplace of Domenico Modugno, with the oldest part of town standing on a rocky outcrop overlooking the beautiful sea.
You may also want to read my Puglia travel guides!
Best times to visit Alberobello
Alberobello is a town that can be enjoyed year-round, but there are certain times of the year that are more ideal for visiting than others.
Here are some of the best times to visit Alberobello:
Spring (March – May)
Spring is a great time to visit Alberobello as the weather is mild and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 21°C (59°F to 70°F.)
This season is also ideal for exploring the town’s surroundings, as the countryside is in full bloom with wildflowers and lush vegetation.
Summer (June – August)
Summer is the peak tourist season in Alberobello, with many visitors flocking to the town to enjoy the warm weather and vibrant atmosphere.
The average temperatures range from 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 90°F,) making it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and exploring the trulli houses.
Fall (September – November)
Fall is another great time to visit Alberobello, with the weather remaining mild and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 26°C to 17°C (79°F to 63°F.)
This season is perfect for foodies, as it is the time of the harvest season, and many local festivals celebrating the region’s food and wine take place during this time.
Winter (December – February)
Winter is the least popular time to visit Alberobello, with fewer visitors and colder temperatures.
However, the town’s Christmas lights and decorations are truly magical, making it a great time to visit for those who love the holiday season.
It’s important to note that while summer is the peak tourist season, it can also be crowded and expensive.
Thus, spring and fall may be more ideal for those looking to avoid the crowds and save some money.
Where to stay in Alberobello
How about sleeping in a trullo for a change?
It’s a magical experience you wouldn’t want to miss when you’re in Alberobello! And guess what?
It won’t even break the bank!
Imagine waking up to the sight of a charming cone-shaped roof; it’s a sight you’ll never forget!
Here are some handy tips and recommended accommodation to make the most of your stay:
Trulli Soave: This place has a collection of trulli converted into small flats and bedrooms.
It’s a simple yet authentic traditional structure that won’t disappoint.
Check availability here!
B&B C’era una volta: This picturesque bed and breakfast offers two unique and cozy rooms at a very reasonable price.
Check availability here!
Trulli Resort Dimore Storiche: You’ll find two small flats built inside trulli here, each sleeping up to four people.
Check availability for your date here!
Trulli Holiday Albergo Diffuso: This place has rooms built inside trulli in Alberobello’s historic center, a perfect choice if you don’t want to drive during your stay.
You can easily reach every attraction on foot as it’s situated in the trulli area.
It offers traditional double and family trulli accommodation that can accommodate two adults and two children.
Check availability for your date here!
I Trulli del Nonno Michele: If you prefer a peaceful location outside the monumental area, this trullo is a great option.
You’ll still be able to enjoy the unique experience of staying in a trullo, and you can easily reach the trulli area.
They offer one-room trulli perfect for couples and larger trulli for families.
Plus, there’s a lovely swimming pool on site, and parking is free.
Check availability for your date here!
I hope these suggestions make your stay in Alberobello even more memorable!
Were you unable to find any availability for your preferred dates? No worries, I can help you out!
Look for the best deals:
How to get to Alberobello
When planning a visit to Alberobello, it’s important to consider the various transportation options available to get there.
Depending on where you’re coming from and your preferences, you may choose to travel by car, or train.
Here are some options to consider:
If you’re coming from abroad, you can fly into either Bari or Brindisi airports.
From there, the easiest way to get to Alberobello is by renting a car;
this gives you the most freedom to explore the surrounding areas at your own pace.
If you’re driving from Bari, just hop onto the A14 motorway and head to Bari Nord or Gioia del Colle, then follow the signs for the SS 172 state road (also known as
“Dei Trulli”), which will take you right into Alberobello.
If you prefer to travel by train, no problem!
Alberobello has its own railway station, so you can easily take the Sud-Est line train from Bari to Putignano and then transfer to a train that will take you straight to Alberobello.
If you’re starting your journey from Taranto, just take the train to Martina Franca, where you can switch to a train heading to Alberobello.
What do the symbols on trulli roofs mean?
These traditional homes have been captivating visitors from around the globe for centuries, and some of them are shrouded in esoteric mystery.
If you take a closer look at the cones in Rione Monti, you’ll notice certain symbols painted in white on the grey stone, just below the pinnacles.
These symbols are a unique part of Puglia’s history and tradition and add an almost magical quality to these one-of-a-kind dwellings.
But you might be wondering, what exactly do these symbols on the trulli’s roofs mean?
I’m happy to tell you that each symbol has its own significance and often represents the family that lived in the trullo.
For example, a cross could symbolize the family’s Catholic faith, while a heart might represent love and unity.
Other symbols might represent good luck, fertility, or protection from the evil eye.
So, the next time you visit Alberobello, be sure to take a closer look at the trulli’s roofs and their fascinating symbols.
You never know what stories and meanings you might uncover!
In a Nutshell
Alberobello is an amazing destination that combines both the old and the new, giving you a unique glimpse into a world like no other.
You’ll be amazed by the stunning trulli houses, the delicious cuisine, and the rich cultural heritage that Alberobello has to offer.
It’s not surprising that Alberobello has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy!
With so much to see and experience, you’ll never run out of things to do.
I hope you’ve found this guide helpful in planning your trip to Alberobello!
Let me know your thoughts and any other tips you may have in the comments below.
Ciao and happy travels!
Before you leave, you might want to read my guide on how to plan a trip to Italy!