Today I want to show off a postcard I received yesterday from an Italian Postcrosser named Francesco. He lives in Bari, in the southern Italian region of Puglia (also called Apulia), on the Adriatic coast.
The picture on the card shows a historic type of house called a trullo that is unique to the area. In particular, the town of Alberobello, shown here, is known for its abundance of trulli (the plural form), many of which are still inhabited today. Originating early in the eighteenth century, trulli were used for agricultural storehouses and field shelters, as well as for the dwellings of small proprietors and farm laborers.
Trulli were built of small limestone or tufa stones with no mortar, and were characterized by conical roofs that were constructed from two layers of rock. Because the stones were not mortared, a trullo could be modified or dismantled easily; to add onto a trullo, builders simply constructed an adjacent dome. The cones were often decorated with whitewashed symbols, many of them Christian icons.
Francesco (whose English is not perfect, but is a whole lot better than my Italian) describes the trullo on the card as a “nice little house, where people lives inside at today.”
And now I want to stay in a trullo the next time I’m in Italy.