Alberobello is situated on two hills; the new town is located on the eastern hill and is characterized by a modern architecture. The western part is occupied by the old town (trulli) and the whole area is divided into two districts: Monti and Aia Piccola, both National Monuments. Alberobello is without question one of the most characteristic towns in Italy and is famous for its traditionally built ancient stone houses called trulli, (which since 1996 have been named a UNESCO World Heritage site).
The origin of this type of construction is uncertain; many historians argue that its origins are linked to religious beliefs. Historically they made their first appearance in the 17th century when the Earls of Conversano (the Earls Acquaviva), at the time feudatories of the area, decided to extend their domain by building a new village. They would have to pay a tribute to the King of Naples (Aragonese family) in order to build new villages so they decided to build houses, that could be quickly destroyed in the case of royal inspection, by using only dry stones without the use of mortar.
Originally used by peasants, the trulli have in recent years become more and more one of the top major tourist attractions in Puglia, and is must see for all tourists visiting Southern Italy.
The architecture of trulli is very simple. They are built entirely of dry stones (which is characteristic of the area) using a simple technique: the main part of the trullo is built in a circular shape and is topped by a cupola roof, which allows for the room to remain cool in summer yet is easy to heat in the winter. The walls are always white washed with white lime. The internal conical structure is made up an inner layer of limestone boulders, capped by a keystone and an outer layer of limestone slabs ensuring that the structure is watertight. The roofs are also often decorated with religious or astrological symbols; sometimes they may represent signs of the zodiac, but may also include planetary symbols or a cross among others.
The biggest trullo in the town called Sovereign Trullo and was built in 18th century. The Sovereign Trullo is different from other trulli because the building has two floors and now also hosts a museum. During the summer months it also doubles up as a theater hosting many events such as plays, musical performances, culture evenings and poetry readings.
The landscape around Alberobello is charming and magical; it makes the town one of the most popular attractions in the region. Local handicrafts can be purchased around the old town, which include: local art, hand woven baskets, stone sculptures, ornaments made from local iron and handmade textiles. Alberobello has also a fantastic production of local wines and olive oils, and typical local dishes: the sweet almonds, and macaroons pasta among others.