Alberobello

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About an hour south of Bari airport you will find this gem of a town, partially sleepy and partially buzzing with tourists.  The old whitewashed funnel-topped trulli houses sit nestled in the hillside basking in the Italian sunshine and are symbolic of this region’s past.  Previously built to be easily dismantled, these now sturdy buildings are cute homes and hotel rooms.

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We made Alberobello our first stop on our tour of Puglia and Basilicata this summer.  It was easy to reach late evening and we were warmly greeted by Francesco from Trulli Holiday Resort.  The trulli are spread out across the town and are mainly in two parts – the Rione Monti and Aia Piccola.  The latter is where we stayed and was far quieter than the tourist honey pot!

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Spend your day wandering the streets of Alberobello, collect a bag of cherries from the discreet shop on the corner of Piazza Mario Pagano or an ice cream from one of the many vendors along route (they will all taste heavenly!).  Don’t miss Alberobello Cathedral, the trulli church in Rione Monti, take a peek inside a real trulli dwelling, spot the symbols on the trulli rooftops, learn about the region’s history and see a masterpiece of workmanship at Museo del Territorio.

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When you have walked your socks off, head back to your trulli to get ready for dinner.  The Italians do not eat until 8pm at the earliest and so there’s plenty of time for a drink before dinner.  Head to Paco wines and take in the scenes around you on the way.  Old men sitting on a bench catching up on the events of the day, women gathered together watching over grandchildren playing in the Piazza……typically Italian and wonderful to see.  Have dinner at Trattoria Amatulli where you will be hosted by a friendly and proud owner who will serve you delicious home cooked food for half the price of an ‘Italian’ meal back home.

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We spent 2 nights here as there is plenty to do around and about too.  We visited Ostuni (the place to pick up your olive oil), Cisternino (a great lunch stop – you must try the bombette and egg and cheese balls slightly fried at Le Chicche di Zia Rosa), Locorotondo (the best ice cream on our travels can be found at Café Dolce Passione by tourist information – take it to the park just across the street to enjoy in peace) and Martina Franca (one of the pearls of Puglia – you can get seriously lost here if your wander the maze of streets and so take some water with you and head to one of the Piazzas for lunch).  Do be mindful that the Italians do observe the afternoon closure and so it’s a great time to head for a lunch stop or a wander.

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