Alberobello is the Capital of the Trulli: its historic center is integrally constituted by these rather particular white, pyramidal structures that make it so famous and identifiable.
The archaeological finds – that is, the first trulli settlements – date as far back as the Bronze Age, while the trulli still extant today go back to c. 1350; the more uneven and shaky structures were destroyed and reconstructed (rather than repaired) time and time again.
Legend has it that this dry-wall construction, made without mortar, was imposed on the peasants of the area in the 15th Century, by their lords the Counts of Conversano, in order to evade an edict by the Kingdom of Naples that demanded tribute, or tax, on every new urban construction. Indeed, these types of settlements came to be identified as temporary and unstable, easy to demolish, and not taxable. The reality is, however, that the trulli are anything but unstable. Their internal structure, compact and without any elements of support or linkage, remains marvelously durable and, although seemingly so, primitive they are not.