By: Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer
Trulli houses are conic shaped houses of the 11th century situated in the Puglia region of Italy on the Adriatic Sea. The name Trulli (plural) or Trullo for one, originated from the Greek tholos. The caselle as they are also called locally are constructed in concentric rings made with “chiancarelle” chips of calcareous rocks, typical stones of the area, without mortar or cement.
The stones are stacked one on top of each other. The particular cone shape and the particular stones keep the houses cold in summer and warm in winter. Large and tall fireplaces are always a feature of these houses, as they were used to cook other than heating the trulli. I can stand in one of those fireplaces.
Today Trulli are a patrimony of UNESCO, but they weren’t always regarded as beautiful, harmonious dwellings, nor were they intended for living. Their usage was limited to farm work to deposit the tools at the end of the day, after the heavy manual farm work was done. Through the centuries, landowners taxed farmers until they could not afford to pay their dues for land, homes, food and clothing and predators contributed to impoverish the land. For these reasons, farmers built more trulli, which become not really their new homes, but places where to lay down with a roof overhead and where their families could live somewhat safe away from landowner who also abused young women, above everything else.
“The right of the first night” was a law, something the landowners demanded. Before the wedding day, young women were forced to spend one night with the landowners. They were picked up by guards and brought to him. If they refused to comply, they would be brutally beaten to reform their connotation. The farmers created trulli houses only to escape brutal treatments and sacrificed most comfort or commodities, forming what today is a fabled land and a reign of its own beauty, without even knowing it.
History tells us a funny story. When the town crier announced that the landowners were coming out of their palaces to collect tax, the farmers dismantled the trulli houses and moved them somewhere else (easy to do, as the stone were stacked together) where that landowner did not have any jurisdiction, then they return them in the same place by putting the stone back together again. By doing this so many times over, farmers tricked the landowners to think that they didn’t really have many trulli to tax and stopped bothering poor people. Of course, it didn’t happen overnight and in the meantime they were still able to collect money for many years.
Today, so many people in the business of hotellerie have remodeled these dwellings offering travelers and connoisseurs of natural architecture a pleasurable stay with all the modern comforts and amenities. Being situated in the natural environment of Puglia, a rugged southern region of Italy, natural food and natural spa treatments are the focus of the stay there. One of the treatments, which I tried and highly recommend is a bath in the must of the wine and then massage with the tastiest extra-virgin olive oil, the liquid gold of the area.
I was over there last month, which is home for me as I am a native of those parts, but the idea of enjoying simple pleasures is still very enticing. I went allover the world, I lived in many places, but Puglia, these fantastic homes, excellent earthy food and warm people still touch my heart and it’s so hard to leave them all.
I am organizing trips to the area with the best-remodeled farmhouses and trulli. All the trip packages will be ready soon. I am working tirelessly with various operators to bring the best to the participants of my trips, let them experience the “wheel of emotions” that will envelop them and show them the unknown faces of Italy. The trips will astound you!
Stay tuned. Ciao,
Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola is a trained Interior Designer in business since 1990. She is the owner and principal designer of her company: Valentina Interiors & Designs. Being Italian born and raised, Valentina’s design work has been influenced by Classicism and timeless style. She will create your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away a comfortable living. Her new book on the subject of colors: Red- A Voyage Into Colors is ready to come on the market.