The trulli are typical limestone houses of Alberobello, a small town in the south of Puglia. They are remarkable examples of drywall (mortarless) construction, a prehistoric building technique still in use in this region. Although the rural trulli are scattered throughout the Valle d'Itria, the highest concentration of best preserved specimens of this architectural form is located in the town of Alberobello, with more than 1500 structures in the districts of Monti and Aja Piccola. The trulli are traditional dry stone huts with a roof composed of dry-set slabs.
Trulli generally served as temporary shelters or as permanent dwellings by small landowners or agricultural workers. The trulli were built in calcareous stone worked coarsely, extracted during excavations for the construction of underground cisterns, stones collected in the countryside and by surrounding rocky outcrops. These buildings have the characteristic rectangular structure with a conical stone-embedded roof. The whitewashed walls of the trulli are built directly on the foundation of limestone and made with the technique of dry masonry, without mortar or cement. A door and small windows open on the double walled walls with an inconsistent core. An interior fireplace and alcoves are set in the thick walls. The roofs are also double-layered: a vaulted inner lining with conical stones, culminating in keystone, and an impermeable outer cone made of limestone slabs, known as chianche or chiancarelle. The roofs of the buildings often bear inscriptions in white ash with mythological or religious significance, and end with a decorative pinnacle that was meant to drive away evil influences or misfortune. The water is collected through gutters protruding from the base of the roof, from which it then flows through a canal to a cistern under the house. About a thousand years ago (1,000 BC), the area of the present Alberobello was scattered with rural settlements. The settlements developed to form the current districts of Aia Piccola and Monti. Towards the middle of the 16th century the district of Monti was occupied by about forty trulli, but it was only in 1620 that the settlement started its expansion. In 1797, towards the end of feudal rule, the name of Alberobello was adopted, and Ferdinando IV di Borbone, king of Naples, gave the town the title of royal city. After this period, the construction of new trulli fell into decline. Between 1909 and 1936, some parts of Alberobello were designated as protected monuments of cultural heritage
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