25 August 2011

My one Trullo love!

One day I am going to travel to Italy.  I am.  I'll see the sights, sample the gelato, and wink shamelessly at the men.  Yet, there is one thing I want to see even more than the linen-clad gentlemen of Rome.  In the scenic region of Apulia (Puglia), if you explore thoroughly enough, you'll spy what look like giant stone candle snuffers sitting squatly in the middle of fields of swaying grass.  However, these structures are not the dousing tool of some fantastical giant, but rather the traditional Apulian home for olden-days agricultural laborers or landowners.  And the bit you might have mistaken for a candle snuffer is in fact the roof of these wonderful buildings.  They are called Trullo, and I do believe I am in love.

The golden age of the Trullo was during the 1800's, but evidence of their existence goes back as far as the 1600's when the need for a quickly-dismantled home was high.  Rumor has it that taxation on homeowners was pretty heavy during this time, so builders had to come up with a masonry-free method of construction so they could literally "bring down the house" when tax inspectors were poking around.  The technique came to be known as dry stone construction and it proved more than effective in helping farmers avoid those pesky payments for almost 200 years.  It also made for one watertight and wind-tight house.  You see, the roof itself is constructed in two layers that are so well placed, that one piece can be removed for replacement without disturbing any of the others.  Incredible right?

Luckily for us, the skill for assembling these babies remained popular enough that even people who weren't avoiding the tax man chose to live in them.  That's why so many of them have stood the test of time, technology, and taxes and still exist for the enjoyment of the historically obsessed.  Like myself.

image property of http://www.trullialfresco.it
image property of http://www.trullialfresco.it
image property of http://www.roccagiulia.com

Aren't they a little pinch of fairy tale mixed with a cup of amazing?  Luckily, the Italian government recognized the historical significance of these buildings early on.  Quite a few have been fully restored for tourists to visit and gawk over.  But, if that's not enough to satisfy the infatuation you will develop, you can buy one.  Yes, I said buy one.  Unfortunately you'll probably have to get one that looks a little more like the one in the top image, but with a little elbow grease and the mile-long list of restrictions for Trullo renovations you'll get from the Italian government, you'll have a home looking like the one in the bottom image in no time!

So, here's another thing I've added to my "In My Wildest Dreams Bucket List": own a Trullo in Apulia, Italy.  Like I said, "in my wildest...", but still worth considering in my impracticable opinion.  After all, I'd get to live in a little piece of history, and who doesn't want a home with stories to tell?