Hello postcard motif! It is impossible to think of Apulia without immediately noticing the characteristic ones Trulli to have in mind. The tiny ones stick out like pointed caps, whitewashed round houses from the landscape of the Valle d’Itria.
The “trulli capital” of the Valle d’Itria is Alberobello. Here you will find the most (and most beautiful) of these typical stone houses. A little advance warning at this point: Alberobello is very (!) touristy. But more on that in a moment.
There is also a lot to discover away from the trulli in the Valle d’Itria. The rest of the cities like them have us Martin Franco’s Barockstadt yes, to be honest, I almost liked it better.
In any case, the Valle d’Itria is best explored as part of a day trip. In this blog article we will show you what to expect on your little road trip and tell you about ours personal tips for Alberobello, Locorotondo and Co.
1. Valle d’Itria: Useful information for your day trip
Valle d’Itria: Fakten & Infos
- The Valle d’Itria (also called Itria Valley) is located in the heart of Puglia and extends essentially over the municipalities of Locorotondo, Cisternino and Martina Franca. Parts of Ostuni and Alberobello are also part of the Valle d’Itria.
- It is not without reason that the Valle d’Itria is also called that “Tal der Trulli” designated. The cone-shaped roofs protrude from the olive groves and vineyards like pointed hats.
- The most beautiful trulli are in Alberobello. Only there do entire districts consist of the characteristic conical houses. For this reason, the trulli of Alberobello are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- In the other towns in the Valle d’Itria there are hardly any trulli to be found, but there are other impressive sights. In Martina Franca, for example, you can make beautiful ones baroque buildings admire.
History of the origin of the trulli
Maybe you’re wondering (as we are) how on earth did these curious pointed hat houses in the Valle d’Itria come about in the first place? Well, you’re actually not so sure about that.
The first trulli in Apulia should probably be in the 14th to 15th centuries to have been built. They probably once stood in the field and served landscape purposes (e.g. as a storehouse for grain). There is the assumption that the first trulli came from Turkey and that they were taken as a model.
In the 17th century, Count Giangirolamo II Acquaviva d’Aragona is said to have ordered the construction of the trulli in the Valle d’Itria. The reason: he didn’t want to pay taxes and therefore asked for without mortar to be built so that the trulli can be dismantled quickly in the event of an inspection. Is this legend really true? The fact is: Today, most trulli are pretty Apartmentsrestaurants or (souvenir) shops.
Ostuni: Starting point for our day trip
If Homebase Ostuni is ideal for exploring the Valle d’Itria. In our opinion, Ostuni is one of the most beautiful cities in Apulia and is also beautifully situated – with the sea in sight.
We stayed in the dreamlike Masseria Dagilupi. An old, renovated farm is called a masseria. In the case of Masseria Dagilupi, you’ll be staying in a historic oil mill with an incredible flair for detail has been restored.
Masseria Dagilupi is just outside Ostuni, in absolute rest position, surrounded by hundreds of ancient olive trees. From the roof of the Masseria you can even enjoy the view of Ostuni in the distance – a dreamlike spot on earth.
Here you can book the accommodation: Masseria Dagilupi
Here you can find our detailed blog article: Ostuni Tips
Car Rental & Parking
We definitely recommend one for your day trip through the Valle d’Itria rental car – as for the whole of Apulia, by the way. The individual places are also connected by bus, but traveling by car is simply more flexible.
We usually book our rental car through Sunny Cars. You can find more tips for renting and driving in Puglia in this blog article: Road trip Puglia.
Die search for a parking space proved to be extremely easy on our off-season day trip to all of the Valle d’Itria locations. We usually found a parking space right on the street near the historic old town. We will tell you our parking tip for each location in the respective chapter.
Another important note: When parking along the street, you should pay attention to the markings on the ground. Free parking spaces are usually marked with white lines, paid parking spaces with blue lines. At blue zones you will find parking machines where you can buy a ticket.
However: Pay attention to the sign here. Certain times of the day or even times of the year are often exempt from the rule and you can park for free.
The first stop of our Valle d’Itria day trip is the small village of Cisternino. It is one of the “borghi più belli d’Italia”. most beautiful places in Italy – as well as Ostuni, Locorotondo and Alberobello by the way.
What immediately strikes you in Cisternino’s old town: are everywhere mirrors and swings to find. It might sound a bit unusual, but once you’re there, this slightly artistic flair is just perfect for Cisternino.
It’s best to just let yourself drift a bit. The following Sightseeing features and places worth seeing in Cisternino we can recommend:
- Viewpoint at the Villa Comunale Giuseppe Garibaldi: A small park with a viewing terrace from which you can enjoy a nice view of the surrounding landscape.
- Clock Tower an der Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II: In this tucked away square is the historic clock tower of Cisternino.
- Corso Umberto: A nice alley at the eastern end of the old town with pretty houses and a few shops.
Cisternino is really tiny, so you won’t be longer than one hour for your tour of the old town. In the low season we parked without any problems on Via Roma.
Just over ten minutes by car from Cisternino, you can reach the next destination of your day trip through the Valle d’Itria: Locorotondo. Personally, Locorotondo reminded us a lot of Cisternino, but it is a little more touristy and “dressed up”.
Locorotondo means something like “round place”. And indeed, the village is laid out in a circle. Admittedly, this can be seen much better from the air than from the ground.
Here are a few specific tips for Locorotondo:
- Viewpoint at the Parco Communale: A small park on the edge of the old town with a nice view of the Valle d’Itria.
- Porta Napoli & Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II: Directly opposite the small park, you go through the Porta Napoli into the old town. The tourist information is also located here.
- Mother Church of San Giorgio Martire: Locorotondo’s main church.
- Morelli Palace: A historic baroque palazzo situated in a pretty alley.
- The Typical Arch: A tiny, quite authentic delicatessen where you can get small things to eat – eg burrata, cheese or sausage platters.
For Locorotondo we also recommend approximately one hour for your city tour. We parked our car in Via Cisternino during the low season.
Another little tip for the onward journey: From the road towards Martina Franca (SS 172) you have a pretty one Looking back towards Locorotondo. It’s worth stopping.
4. Martina Franca
Martina Franca steps out of line. Unlike the other places in the Valle d’Itria, one awaits you here beautiful baroque city with impressive buildings worth seeing. At first we thought about leaving out Martina Franca – but in retrospect we’re very glad we didn’t do it.
Martina Franca is alive, authentic and very attractive. Personally, the flair reminded us a little of Lecce – with the difference that Martina Franca is significantly smaller.
We can recommend these sights and places worth seeing for your visit:
- Piazza XX Settembre & St. Stephen’s Gate: This spacious square, which is lined with bars and cafés, leads through the historic city gate into the old town of Martina Franca.
- Ducal Palace: This baroque palace from the 17th century houses the city administration and a museum, among other things. With over 300 rooms, the palazzo is one of the largest buildings in Apulia.
- St. Martin’s Basilica: The beautiful baroque church is the most important church of Martina Franca. The square in front of the church, the Piazza Plebiscito, is also really worth seeing with its pretty clock tower.
- Mary Immaculate Square: In our opinion, the most beautiful square in Martina Franca, which is really something special with its oval arcade.
We have in Martina Franca about a good hour spent – without feeling that we have to stress ourselves too much. We parked at Piazza Umberto I. There are a few parking spaces here and it’s only a short walk to the old town.
Last but not least: The most famous and by far most visited place in Valle d’Itria – Alberobello. We deliberately chose the later afternoon for our visit and would do it again and again. Then there is still a lot going on, but the rush was actually reasonably limited in the off-season.
Alberobello is, so to speak, the “Trulli capital” of Apulia. Some neighborhoods here are made up entirely of trulli. The cityscape is correspondingly picturesque – if it weren’t for the countless souvenir shops. Entire streets are paved with it.
Here are a few recommendations and tips for your visit:
- Viertel Rione Monti: The Via Monte San Michele leads slightly uphill to the most touristic part of Alberobello. The photogenic trulli nestle together here like on a string of pearls. Small souvenir shops or shops can be found in almost all of them.
- Viertel District Aia Piccola: The contrast program to the tourist district. Here on the hill on the other side of the main street it is much quieter and more relaxed. Overall, this part of the city is less “dressed up”, but we liked it better here.
- Observation terrace at the Church of Santa Lucia: A popular spot to see the multitude of trulli from a slightly elevated perspective.
- View from the park “Villa Comunale Belvedere Parco”: Our personal favorite place in Alberobello with what we think is a much better view of the trulli. We were here at sunset.
To be able to see Alberobello in peace, we would a good hour recommend. There are numerous paid parking spaces around the old town. We ourselves parked at the parking lot on Via Indipendenza.
Transparency: Affiliate links
This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!