The dry stone Trulli of Puglia in Southern Italy


These are Italian Trulli, dry stone homes usually made with limestone without any mortar. Dry stone building is part of the heritage of this region of Italy where many of the fields are divided by dry stone walls. The roofs of the trulii are built with two skins: an inner skin of limestone voussoirs (wedge-shaped stones forming the curved parts of an arch) capped by a closing stone, and an outer skin of limestone slabs that are slightly tilted downward to shed rain.


The gap between the two skins is filled with rubble. The trulli's conical roof is normally capped with a hand-worked sandstone pinnacle which can be a disk, a ball, a cone or other geometric designs that represent the signature of the stonemason. The roof itself may have a design painted on it in lime representing religious figures like Santa Maria Addolorata denoted by a pierced heart. Trulli were first built in the 16th century by farmers forced to settle on the poor, stone ladened land. There are about 1,600 trulli in the region. Their thick walls provide cool shelter in the hot summers and insulation in the winter maintaining a comfortable living space.