Trulli Endangered

Having finally have a chance to breeze through the World Monuments Fund's extensive List of 100 Most Endangered Sites, one in particular stands out to me: Murgia dei Trulli. The non-profit organization's list brings attention to individual buildings, archaeological sites, cities, and even countries, in order to raise money towards their preservation. In this case, it covers six towns in the Puglia region of Southern Italy that are home to numerous trulli.

Missing image - trulli1.jpg

Simply defined, trulli are one-story limestone structures, typically with white-washed walls, that are capped by cone-, dome-, or pyramid-shaped roofs "fashioned from dry laid stone." Many feature distinctive caps atop the roofs, like below.

Missing image - trulli2.jpg
Image by Bill Hocker

While WMF's web page doesn't indicate the six towns covered, already the trulli of Alberobello are a UNESCO World Heritage site, since they are "an exceptional example of a form of building construction deriving from prehistoric construction techniques that have survived intact and functioning into the modern world." But the modernization of this area of Italy is threatening these uniquely beautiful structures, according to the WMF. The top image (from WMF's page) shows a deteriorated collection of trulli, while Bill Hocker's images show ones in good shape that appear to still be a functioning part of Alberobello.

Missing image - trulli3.jpg
Image by Bill Hocker

Hopefully some day I'll go back to Italy and see the trulli first hand, as well as the sassi of Matera, another distinctive form of prehistoric construction that has managed to survive into today.