Drive around the Itria Valley in southeastern Italy and you’ll discover houses straight out of a fairy tale. Of diminutive size and topped by conical roofs made of stacked limestone, trulli—the traditional structures of Puglia—look like beehives from another planet. Found on almost every country road in the valley, trulli are not idle curiosities; they are actively used as homes, farmsteads, guesthouses, and more.
They’re not hard to find. Several thousand trulli are visible in the Itria Valley, with more than 1,500 concentrated in Alberobello, a town located some 40 miles south of the port city Bari. (Click here for a fascinating portrait of this memorable Italian town by the sea.) Some trulli of Alberobello date to the 14th century; this architectural ensemble was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1996.[…]