Exploring Itria Valley
An extent of trulli and expanses of white houses, all framed by the beauty of vineyards and secular olive trees: this is Itria Valley!
The suburbs of the Murge plateau, the peculiarities of the valley are the trulli, charming stone-built inspired by the ancient Mycenae domes, considered today as examples of rationalism by architects.
The pulsating heart of the Murgia dei Trulli is Alberobello where you will find more than 1,400 trulli; it has an enchanting historical center that has been using the Unesco heritage since 1996.
The Monti district is also a must-see, where you can admire most of the trulli, many inhabited by locals, some occupying local souvenir shops and crafts, while others still have bars, trattorias and accommodation facilities . Not far from here, in the northern part of the village, you are enchanted by the majesty of the Trullo Sovrano, the only example of a two-story trullo that has still authentic furnishings from the first half of the 18th century.
A few kilometres south of Alberobello, noteworthy is Locorotondo, one of Italy's Most Beautiful Towns, and awarded the Orange Flag of the Touring Club of Italy, home of DOC wine, which owes its name to the characteristic round shape of its historic center. Despite the proximity to Alberobello, in this village, you will not find trulli, but cummèrse, that are, low-lined huts with lime, slightly unusual shape and sloping roofs. You will be curious to know that the choice of white lime, so dear to this area of Puglia, has no purely aesthetic reasons, but it seems to be preferred for the ability to keep away the plague.
It is no surprise Cisternino, a village just south of Locorotondo and a classic example of "spontaneous architecture". Entering the ancient part, you will be welcomed by historic dwellings, narrow lanes, milky walls and a complex of three towers that once encircled the ancient hamlet and whose entrance was located at the Norman tower of Porta Grande, on top of which stands a small statue of St. Nicholas.
But the capital of Valle d'Itria is Martina Franca, the most populated municipality - with more than 50,000 inhabitants - and an extraordinary baroque architecture. Its oval-shaped perimeter is bordered by the sumptuous 17th-century Ducal Palace, Piazza Plebiscito, the Basilica of San Martino and all the other monumental churches and the characteristic white houses that grow vertically. Trying to look up, in fact, you will enjoy a unique spectacle: on the roofs you will see worn cloths, and folded boards, figs and walnuts dry, mattresses put out to blow.
Do not leave the country without tasting the capocollo, exquisite pork salami, a local culinary specialty.
And then moving to Brindisi, there is Ostuni, the white city par excellence, the only town of the Valley overlooking the sea, receiving the Blue Flag since 1994 for the cleaning of its sea. Famous for the candlelight of its buildings, it enchants the picturesque alleys, the courtyards, the shops and the Cathedral of Santa Maria dell'Annunziata in perfect Romanesque-gothic style. On the Cathedral's facade camps, in the middle of two smaller rosettes, the central one a 24-rays, a wonderful example of medieval symbology.
Not only the Itria Valley means history and architecture, it means also nature!
You will enjoy enchanting beaches such as Egnatia, crystal clear waters close to the archaeological park of the ruins of the ancient Apulian city or such as Torre Guaceto in the heart of a large protected nature reserve.
The Itria Valley deserves to be visited and lived with the right calm and attention, so it will able to repay your time!