Rewriting the Dictionary in Puglia Part Three: Alberobello = “Awesome”

Now that I have new definitions for the words “Amazing” and “Astonishing,” it’s time to redefine “Awesome.” I overuse the word “awesome,” and almost never use it in the sense that whatever I am describing creates a sense of awe. However, Alberobello and its strange little trulli can accurately be described as awesome. And weird. But mostly awesome.

trulli and clouds, clouds and trulli
trulli and clouds, clouds and trulli

Arriving in Alberobello is, just like arriving in so many other towns, relatively unremarkable. But after a 15 minute walk away from the train station up and over a hill, suddenly you are presented with a strange little village of conical stone huts with symbols, some Christian, some magical, on their pointy roofs. It was surreal. Not least of all because we had the place nearly to ourselves, because of the February-ness and also because it was depressingly dreary. But nevertheless, we persevered through the lanes and avenues exclaiming over and over about how strange it all was:

just a regular trulli street
just a regular trulli street
this is someones regular, everyday life
this is someones regular, everyday life

The ridiculous overabundance of rocks in the landscape gives some sense to the little stone huts, and perhaps surprisingly, considering how optimized for tourism the place was (there was a surprisingly slick tourist infrastructure, apparently Alberobello is extremely popular especially with German and Japanese tourists), apparently most of the trulli are still lived in, by regular people. This one was for sale:

vendesi = for sale
vendesi = for sale

In the town most of the trulli are white with gray roofs, but there are a few that are just stone. On the train ride there we would watch out the window for these huts dotting the fields, every once in awhile one would pop up, reinforcing the otherworldliness of the landscape. It was awesome.

stony
stony
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2 thoughts on “Rewriting the Dictionary in Puglia Part Three: Alberobello = “Awesome”

    1. For me, Matera, no question. Alberobello is fascinating and a bit odd, but Matera is really astonishing: the landscape is gorgeous and the caves (sassi) are unlike anything else I’ve seen in Italy, or anywhere for that matter. Enjoy Puglia, it’s really, really special!

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