The whitewashed conical shaped homes or trulli of Alberobello have become the symbol of the region of Puglia in a way the famous cypress tree road in the Orcia Valley has become the symbol of Tuscany.
So much so when we saw them for first time, they seemed like old friends. Yet, there are literally thousands of trulli in and around the Itria Valley.
Alberobello may be the iconic city, but the trulli were essentially temporary countryside accommodation.
They could be dismantled and the roof elements built elsewhere in no time at all, often to beat the local taxman in times past.
Drive through such towns as Castellana Grotte and you stumble upon them incorporated into all sorts of modern buildings as the towns expanded after the second world war.
If you look really carefully in the fields of the Itria Valley you may also notice just the stone foundations of the houses; the roof removed and perhaps transported elsewhere.
But some seem untouched for decades such as our image here. We found it abandoned, but in almost perfect condition. Not a tourist in sight.
Alberobello in Italian literally means 'beautiful tree', but why 'Alberobello'?
Our reader Maureen P. explains: Trust me, my family is from Alberobello. While it seems easy to say that the name means beautiful tree, check the history of the city. The bello comes from the Latin word for war. The war tree (an oak) was involved in a fight for the city.
In fact, the Pro Loco of Alberobello states that the name derives from 'Sylva Arboris Belli' a reference to the oak wood which stood here and which was used in the construction of war machines.
A recent newspaper article profiled a certain water diviner who suggested there were places in Italy which possessed a magnetic resonance.
This latent energy was due to underground streams which generated a spirit of harmony and general 'wellbeing'. He suggested many ancient places in Italy have such vibes with Alberobello being one of them.
For the record the others include La Thuile, the Chiesa Madonna della Salute in Venice (lots of underground water there), the star shaped city of Palmanova, Saturnia in the Etruscan Hills and Castel del Monte also in Puglia.
SUGGESTED ALBEROBELLO LINKS
Brief History of the trulli in Alberobello