Why Puglia…Why Alberobello…Why Us…
After my trip to Italy, including a tour through the region of Puglia, after I fell in love with this land and in particular, with Alberobello, I revisited the articles I first read that interested me in Puglia, and I was surprised…they barely touched the surface on the magic that found here and experienced in Alberobello- a magic carried deep down to the roots. I have had many vacations and my work takes me on a weekly basis to different places all around the world, but after touring with Mimmo and meeting his family in Alberobello, I came to a realization…there is something that Five Star Resorts, Private Jets, and those expensive fancy dinners with tiny portions can never give you…soul.
When you visit this land, it changes you to your very core. There is a sweet serenity in the simplicity of the hearts in these streets of stone. Life’s “complicated” details melt away…your daily worries- obsolete…and you lose yourself to the wonders of this peoples’ love that starts in their soil, and to the history that actually still lives to this day. That is what makes Alberobello, in particular, such a wonder. Not only are their historical, coned-shaped houses made of stone protected by UNESCO, in the heart of their capitol here, they cannot be built nor destroyed- only the original trulli houses still standing proudly, can be restored. The fact that this historically renowned building technique of stone without mortar still stands, and that the ancestors of the original families that built them are living within their walls today, is something incredibly special to be revered.
Interestingly, both with Mediterranean origins, Trulli Houses and Olive Trees have spent their lives together. Puglia currently grows around 50 to 60 million olive trees (no one really knows exactly), and Puglia alone produces 40% of the Olive Oil of Italy. What is even more remarkable is the character, the size, and the ages of some of these ulivi secolari (centuries-old olive trees). Their vast trunks, twisting, splitting, knotting, and winding make each olive tree distinctly unique- showing their rich life’s story like the worn, worked hands of a “Wiseman.”
Like the olive trees of Puglia, the land, the trulli, and the people within, live in respect to the surrounding powers of nature. As such, Alberobello is the perfect example of this land. With Trulli houses built completely of limestone, the families gathered their stone directly from the land beneath as they carved out a cistern for their home’s independent source of water. Notably, the lichen that grows on the cone-shaped roofs of Alberobello (turning the stone from light to dark) can only do so in the absence of pollution. In essence, having as much care of their land as their land has of them, the people of Alberobello give pride to Puglia’s mark on the purity and quality of Italian and Mediterranean lifestyle and cuisine.
With several trulli houses beautifully restored in the heart of their Historical Center of Alberobello, Mimmo’s family is really something for this town. They are the “genuine article”, with an honest passion in sharing their culture and their history with anyone who wishes- literally jumping at any and every opportunity to help and “have care of you.”
Another of the Wonders of the World,
with hearts as pure as the air they breath,
I hope- IWISH- for everyone to experience
as much of this land and these families as they can…”
Sophie-Marie of Colorado ’11