Hello postcard motif! It is impossible to think of Apulia without immediately imagining the characteristic Trulli. The tiny, whitewashed round houses rise out of the landscape of the Valle d’Itria like pointed caps.
The “trulli capital” in the Valle d’Itria ‘Itria is Alberobello. Here you will find most (and most beautiful) of these typical stone houses. A little advance warning at this point: Alberobello is very (!) touristy. But more on that in a moment.
Away from the trulli there is also a lot to discover in the Valle d’Itria. To be honest, we liked the other cities like the baroque city of Martina Franca even better.
The Valle d’Itria is best explored as part of a day trip. In this blog article we will show you what to expect on your little road trip and give you our personal tips for Alberobello, Locorotondo and Co.
1. Valle d’Itria: Useful information for your day trip Valle d’Itria: Facts & Info The Valle d’Itria (also called Itria Valley) is in the heart of Apulia and extends essentially over the Municipalities of Locorotondo, Cisternino and Martina Franca. Parts of Ostuni and Alberobello are also part of the Valle d’Itria. It’s not without reason that the Valle d’Itria is also called the “Valley of the Trulli” denotes. The cone-shaped roofs protrude from the olive groves and vineyards like pointed hats. The most beautiful trulli are in Alberobello. Only there are entire districts made up of the characteristic conical houses. For this reason, the trulli of Alberobello are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the other towns in the Valle d’Itria there are hardly any trulli to be found, but there are other impressive sights. In Martina Franca, for example, you can marvel at beautiful baroque buildings. History of the origin of the trulli Perhaps you are wondering (as we are) how on earth did these curious pointed hat houses in the Valle d’Itria come about in the first place? Well, you’re actually not so sure.
The first trulli in Apulia should probably be in 14. until 15. Century must have been built. They probably once stood in the field and served landscape purposes (e.g. as a storehouse for grain). There is the assumption that the first trulli came from Turkey and that they were taken as a model.
In the 17. In the 19th century, Count Giangirolamo II Acquaviva d’Aragona is said to have ordered the construction of the trulli in the Valle d’Itria. The reason: he didn’t want to pay any taxes and therefore asked to be built without mortar so that the trulli could be dismantled quickly in the event of an inspection. Is this legend really true? The fact is: Today, pretty holiday apartments , restaurants or (souvenir) shops are housed in most of the trulli.
Ostuni: Starting point for our day trip As a home base for exploring the Valle d’Itria, Ostuni is ideal. In our opinion, Ostuni is one of the most beautiful cities in Apulia and is also beautifully situated – with the sea in sight.
We stayed in the wonderful Masseria Dagilupi. An old, renovated farm is called a masseria. In the case of Masseria Dagilupi, you are staying in a historic oil mill that has been restored with an incredible attention to detail .
The Masseria Dagilupi is just outside of Ostuni, in absolutely quiet location, surrounded by hundreds of ancient olive trees. From the roof of the Masseria you can even enjoy the view of Ostuni in the distance – a dreamlike spot on earth.
You can book accommodation here: Masseria Dagilupi
Here you can find our detailed blog article: Ostuni Tips
Masseria Dagilupi in Ostuni Ostuni Rental Car & Parking For your day trip through the Valle d’Itria we strongly recommend a Rental car – as for the whole of Apulia, by the way. The individual places are also connected by bus, but traveling by car is simply more flexible.
We usually book our rental cars through Sunny Cars. You can find more tips for renting and driving in Puglia in this blog article: Roadtrip Puglia.
The parking search proved to be useful on our day trip in the off-season all places in the Valle d’Itria as extremely uncomplicated. We usually found a parking space right on the street near the historic old town. We will tell you our parking tip for each location in the respective chapter.
Another important note: When parking along the street, you should pay attention to the floor markings note. Free parking spaces are usually marked with white lines, paid parking spaces with blue lines. In blue zones you will find parking machines where you can buy a ticket.
However: Pay attention to the information sign here. Certain times of the day or even seasons are often exempt from the rule and you can park for free.
2. Cisternino The first stop of our day trip through the Valle d’Itria is the small village of Cisternino . It is one of the “borghi più belli d’Italia”, the most beautiful places in Italy – just like Ostuni, Locorotondo and Alberobello by the way.
What immediately strikes you in Cisternino’s old town: mirrors and swings can be found everywhere. It might sound a bit unusual, but once you’re there, this slightly artistic flair is just perfect for Cisternino.
It’s best to just let yourself drift a little. We can recommend the following sights and places worth seeing in Cisternino:
Viewpoint at the Villa Comunale Giuseppe Garibaldi: A small park with a viewing terrace from which you can enjoy a nice view of the enjoys the surrounding countryside.Torre dell ‘Orologio in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II: The historic Clock Tower of Cisternino is in this hidden square.Corso Umberto: A nice alley at the eastern end of the old town with pretty houses and a few shops. Cisternino is really tiny so you don’t longer than an hour for your tour of the old town. In the low season we parked without any problems on Via Roma.
3. Locorotondo Only a ten minute drive from Cisternino you can reach the next destination of your day trip through the Valle d’Itria: Locorotondo. Personally, Locorotondo reminded us a lot of Cisternino, but it is a little more touristy and “dressed up”.
Locorotondo means something like “round place”. And indeed the village is laid out in a circle. Admittedly, you can see this much better from the air than from the ground.
Here are a few specific tips for Locorotondo:
Viewpoint at the Parco Communale: A small park on the edge of the old town with a nice view of the Valle d’Itria. Porta Napoli & Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II: Directly opposite the small park, you go through the Porta Napoli into the old town. The tourist information is also located here.Chiesa Madre San Giorgio Martire: Locorotondo’s most important church.Palazzo Morelli: A historic baroque palazzo situated in a pretty alley.L’Arco dei Tipici: A tiny, quite authentic delicatessen where you You get little things to eat – eg burrata, cheese or sausage platters. For Locorotondo we also recommend about an hour for your city tour. We parked our car in Via Cisternino during the low season.
Another little tip for the onward journey: From the road in the direction of Martina Franca (SS ) you have a nice view back towards Locorotondo. It’s worth stopping.
4. Martina Franca Martina Franca steps out of line. Unlike the other places in the Valle d’Itria, a beautiful baroque town with impressive buildings worth seeing awaits you here. At first we thought about leaving out Martina Franca – but in retrospect we’re very glad we didn’t do it.
Martina Franca is lively, authentic and very attractive. Personally, the flair reminded us a little of Lecce – with the difference that Martina Franca is significantly smaller.
We can recommend these sights and places worth seeing for your visit:
Piazza XX Settembre & Porta di Santo Stefano: About this one On the spacious square lined with bars and cafés, you go through the historic city gate into the old town of Martina Franca.Palazzo Ducale: In this baroque palace from the 17. The city administration and a museum are housed here in the 19th century. With more than 300 rooms, the palazzo is one of the largest buildings in Apulia.Basilica of San Martino: The beautiful baroque church is the most important church of Martina Franca. Also the square in front of the church, the Piazza Plebiscito, is really worth seeing with the pretty clock tower.Piazza Maria Immacolata: In our opinion, the most beautiful square in Martina Franca, with its oval arcade really e something is special. We spent about a good hour in Martina Franca – without feeling that we had to stress ourselves too much. We parked at Piazza Umberto I. There are a few parking spaces here and it’s only a short walk to the old town.
5. Alberobello Last but not least: The most famous and by far the most Place visited in Valle d’Itria – Alberobello. We deliberately chose the later afternoon for our visit and would do it again and again. Then there is still an awful lot going on, but the rush was actually fairly limited in the off-season.
Alberobello is, so to speak, the “trulli capital” of Apulia . Some neighborhoods here are made up entirely of trulli. The cityscape is correspondingly picturesque – if it weren’t for the countless souvenir shops. Entire streets are paved with it.
Here are a few recommendations and tips for your visit:
Rione Monti district: Via Monte San Michele is easy to get to uphill in the most touristic part of Alberobello. The photogenic trulli nestle together here like on a string of pearls. Small souvenir shops or shops can be found in almost all of them. Rione Aia Piccola district: The contrast program to the tourist district. Here on the hill on the other side of the main street it is much quieter and more relaxed. Overall, this part of the city is less “dressed up”, but we liked it better here.Viewing terrace at the Church of Santa Lucia: A popular spot to see the multitude of trulli from a slightly elevated perspective. View from the Park “Villa Comunale”. Belvedere Parco“: Our personal favorite place in Alberobello with what we think is a much better view of the trulli. We were here at sunset. To see Alberobello at leisure to be able to, we would recommend a good hour . There are numerous paid parking spaces around the old town. We parked in the car park on Via Indipendenza.
Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!
Have you ever been to Alberobello or any other place in the Valle d ‘Itria? How did you like it? We look forward to hearing about your experiences and additional tips in the comments.