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The Itria Valley, or Valle d'Itria as the Italians call it, is a charming area nestled high upon a fertile plane in the heart of the Puglia region. Sunny and captivating, the Itria Valley opens like a treasure chest spilling forth a lush and rolling countryside that brims with olive groves, wooded slopes, miles of vineyards, picturesque towns, quaint villages, plenty of history and of course, the trulli for which this area is known. Come with us as we explore each treasure in the box of riches that is Puglia’s Itria Valley.

Life in The Itria Valley

There are many little towns that make up the Itria Valley but two of the most fascinating and historical are Locorotondo and Alberobello. Chock full of scenes right off a picture postcard, both of these villages offer a glimpse of life in Puglia’s alluring Itria Valley.


The name of this small town translates to “round place” and that’s what you’ll find in Locorotondo. The circular town sits atop a hill and the view is absolutely breathtaking. You can see for miles around the Itria Valley and beyond.

In addition to the unique shape of this little village most visitors are quite taken with the Cummerse, unique homes with pitched roofs covered in chiancarelle which is an earthen substance found in the subsoil of the Puglia region. It's the same Sequa substance used to create the conical roofs of the trulli.

Like most homes in the region the walls are made of white-washed limestone. The high pitch of the Cummerse was engineered (back in the 14th century!) to gather rainwater in the gutters along the bottom. A very wise endeavor! As you stroll the maze of white-washed alleys you’ll feel as though you’ve taken a step back in time. Although she appears quiet and unassuming, Locorotondo is quite a magical little town.

Locorotondo DOC

Locorotondo is also known for its highly prized white wine. The Locorotondo DOC is a dry wine made from a blend of local grapes including the rarely used Verdeca. Its pleasant and subtle fruity taste makes it a favorite white of the Puglia region.

A Tidbit That May Surprise You

An interesting bit of trivia; Although Alberobello is recognized as the “Trulli Town'', it’s Locorotondo that is home to the oldest trullo in the Itria Valley, dating back to 1559. With its thick walls and stacked stone roof this trullo sits alone in the middle of a field, where it was once utilized for wine-making/ In fact you can still see some of the evidence inside the trullo.

The Truly Amazing Trulli of Alberobello

If it seems like the curious, almost Disneyesque structures, whitewashed with stacked stone, cone-shaped roofs seem to be everywhere in this serene little town, you’re right. The trulli line the cobblestone alleyways in a way that looks as though you’ve stepped right into a fairy tale. The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (declared as such in 1996) and it’s easy to see why. It’s not simply a way to preserve the past; it, seemingly, IS the past.

These dry stone structures date back to the 1500s and were built using building techniques that date back to prehistoric times. The limestone, dug from neighboring fields, is corralled in order to fit tightly together creating a watertight roof with no need for mortar. This was done so that the inhabitants of the trulli could avoid paying high property taxes. The lack of mortar made for easy disassembly of the dwellings.

Even though the purpose of the trulli was to dismantle them in short order, remarkably many still stand today along the cobbled streets of Alberobello. Though they aren’t as popular as residential homes they are used to house restaurants, souvenir shops and hotels.

More Local Treasure

The Itria Valley experiences a mediterranean climate. This makes for an excellent environment to grow olives and grapes. As you might imagine, the olive oil and wine trade is pretty big in the Itria Valley. As in the rest of the country Italians in the Itria Valley work a bit of magic with these treasures. Be sure to sample the luscious, sun-kissed liquid gold that is Itria Valley’s olive oil and of course no trip to Puglia would be complete without a sip or two of wine.

One of the Itria Valley’s favorite and most famous noshes is their orecchiette. Prepared as the locals enjoy, with turnip or the bitter and leafy broccoli rabe and plenty of garlic this pasta dish is the perfect carb-load to help you walk the stone paths and labyrinthian alley ways of Locorotondo.

By far one of the most special treats you’ll taste in the Itria Valley is the burrata. This cream-filled and delicious mozzarella cheese is very popular in the area and it’s pretty trendy right now in the US. It makes the ideal spread for the excellent focaccia that’s also a favorite in the Itria Valley.

Itria Valley