This past week our study abroad group spent five days in the Southern part of Italy, in the region of Puglia. On the second day of our trip we began our day waking up in the historic trulli huts in the city of Alberobello. These huts were built as home during the 19th century for peasants. They are very small and generally consisted of one open room that was shared by up to 13 people sometimes. The unique feature of the trulli huts is the cone shaped roofs that are often decorated with symbols dating back to the Paleolithic Era. These symbols were often markings to identify with your respective religion. It was interesting to find out that the original purpose of these homes were for poor peasants but today are becoming very popular homes that are selling at high prices. Most people who wish to live in a trullo purchase several connecting huts. This can get very costly because a single trullo alone ranges from 200,000 euros to around 500,000 euros. Our group was fortunate enough to be able to lodge with Trulli Holiday a property that owns multiple huts that are rented as hotel rooms. As a student studying in the industry it was refreshing to see such genuine true hospitality by the Trulli Holiday employees and other towns people.
Later in the day we travelled to the nearby town of Castellana where we traveled into an underground cave system. This cave system was discovered in 1938 by Franco Anelli. Prior to its actual discovery the native locals thought it was a gateway into hell so they would try to close the opening by throwing all of their trash into it. Franco Anelli was the person who decided to venture into the cave first but all of the trash had to e removed. We started our decent into the cave by walking down a 200 foot tunnel to get inside. Once we were actually in the cave we saw many stalagmites and stalactites. Our tour guide encouraged us to open our minds and see what natural shapes they formed;including, nativity scenes and even camels! The tour was set up very well with two tour guides for a group of 30. I thought the two tour guides was a smart idea so one tour guide could focus on the presentation while the other guide could ensure that no one was getting lost or getting involved in dangerous activities. Although this was a great site to visit it was kind of sad that you could not take any pictures inside of the cave. I think it would be a good idea if they had a spot deeper inside the cave with special lighting so you didn’t need the flash so they could take a picture of you.
All in all it was a great day and a wonderful trip that I truly believe was enjoyed by all!