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Author Topic: MAGNA GRAECIA  (Read 8886 times)
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« Reply #60 on: December 11, 2008, 07:49:36 pm »

                                                                Martina Franca

by Stephen A. Agus


Several towns near Martina Franca bear exotic names. 

Alberobello perhaps is the most famous, for it is the place most associated with the Trulli, those white
cylindrical buildings with conical grey slate roofs found all over the countryside of this region of the Puglia. 

The Puglia (or Apulia) is in the heel of the boot of the peninsula which is Italy. 

A Trullo can be found here and there all over the region, in Martina Franca and the surrounding farm-
land of the valley as well; but in Alberobello, or at least, in a portion of Alberobello, there is a large
area which contains one Trullo after another, as far as the eye can see, built one next to another
along a slope, along impossibly narrow and picturesque streets.   

Recognizing its unique architectural character, the local authorities have turned the entire neighbor-
hood into an automobile-free pedestrian zone; and to visit it, one must park the car in a lot below the slope
and walk up into the Trulli-lined streets.  Judging from the considerable traffic in the parking lot,
it seemed to us that the whole area is quite popular to both local and foreign tourists, even though we are a
good five hours’ drive from Rome. 

True, the exotic and quaint character of this Trulli zone has to some extent been compromised and cheapened
by the very commercialization that has aided in preserving this area.   And yet, despite the proliferation of gift shops and Trulli souvenir stores in this alley and that byway, when we are there, surrounded entirely by Trulli,
we can forget that we are living in the 21st century. 

Though we are not quite sure where to place these Trulli in time, we feel transported back to another era, an
era of a simpler way of life. 

As for  the Trulli, not all of them are old; some in fact are built new, but all are built in the old style,
all whitewashed spotlessly clean, with those grey conical roofs.
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