Is Alberobello worth your time in Puglia?

Is Alberobello worth your time on your trip to Puglia, Italy? And the secret to make the most of it while you’re there!

What you really need to know about Alberobello, Puglia Italy, cover

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First off, I think it’s important to set expectations. I visited Alberobello in 2022, in April (meaning: not yet high season). While Puglia was definitely beginning to be on the international tourism radar, it was close enough to COVID lockdowns that Americans weren’t flocking back to Italy yet.

Meaning: if it was crowded when I went, assume it’s going to be crowded when you go.

That being said, there are so many crowded places that are beloved and are worth the visit! For you, it might be Disney World, the Great Wall of China, or Old Faithful.

Alberobello is beautiful, but there are a few things worth knowing to make the most of your time there.

How to See Alberobello as a Day Trip

The reality is you don’t need a lot of time to see Alberobello – it’s a small town, with its architecture as the attraction. That means a day trip (really, just a morning) is a fine amount of time to spend if you’re willing to put up with crowds.

cute corner of Alberobello

By car

I highly recommend going by car. Renting a car is already the best way to experience Puglia. It gives you the flexibility to make the most of your time. Ideally, attach it as a day stop on a drive between two cities. I chose to do it on the way from Monopoli to Matera, but it’s so central to so many great locations (Lecce, Ostuni, Pogliano a Mare or Bari) that you’re spoiled for choice.

Driving to Alberobello means you have the option to go at the best times. Go either really early in the morning (arrive at 8 – or earlier if you’re a morning person – for delightfully empty streets) or late in the day, planning to eat dinner there and continue driving at night to your next destination.

Without a car

If you’re not a car person, the easiest way is by organized day trip. You can find these on GetYourGuide, which is my go-to for organized day trips. There are plenty of options that provide transportation; all you have to do is show up!

You can also arrive by bus or train. This is the cheapest option, but also the worst of the three. There are routes (with transfers) to Alberobello from Bari, Brindisi, and even Lecce. But I don’t advise this: in my experience, Puglia’s public transport is reliable but runs so infrequently you’ll spend more time en route than actually at the place. Once you’re there, you’ll have the same crowd issues as an organized tour would.

Should I Stay Overnight in Alberobello?

If you have the time, staying overnight makes Alberobello worth it. You’ll be able to wander when all the day trippers have left and enjoy the quiet magic of the place.

I don’t think you need more than one night here. Typically, I don’t like spending only one night in any one place; it can make a trip seem hectic. However, Alberobello is a place I’d make an exception. It’ll give you a way better experience!


Why Alberobello is Special

Trulli are what make Alberobello so unique. These ancient buildings are in a style that’s thousands of years old. They’re constructed without mortar; instead, the stones are carefully laid in a conical pattern to keep rain out without needing any sealant.

Their style comes from trying to avoid taxes: because they use no mortar, they didn’t qualify as permanent structures, and therefore didn’t have to pay those taxes! Some stories say they knocked them over when the tax man came, but I don’t know if that’s true.

Often they’re decorated with a carved symbol on top or a painted symbol on the roof. These are sometimes pagan and Christian symbols of protection and sometimes indicate the use or trade of the person living here (doctor, smith, etc).

You’ll find trulli all over Puglia, but Alberobello is the largest collection of only trulli buildings in one place!

What To See in Alberobello, Puglia

The best way to experience Alberobello is on a walking tour. The town is beautiful, but doesn’t do much to offer an education on what you’re seeing or why it’s significant on its own. So a tour is a lifeline!

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There are two main trulli neighborhoods in Alberobello. Rione Monti is the commercial part of town and is larger and busier. Rione Aia Piccola is mostly residential, making it a nicer area to walk even in the middle of the day.

A few spots in Rione Monti worth seeing:

Church of Sant’Antonio is a church in a unique trullo – it’s simple yet beautiful, built in trulli style but with a definitively church-like facade.

Trullo Siamese is one of the few conjoined trulli: one building with two roof points.

Rione Aia Piccola, the small yard district, is more residential. That makes it quieter even in the height of tourism season, so definitely do some wandering over here!

Make sure to see the Casa d’Amore, which is the first house in town to actually use mortar and is now a monument.

There are several great lookout points scattered throughout the city. The most recognized spot is probably Belvedere Santa Lucia, giving a view of the whole city. Another great one is Villa Communal Belvedere on via Indipendenza.

Casa Pezzolla is a trulli museum! It’s made of up of 15 internally connected trulli. The museum tells the history of Alberobello and the surrounding area, as well as a look into domestic and farm life. It’s a bit bare bones, but if you don’t do a walking tour, it’s worth checking out.

You can also enter Trullo Sovrano, a two-story trullo. This one shows typical life in the 1800s (more recent setting than Casa Pezzola). Note that it closes for a riposo (Italian siesta), so don’t come at 1pm expecting to get in.

best restaurants in Alberobello, Puglia, Italy

Alberobello Restaurants & Bars

Braceria La Fontana

Braceria La Fontana is a great choice for a casual local lunch! It’s a fornello, meaning a grilled and roasted meat place. The options are basic but oh so delicious. It’s where locals go for lunch.

Ristorante L’Aratro di Domenico Laera

If you want a nice meal in Alberobello, go to Ristorante L’Aratro! It’s Michelin-starred and inside a trullo, so even walking through it gives a sense of the trullo architecture. The food is excellent, typical of the area, If you stay overnight, go to dinner here. I’d recommend a reservation, it fills up!

Osteria del Poeta

Osteria del Poeta has homestyle Pugliese food. In terms of elegance and price point, it’s midway between the other two suggestions. It’s the kind of restaurant that serves all the local favorites and you’ll find plenty of Italians eating here!

TL;DR: Is Alberobello Worth It?

Yes! But know it’ll be big crowds in a small town. It’s best as an evening overnight. If you go as a day trip, it’ll be crowded. However, its uniqueness within Puglia makes Alberobello worth it! If you go, use my tips to make the most of what to see and eat.

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