Prehistory in Southern Italy

On our road trip from Bari down to Lecce (another southern city) we stopped at a village called Alberobello.  Alberobello has prehistoric trulli homes and buildings.  The homes look like little huts with roofs made from rocks.

Walking up a street lined with trulli

Walking up a street lined with trulli

No one is really sure why they’re shaped like this or what their purpose was, but there are many theories.  One theory being the people wanted homes they could easily take apart to avoid paying taxes on their houses, which I suppose, is as good a theory as any.  I’m pretty sure they were originally made for trolls.  After our tour of Alberobello, we headed down to Lecce, which I will write about later.  Once we visited Lecce, we headed back north and stopped at another prehistoric site in Matera.

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This city is truly mind blowing

Matera is a modern city, but it has the “ancient town” called the  “Sassi di Matera” or “stones of Matera”.  These cavelike dwellings are thought to be the settlements of some of the first humans in Italy.  Some of the houses are basically just caves dug into the side of a hill.  Others have a more homey feeling to them, but are still entirely made of stone.  We took a tour (albeit a small one since the homes are small) of the Casa Grotta di vico Solitario.

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The living room that could also work as a bedroom and a barn…notice the fake horse in the left corner that Steve is trying to feed.

The house was small, but it had everything you could need, with kitchen being separated from the bedroom/living room. There was also a third room used for sleeping as well.  The bathroom was a big, deep hole in the ground that I imagine did not smell so great when it started getting full.  You can kind of see it right behind the chair in the photo below. We looked inside and this particular toilet had no human by products, but an extraordinary amount of money.  Forget wishing wells, the next time I want a wish granted I’m going to throw my coin down a sassi home’s toilet.

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The kitchen area and a toilet full of coins.

 

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