Trulli have been around for many hundreds of years, though the oldest surviving ones date back only to the 16th century. The probable reason for this is that they were generally built as temporary dry-stone accommodation that could be dismantled whenever necessary... This was usually when the property tax collectors came to town! Imagine their surprise when they arrived at Locorotondo, Alberobello or Fasano to find mounds of rubble and virtually no houses! As soon as the inspectors went away, the trulli would spring up again and the locals would move back in!
A typical trullo has a cylindrical base with a conical limestone-tiled roof. Though built without cement, their thick white-painted stone walls ensured coolness in the summer and warmth in the winter. The roof was often painted with an evil eye, a cross or an astronomical symbol and topped by an ornamental flourish.