Monday, October 4, 2010

Where is Nonno? Alberobello, Puglia, Italy

By Guest Blogger - Nonno (Ben's grandfather)
Nonno currently lives in Italy and will be sharing information with all of us! 

Welcome, Nonno!

Alberobello is in Puglia, Italy, in the south, on the heel part of the country, it is a special UNESCO village.


It is a famous and special village because of
its houses called Trulli.


Only one house is called a Trullo,
more than one house and they are called Trulli.

Because the kinds of stones in Puglia are very
flat they fit together easily. In old times
they were found in the fields and used to build
Trulli and rock walls around the fields.

The Trulli were built many years ago and were built without mortar or anything holding the stones together. Does this remind you of any kind of a toy?


One story is that they were built this way in case the king wanted to look at them and then tax them. When the people heard the king was coming they would take the houses apart so he would just see a pile of stones.

The Trulli have an inside and outside wall with
rocks and dirt between the walls. This keeps
them warmer in winter and cooler in summer. No AC, electrify or toilets in a Trullo.
The roof is also built the same way with an
inside and outside.

They have the funny shape with a round main floor and a roof that looks like an upside down ice cream cone. They painted the walls white.

Sometimes they painted designs on the roof.

They also have different tops called pinnacles.

In Alberobello some of the Trulli are used for shops
and restaurants selling things to tourists.

Some Trulli still have people living in them.

Some people now build vacation houses that look
like the old Trulli. I bet they have AC, electricity, and toilets.

How is this village different from your
neighborhood? Would you want to live in a

I think I know about a house near your school
that is different than normal houses in
your community. Do you know where it is and what it is called?


  1. Dear Nonno,

    Thank you for being a guest blogger! We learned that you live in Italy, and that you just traveled to Alberobello is in Puglia, Italy.

    The houses in our neighborhood are very different from the houses in Alberobello. For one thing, the houses are all the same color over there and our houses are all different colors. Another difference is that our roofs are not cone shaped. Instead, they are more like a triangular prism.

    We have some questions for you:

    1. How often do you travel?

    2. Do you like living in Italy? What are the pros and cons?

    3. Are you bilingual? Do you speak Italian as well as English?

    Jaden, Nicolas, and Kristen

  2. Dear Nonno,

    We think your pictures from Italy were amazing! The houses were interesting to learn about. Last school year, we read a book called Strega Nona that takes place in Italy.

    Mrs. Yollis taught us that Italy is shaped like a boot. In second grade, our teacher taught us that ciao means hello in Italian. Is that correct?

    Have you read the story Strega Nona?

    What is your favorite part of Italy?

    Were you born in Italy?

    We look forward to having you be a huge part of our blog.

    Ben is a great student and we love to have him in our class. You should be very proud of him.

    Your friends,

    Hannah, Iman, Grace, and Adia ♣ ♥ ♣

  3. Dear Nonno,

    The pictures were exquisite! We think the houses are interesting.

    Here are some differences about the houses:
    We don't have circular roofs.
    Not many of the roofs have chimneys in Alberobello. All of the houses are the same.

    We think the houses look like ice cream cone with vanilla.

    We wish that the houses were
    actually made of ice cream. Our friend Tucker is Italian. Tucker knows that Italian people made up pasta.

    Here are some questions for you:
    Do you wish the houses were made of ice cream too? How big is your community? What is the population of your community?


    Ryan, Tucker, Alexa, and Lindsay
    ♥ ♠

    P.S. What kind of community do you live in? Rural, suburban or urban?

  4. Cara Nonno,
    Thankyou for this wonderful post I just loved it with all the fine details you gave.
    My mum is from Latina and will make it a point of showing her your wonderful post.
    I must say Italy really is amazing as everywhere you go it is full of history.
    The way they build those wonderful homes did remained me of leggo.
    Super post and wonderful pictures too Nonno.
    Yours sincerely all the way from down under AA.

  5. @ Nonno,

    Benvenuto to the world of blogging!

    Grazie molto for being a fabulous guest blogger! Many students stayed in a lunch today so they could send a comment to Nonno! THAT should make you feel pretty good!

    I have never traveled to Italy, although I would love to some day. This village is quite special. About how many Trullis are there Alberobello?

    I'm curious, how many years have you lived in Italy?

    Thanks again for a superior post!


    Your friend,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

    P.S. Can you tell I Googled "Italian phrases" on the Internet?

  6. Ciao Nonno and Mrs. Yollis's class!

    I love this guest post and believe it is an outstanding idea for students to connect with our global community. Have any of you traveled to Italy? Mrs. Yollis, you would LOVE Italy and its culture:)
    Nonno's photographs are remarkable and inspiring. I would love to visit and walk through one of the houses. I posted a link back to Nonno's Guest Post hoping it will inspire my students to connect with their global families.
    Grazie mille!
    Ms DiGangi from

  7. @ Jaden, Nicolas and Kristen

    I travel to the United States 3 or 4 times per year and in Italy to new places as often as possible. Sometimes Francesca comes with me.

    I like living in Italy a lot. I like the history and traveling through Italy learning about all the people that have lived here for more than 3000 years and about all the different places they came from to settle in Italy over all that time. There are not a lot of cons but it was a bit difficult to get used to driving here and parking here. The cities are the worst as people park on the sidewalks. We eat dinner later than most Americans and dinner can take a few hours if you have people for dinner guests.

    Although I live in Italy I am American. I also have a condo in Florida. I do not speak Italian fluently but can understand a bit, order food and get gas for the car. Francesca is Italian, and speaks Italian, French, English, a bit of Russian too maybe so I lazily rely on her to translate for me. If I am by myself I have to point a lot at when I need.

    @ Hannah, Iman, Grace and Adia,

    I was born in New York City and raised in Oregon and Washington. Ciao can mean hello and can also mean goodbye. Italians may be a bit more formal with their greetings until they get to know you. My favorite part of Italy is all of it.

    I did not read Strega Nona but will ask Francesca if she has. Francesca is Italian and you can see her in the Trulli post wearing the pink sweater.

    When I was in your community last spring, Francesca and I went to Ben's second grade class so if you were in his class last year you might have met us.

    I am proud of Ben for being a good student and look forward to blogging with him.

    Thank all of you for including me in your school activities.

    @ Ryan, Tucker, Alexa and Lindsay,

    Thank you for your comments. Tucker do you know about Marco Polo? I am afraid if the houses were made from ice cream my doctor would not be happy with all the sugar, cream and how much weight I gain. Plus my favorite is not vanilla, I like Peach or Pistachio.

    In our village, a small ski town in the mountains, not far from France and Switzerland, there are about 2,500 people that live here all the time, of course there are more during holidays and ski season.

    @ Mrs. Yollis and all the students,

    There are Trulli outside Alberobello as well as in the village itself. Maybe 1200 in the village but more in the countryside near other villages like Cisternino, Martina Franca, Locorotundo etc.

    I will be blogging more about southern Italy and Puglia as well as about where we live and other Italian travels.

    Best regards,

  8. Dear Nonno,

    Thank for sending us the pictures of
    Alberobello. I like that picture of those cone shaped housed Trulli. I have a question what time of day do you send comments to us?

    Your grandson,
    Ben :)

  9. Dear Nonno,

    Hi, my name is Alexa.
    I am a student in Mrs. Yollis' class.

    I love the pictures you sent our class. Of all the pictures you've shared with us, I like the picture you sent us with the houses. I like the houses because the roofs look like ice cream cons and it looks funny!

    (Mrs. Yollis' Student)

  10. @ Nonno,
    I am a third grade student in Mrs Yollis' class together with Ben. Thank you for posting such interesting pictures about your city. Do you live in a Trullo? What kind of jobs do the people in the community have?


  11. Dear Nonno,

    I am Amitai.Ben is a great student and a friend of mine.

    I visited Italy with my parents when I was 18 months old. We went to Milan and Venice,Italy.I like the pictures of the Trulli.

    I have some questions:

    Where is the Unesco village?

    Did you go toVenice,Italy?

    If you did, What did you do there?

    Do you live in a Trulli?
    Amitai ♣♣♠

  12. Dear Nonno,

    I liked the pictures that you sent. I have some questions.

    1.Where do you mostly travel?

    2.Do you like living in Italy?


  13. @ben

    I am glad you liked the pictures. Did you see Cecca in a few of them. I will try to post and comment in the afternoons. Remember there is 9 hours time difference between us. I will be doing some more blogging soon.

  14. @Alexa
    Glad you liked the pictures. I have relatives in Phoenix that just had a baby girl and they named her Alexa too.

  15. @Miriam
    I do not live in a Trullo because I do not live in Alberobello, I live far away in the northern part of Italy. I will be doing some blogs about where I live later in the year. Right now I am telling you all about a trip Francesca and I took to southern Italy.
    thank you for writing.

  16. @Miriam
    Miriam I am sorry I did not answer all your questions. In southern Italy, near Alberobello a lot of the people work in tourism, others work in farming growing olives for olive oil and grapes for wine.

  17. @Amitai
    Hi do you remember any of your trip to Italy. I am glad Ben is your friend since he has been to Italy also. He has been here three times. Ask him to tell you about Bubbi and her friends and what they did here. I have been to Venice and just went as a tourist to sightsee. I do not live in a Trullo since I do not live in Alberobello. There are a number of villages that UNESCO has said are special, Alberobello is one. I will blog about some others and where we live.
    Mille Grazie for your comments.

  18. @Kristen
    I travel in Italy and Europe. We have friends in France, Great Britain, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and more places. I also come to the USA a few times a year. I am planning a trip to Florida and California for November.
    I do like living here. Italy is piacevole!

  19. @Ms DiGangi
    I thought this was a great idea. Mrs. Yollis was brilliant for coming up with the guest blog idea. I am still on the upside of the blog learning curve but am getting there.

  20. @AA
    Francesca, who was in the pictures of the Alberobello post is from Genova. We have a friend that is from and lives in Sicily. Her mother lives in Perth.
    Piccolo Mondo!

  21. Dear Nonno,

    I am so happy that you are a new guest blogger to my class.My grandparents are also from Europe,
    from a small village in northern Spain called,Carbajales De Alba.

    Have you ever been in Spain?


  22. Dear Nonno,

    Thank you for responding.I will ask Ben about bubbi and her friends Tomorrow.

    A Trullo and my house are diffident because we have A.C. and toilets and they do not.
    I do not want to live in a Trullo because it does not have A.C. or toilets.

    I have some questions:

    1.Do you want to live in a Trullo? and why?

    hope to blog soon,

    Amitai♣ ♥ ♣

  23. Hi Nonno,
    Thank you for commenting to me and my friends. Will you show photos of the gelato store in your town? My favorite flavor is chocolate chip mint. I think you should show pictures of where you live and the mountains too. And don't forget the Giant's tooth.
    From your grandson,

  24. @ben
    I will get some fotos of Courmayeur and the Aosta Valley for your classmates and then maybe you can tell them about your visits here. When Cecca and I traveled to Puglia two weeks ago we visited many nice places we want to blog about also. There is one especially interesting place and how the people live and also a village we visited that has a statue I think you heard about. I am just trying to figure out what your friends would like to hear about first so maybe you can find out. Should I blog about Courmayeur first and then other places we visited? Let me know.

  25. @amitai
    I do not think I would like to live in a old Trullo all the time because they are a bit small. I think it would be fun to stay in one for one or two nights as a special experience. Although the old ones did not have electricty and toilets many have been remodeled and have those things. They are even building new ones for vacation homes that have elelctricity, AC, toilets, cable TV, internet and swimming pools. I could live in one of those. How about you?
    A presto

  26. I really liked all thoes houses they are cool.Oh and visit to see us.

  27. I really like your blog.come and visit our blog at

  28. Hi my name is madison and i am from Miss Rivers class i was wondering if you would be able to come to oar blog it is

  29. @Nonno,

    Thank you for responding to Ryan, Lindsay, Alexa and me. Are you Ben's mom's father or his dad's father?

    My mom's family is from Italy too. They are from Palermo, Sicily. Didn't you mention that you visited there? My mom makes great Italian food like pasta, meatballs, pizza, lasagna, and manicotti. Do you eat those foods?

    I do know who Marco Polo is. He was a wealthy man from Venice. He traveled all over China. When he went back to Italy, he was captured and went to jail. His cellmate in prison embellished stories about him and wrote a book that told everyone about Marco Polo's adventure.


  30. @Tucker
    Hey there Tucker. Today is Friday your last day of school for the week. I am Ben's moms Dad.
    Yes I visited Palermo and Sicily. I bet your mom is a good cook, I like all the things she makes.In Palermo we stayed in a neat old hotel des Palmes. I wanted to stay there because the mafia used to meet there. We had a nice guide from Palermo who was born in Los Angesles but finished school in Palermo because her father wanted to return there when he retired. I really liked Erice, Agrigento, Siracusa and Taormina. We also went to Stromboli.
    Does your family ever visit Sicily? So did Marco Polo discover pasta? It may have been the Sicilians.
    a presto

  31. @Madison,Sy and Mason

    Thanks, I visited your blog site. Very nice and thank you for the invitation.

  32. Hi, I'm from Mr. Millers class... I liked your pictures about the little houses... The cat is also pretty cool... I was looking for student blogs, but i heard that you teach 3rd graders... I hope you reply to our blog...

  33. Dear Nonno,

    I like the houses that are in Alberobello. I also have a question for you. What is your population?

    Aaron, Iman


  34. Dear Nonno

    I have another question. How long was the wall somewhere in Italy?

    :] :D :-)

  35. @Aaron

    There are many places in Italy with walls. Most of the cities had at least one wall and some had more as the cities grew.
    One small village we visited is all within a wall.
    Best regards.

  36. @Aaron

    Hello The whole country of Italy has a population of 60 million. Alberoello has a population of about 12 thousand the the village where I live, Courmayeur, has about 3 thousand people.
    Maybe I should blog about the village where we live. What do you think, would your class like a blog about Courmayeur?

  37. @ Nicolas

    I have visited Spain, Madrid, Valencia, Malaga and the south. I have a friend from high school that lives on the Costa del Sol in Malaga.

  38. Nonno,

    I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I enjoyed reading your post very much. Your visual presentations were amazing. I was interested in the symbols on top of the trulli, so I did some research. I found that there are many different symbols. It seems that most of the symbols relate to religion(or the gods) in some way. Here is a link to a list of pinnacles and symbols.

    I recently visited Australia and there were only a few differences from their houses and ours in the U.S. I would love to visit a place like Puglia to observe the many differences of the trulli. Are there many villages of trulli in Italy?

    I enjoyed your post and keep blogging!

  39. Dear Nonna, Mrs Yollis and Year 3,

    Wow - what an interesting post! I really enjoyed reading and learning all about Trulli. I love the picture which shows what the inside of a Trullo would look like. It actually reminds me of a mushroom house (or what I imagine a mushroom house would look like, because I have never actually seen one!). I live in Sydney, Australia and my house is small but lovely. We have 3 bedrooms, a bathroom and a living area. I noticed that the trulli are very close together and don't seem to have a backyard like I have. There is a big space between my house and my neighbours, unlike the trulli. I wonder where the children play? Do they have backyards to play in?
    From Ms Dowling and KD

  40. Dear Jen, Ms Dowling and KD

    I'm glad you liked the trulli. In Alberobello there are two locations for ttrulli, one on one side of a small valley or canyon and the other just across, maybe 75 meteres separate the two. The one side is all tourist shops now selling t shirts and the like. The ones on the other side donot seem to have many kids living in them, more likely young families without cildren. There are no backyards now and I do not imaging years ago when the trulli were first built that the children who lived in them had backyards like you are used to.

    Thanks for posting and A Presto.


* * *
Getting feedback is important to our writers. Let us know what you liked or what you learned.

Steps to Comment:

1. Write your comment in the box below. Be sure that you have proofread it for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Students should have a parent check it!

2. Choose an identity. (If you have a gmail account, use it. If not, choose name/url. You can leave the url blank if you do not have a blog.)

3. Click "Publish your Comment". You may preview your comment before publishing if you'd like.

Important: All comments MUST be approved by me.
:-) Mrs. Yollis