“But you may not know that the area of the trulli in Alberobello has been declared a monumental area, neither more nor less than the archaeological Rome. Yet in Alberobello, what I found of memorable, exceptional, and truly monumental is the hard work of peasants and farmers.”
Tommaso Fiore a Piero Gobetti
ORIGINS OF THE FARMS OF APULIA
The history of the farms of Apulia is inextricably linked to the rural history of the region. Each space of these ancient buildings was designed for a purpose related to the type of production of the farm itself (cereals, olives, vines, dairy products etc.).These operational destinations have suffered variations over time, causing significant changes to the original layout of these buildings. During the Swabian Angevin rule, there were the so-called “masters bailiffs” who were assigned the task of drawing up an inventory where they listed all the assets of each royal farm and their status, the amount of animals and their working potential, their sowing products etc. These inventories are now valuable documents: they tell the story of the farms of Apulia as “rural factories” which, according to Luigi Mongiello, testify “the relationship that has existed for centuries between men, agricultural work and production.”
FARMS OF APULIA AS THEY WERE IN THE PAST
There are many different types of farms in Apulia, especially from the architectural point of view. The three ancient provinces of the past – Capitanata, Terra di Bari and Terra d’Otranto – are dotted with buildings of different sizes and production possibilities ranging from “modest residences consisting of two rooms, with improvised pens for cattle ranching” to “structures created by assembling an infinite range of elements: the houses, the yard, the stables, the jazzo, the warehouses where to store food, seeds and tools , the cellar, the oil mill, the cisterns, the oven, the church, the hen house, the garden, the orchard, the barn, granaries, etc. “*. In the royal farms there were always the curtis, mainly intended for rearing of fowl and swine and as partial integration of day care spaces of homes, the domus, the residence of the owners and inhabitants of the farm, and the casalinum, which served as a warehouse, stable etc.
The typical building with chianche (stone slabs) positioned in concentric circles – the trullo – characterizes our farms in a unique and distinctive way. The presence of very similar and more recently erected buildings in Cameroon and Syria shows the spread of a model that has made us famous worldwide.
THE HISTORIC FARMHOUSES IN OSTUNI AND SALENTO
Even in the region of Ostuni we have a trullo sovrano, i.e. with two floors (the “subbrane” is, in the local dialect, the accommodation on the first floor): this magnificent building, unique in this area and which has nothing to envy to its more famous counterpart in Alberobello, belongs to the Satia farm, built in the mid of the 17th century. The Carestia farm, on the contrary, dates back to the 18th century and is named after the aridity of its soil. Surrounded by a long wall, it has a small church and a small collection of antique carriages.
Salento is rich in historic buildings, mainly from the Baroque period, and places of interest to visit. To know where to go, from the Olère farm, discover what’s nearby.
THE RECOVERY OF A TRADITION OF PRODUCTION AND HOSPITALITY IN THE FARMS
The Olère farm was created with the goal of finding the essential vitality of farm origins. In the ‘80s of the previous century, reliefs and pictures in the books of local scholars told a story of decline and stagnation that could be overcome only by returning to Trulli and farms their leading role in a charming cultural, alive and changing landscape. An agricultural landscape, alive with the laborious energy of its “ant people”. The technological innovation of the farm 2.0 aims at recovering the rural experience and makes it possible the com-presence of tourist structures: this is “our” new dimension of life, tied to the land, and aiming at giving a new momentum to the Apulian landscape .