The other trullo: Salento’s pajara

pagghiara pajara trullo trulli pugliaAbove: The pajara of Salento may not be as famous as the trullo of Bari province. But it’s just as cool to check out when visiting Puglia. Note the stairs on the side.

It’s practically mid-April and many of us (including me) are in the midst of planning summer travel to Puglia.

A lot of folks will make the trek to the famous village of Alberobello (see below), where the picturesque congregation of trulli makes the town one of the most visited and photographed spots in the region.

What’s a trullo, you ask?

It’s a conical stone dwelling composed without the use of mortar. The word comes from the ancient Greek trûllos meaning cupola or dome.

To this day, the Pugliese people are famous for their skills and traditions in the construction of mortar-less walls and dwellings.

And it is believed that the trullo was an ideal abode for villagers in the pre-industrial era: When, for whatever reason, they wanted to abandon their village, they could simply demolish their homes and the use the same materials to reconstruct them elsewhere.

alberobello trullo trulliAbove: The famous trulli of Alberobello are a protected UNESCO heritage site. But you’ll find trulli and pajare throughout the region and often in isolated spots.

In the Salento region of Puglia, in the south of the peninsula, the trullo is known as pajara (see above; it can also be called pajaru, pagghiara, furnu, furnieddhru, lamia among other names).

The pajara differs from the trullo of Bari province inasmuch as it is more like a pyramid in its shape and often terraced. In some cases, there are stairs on one side that allow the dwellers to climb up to the top where fruits may be lied out to dry on the flat surface.

The pajare (pl. of pajara) aren’t decorated or adorned with household amenities (like glass windows) as their cousins to the north are.

But you’ll often find them in olive groves, for example: To this day, grove workers and pickers will use them as a dwelling when they don’t want to return home after a day’s work.

And many laypeople will also use them to camp out on vacation. Cool, right?

If you head to Puglia this summer, be sure to check them out!

Top photo by Yellow.Cat. Bottom photo by Pululante.

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