Alberobello – the storybook like town that you have to see it to believe it! When you tell your coworkers, friends, or family members about going to Alberobello, Italy, they probably say “huh”? Really, not many people know about this UNESCO World Heritage Site. When I first saw pictures of it, I immediately research where is it and how can I get there. I know it’s really a detour from our trip but we managed to squeeze out two nights to just visit this cute little town. It took us 2 flights, 1 bus, and 2 trains to get there and the way to get there was a challenge! It was a long adventure…..
After we returned our rental car (details you can read from previous post), we arrived Marseille airport at around 9 am. Our flight from Marseille to Rome was at noon but I was planning to be there early so I can ask the check-in person if he/she could help us check our bags to the final destination – Bari, Italy. I booked the flights separately because it was significant cheaper…then just months before the departure, the flight from Rome to Bari on Vueling was cancelled! I had to scramble and rebook with Alitalia, more expensive of course since no other choice but the good thing was it was the same airline as our first segment. However, when we got to the airport, we walked through many check-in counters and couldn’t find Alitalia! I walked up to one of the counters and asked the lady if she know, she pointed us to a counter in front….we walked there…nope it wasn’t Alitalia! I asked the lady at that counter and she doesn’t speak any English!!! Urg what?? Working at an airport and does not speak any English? Blah!!!! Then, we walked to the guy who stand in front of the departure information display with a pile of papers and found out that the check-in counters open 2 hours before the flight, it was still an hour to go. We constantly walked back and forth to check the display departure board to see if the counter number has been listed or not. We waited and waited and finally the counter number was available and we immediately walked up to the lady. She spoke okay English and she made a few phone calls and finally linked our two reservations together to check our bag to the final destination!!! Phew!
Flight delay seemed to be a norm in Europe….our 50 minutes connection time in Rome shorten to 30 minutes that we had to run but of course another flight delay so we didn’t have to run after all! Both flights served a light snack so that kept me from starving, love “international” European flights!! We landed Bari at around 4:30 pm instead of 3:35 pm, we collected our bags and walked out to the airport bus station. Airport to Bari Centrale was 5 euros per person one way but the frequency of the bus was like one per half an hour, not too convenient. And we missed the previous bus so had to wait half an hour for the next bus to depart…..it took around half an hour to get to the train station. The ride to Bari center gave us a little preview of Bari – a city by the sea but we didn’t see any old Roman style architecture though. We arrived at the train station at around 5:45 pm..I looked at the schedule that I printed at home, the next train is at 6:07 pm (train or bus schedule from Bari Centrale to Alberobello can be found at https://www.fseonline.it/index.aspx). We rushed into the train station but couldn’t find the ticket counters! As we were rolling our luggage trying to find the ticket counter, I saw a guy who dressed in like a train conductor uniform, I asked him and he walked us to the Trenitalia ticket office. Italians are so nice! However, it turned out that the company that operate trains around that region is different than Trenitalia so they don’t sell the tickets there ahhhhh. We were told to walk down to the train platforms and all the way to the end after platform 11? and up the stairs for the ticket office. We got there and pointed to the guy behind the glass Alberobello, he said 4.90 euros each. I paid him and ask him when is the next train and where is the platform? He said right outside this platform, not this train but the next one. The platform was packed with locals as it was rush hour home. I looked at the clock on the platform display…it was already 6:05 and I started to question myself if this is the train? I had hubby to watch our luggage and I ran up to the front of the train and I handed my ticket to the train conductor, he said the next one. As I was walking back to hubby, one guy inside the train said we could take this one and stop at some station to wait for the connecting train…I said no thanks, we’ll just wait for the next one. Then the train left…….one thing I hated about those local/regional trains are that they don’t display the train number at all! The only info is on the display screen on the platform but it only has the train time and final destination…once again, no train number WHAT THE!!! I remembered the intercity trains weren’t like that when we did Rome to Florence to Venice, they clearly displayed the train number on each coach!
We waited a few more minutes and a train came….the info on the screen disappeared….OMG! We later found out that the info display until the train arrives then it flashes and then it disappears…how helpful is that especially for those who who just make it to the platform last minute? We immediately got into the train but since it was a local train, it didn’t have any luggage storage compartment! SInce it was rush hour, it’ll be rude to occupy a seat with out luggage so we decided to stand the whole way! The train started to move and each stop it made, I compared to my printed schedule….first stop Bari Sud Est great it matched….second stop Mungivacca yep great…third stop a station that was not listed in the schedule uh-oh! Next stop, looked different too, OMG, I started to panic….are we in the right train? And it was a long ride before the next stop, I kept myself calm by telling myself that if we took the wrong train, we’ll stop at the next large station and can go back to Bari and restart over again! Then, some kind of announcement in pure Italian only and then the locals were like “grrrrr” expression. We were really puzzled on what was going on! The train stopped at Putignano which was on the list in my schedule; that made me felt a little better at least! Once the door opened, everyone were getting off the train and we had no clue…we suppose to have 3 more stations to go!!! Well based on riding trains at home, usually when everyone got off after an announcement indicated that we need to switch train either due to mechanical problem or construction! We followed the crowds and they headed for the train on the adjacent platform, I asked one of the locals and pointed our train ticket Alberobello. He doesn’t speak English but his body language told us to get on the same train! Then, the train started to move but heading the opposite direction…I panic again!!! Few minutes into the ride, we saw trullis so we must headed to the right direction! The next stop was Noci, yes that is the station before Alberobello! What a relief!!! We finally arrived Alberobello train station after a few heart attacks and almost 10 hours of traveling!!!
Walking to our hotel, Tipico Resort, wasn’t too bad with a printed Google map and some street names were clearly printed but not all….we did got confused at one of the corner turn. I walked up to a man who work in a mini market and asked for direction, he pointed us to the street right behind the market. We walked down and saw the trulli!!! WOW, all those confusions, panics, and long travel time were finally worth it! We checked in and the guy welcomed us, gave us some useful information on where to have our breakfast (included) and restaurant suggestions, a map of the town that split into two trulli sections – one residential around 400 trulli and one the tourist commercial area with over 1000 trulli! He walked us to our trulli……our own trulli!!! It is located in the quiet residential area just a street away from the office. Our trulli was very spacious, it has more space than it looked from the outside!
A little kitchen, it has all the utensils, a dining table, and a small fridge:
On the right was our bedroom….
our bed isn’t that romantic?
On the left of the dining area is the bathroom, tiny but clean…
We were starving and headed out for dinner! Our trulli!
The sun start setting, it was colorful!
All those trulli and birds flying around wow!
We went to one of the restaurants that the front desk guy recommended – Restaurant Il Pinnacolo. I asked if we could sit outside but it was full 🙁 SO we sat inside the trulli not bad!
The menu…….it was a lot cheaper than in France!
We ordered the cocktail shrimps, I forgot the price but it was less than 10 euros…..big shrimps and I like the cocktail sauce, it was different than the one we had at home!
The scampi spaghetti that was 8 euros and we were shocked with the huge portion! It was like a whole entree by itself…it tasted so good; we were really impressed!!!
While waiting for the main entree, I walked out to snap some photos, can’t miss any moment in Alberbello after the whole hassle getting there! The trulli are so cute and unique!
We waited and waited but still no sign of food and at the point where we started to get hungry again GRRR, it was so busy that it took a while for a waiter or waitress to stop by! The family next to our table who came after us were already done; they ordered pizza! A waitress finally came to clean up their table, I stopped her and told her that we have been waiting for our main course for nearly 45 minutes!!! Finally, they came but were disappointed after the flavorful spaghetti:
My peppercorn sauce steak…it was just okay!
The grilled prawns…only 4 but cost 14 euros! It was grilled perfectly though!
The dinner was 49 euros, not too bad but the wait was terrible! We wished we ordered two plates of shrimp spaghetti instead of those two not-filling main entrees!
After dinner, we strolled around the town a bit, it was quite late at night around 10 pm, many souvenir shops already closed but many locals were still out chit-chatting! We loved the night atmosphere in Alberobello, very comfortable and a sense of a friendly community!
The streets were lit up with LED projectors with traditional Alberobello symbols! They looked really cool!
We checked out the shops that were still open…..those trulli houses were so cute and very inexpensive – few euros each only! It reminded me the ceramic miniature houses we got from Santorini. I told my husband…we’ll need to buy a “whole village” tomorrow!
We found this shop, the owner said he handmade every single piece in his shop, incredible! Guess what those cute looking trees, plants, animals are?
They are whistles!!!
The ceramic hand-painted frame, 45 euros each and each one is unique! Hubby wants one but it was so hard to decide which one!
We asked the owner if he can sell cheaper….he said lowest 40 euros…deal! Alright which one to pick hubby? Finally after comparisons, we picked a night scene one!
He has a chart of the trulli symbols:
More artworks in his shop:
The outside of his shop, it is located in one of the main streets, you can’t miss it!
After that, we walked to the square and then saw those lights!!! Colorful, beautiful, felt like Christmas!
Then a church:
It was getting real late and we walked back to our trulli to rest. It was a long day for us! Alberobello – it gave us an excellent impression – beautiful unique trulli, great food at decent price, plenty of cute souvenir shops at reasonable priced. Good place, good eat, and good shop, met all of husband’s three requirements! Can’t wait to explore Alberbello more!