Locorotondo, the Apulian village with white houses

Locorotondo is a city known throughout Italy for its DOC wine, produced in the heart of the Itria Valley. For many others, however, it is an evocative center due to its history, its architecture, as well as its food and wine.

The name of Locorotondo

The name of the city already says something fundamental about its historic center. The etymology finds its basis in “a roundabout”, Which in turn refers to the round shape of the historic center a Greek plant. The first evidence of a civilization that settled here is in fact due to the Greeks, in an era that is presumably placed between the IC and the seventh century BC

The white houses

You don’t know the South, the lime houses from which we came out in the sun like numbers from the face of a dice“. It is a very famous verse from a poem by Vittorio Bodini that tells the story with an immediate image white houses of the Apulian cities. Like Ostuni, Cisternino, Alberobello and of course Locorotondo.

That of the white houses in Puglia is not a simple suggestion, but responds to different characteristics that have to do with the history and with the territory. There lime in Locorotondo it is used not only for the walls of the houses in the center, but also for the solar paving of these houses, called in the local dialect “cummerse”.

But why, in ancient times, were these houses built in this way? There is a historical reason, a hygienic reason and a climatic reason. There historical reason consists in the fact that the coasts of Puglia – Locorotondo is less than 20 kilometers from the sea as the crow flies – were often the destination of Saracen raids, between the Middle Ages and the Modern Age. The white houses, reflecting the sunlight, could blind invaders from the sea. There hygienic reason it has to do with the fact that lime facades can be easily restored, because lime is easy to find: in the Middle Ages it was believed that this very renewable material on houses could keep the plague away. Finally the climatic reason lies in the fact that these houses are made of materials that allow thermal insulation, and the white lime, as mentioned, rejects the sun’s rays. The result: cool homes in summer and warm in winter.

The legends of Locorotondo

One fact is that Locorotondo owns several cultural heritage valuable, such as churches in different styles, from Baroque to Basilian, suggestive former noble palaces including the one that houses the town hall, and the Trullo Marziola, considered the oldest in the whole of the Itria Valley.

But next to the facts, to what is tangible and that can be admired with the eyes, there are also imaginative ones legends. One of these concerns the “Monacidd”, that is the Monachello, a benevolent and at the same time spiteful spirit, dressed in a red habit and many bells, whose habits are modeled on similar mythologies common throughout the South. There is also a female version, the “Jurie”, which are evil spirits that take your breath away in your sleep, bite or pinch, and inextricably weave the hair of human beings.

The featured photo of Locorotondo is by Livioandronico2013 via Wikipedia

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