Francesco – Bricklayer

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THE SURVIVING QUESTIONS

1. IN ONE SENTENCE, HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE WHAT YOU DO?

I make love with my own territory, my own land.

2. WHAT DID YOU LEARN THANKS TO YOUR HANDS?

I’ve learned many things, but in the end of the day I would say that I’ve learn that hard work always pays off.

 3. IF YOU HAD TO CONVINCE A TEENAGER TO FOLLOW YOUR PATH, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

Well, we need those teenagers more than ever. This is a surviving job, most of the people that used to do are gone and we need to pass on this mastery. I can’t tell you how important is to do this, which is unique and so connected to this land of Apulia. This is a well paid job but in order to do it you need to love this land – I could even say you need love most of all!

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THE SURVIVING STORY

The construction technique of trulli is an evolution of that still used in Apulia to build stone walls. The compact Apulian limestone, which can also be heated up to produce quicklime, is roughly cut into shape with a hammer and then cast in several layers of interlocking dry masonry (opus incertum). Two parallel courses of dry masonry constitute the two faces of the wall, and the space between them is filled with smaller stones. Walls are tapered, becoming thinner as they grow, for an optimal discharge of the static forces.

To build a trullo, the mastro trullaro would  first identify the right place: a slightly lifted area with a rocky bottom. Trulli had no foundations: the walls and pavement would rest directly on the bedrock, which in many places spontaneusly surfaces amidst the clay-rich, red soil of the Apulian countryside. Then he typically carved a cistern in the bedrock, which would later be used to collect rainwater. With the stones extracted while carving the cistern, together with other stone material gathered in the immediate surroundings, he would then proceed to rise the walls. The earliest trulli only had one circular room, while more modern examples are true beehive architectures, with several square rooms connected by semicircular arches.

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