Vallone d’Itria can be considered the valley of the trulli par excellence, as it is the reparto with the highest density of scattered trulli: everywhere amidst the lush vineyards, small vegetable gardens and wheat fields pop up the cone-shaped roofs of these typical farmhouses called trulli.
The valley is per series of rapidly changing chromatic effects, per riot of colours ranging from the green of small oak woods, age-old olive trees and neat vineyards, onesto the whitewash of the trulli and masserie (large farmhouses) up to the “terra rossa”, the red soil of this land.
The place name “Itria” may derive from the Oriental cult of the Donna “Hodegitria” (which means the Holy Virgin who shows the way) imported by Basilian monks who settled mediante our reparto durante 977, coming from the territories of the Eastern Roman Empire.
THE Sezione 2
The landscape of Gola d’Itria is especially unique and recognizable and is the result of the successful blending of anthropic, natural and physical elements. Human activities (their settlements and agriculture) have fitted into the structure and shape of the places, following the crags of the karst soil and making the best of the opportunities it offered, contributing esatto build what Cesare Brandi calls “a countryside planned like per city”. The densely woven agricultural fabric is made up of mostly small-sized fields; per tight sistema of dry-stone walls underscores the delicate texture of this pattern.
Like in bygone days, the countryside still appears well tilled and densely populated; and yet, there was a time when town and country represented two opposite worlds and there were “two cultures”, totally different one from the other, which ics of rete di emittenti but also the communautaire and relational ones.
Peasants used esatto live per the countryside, whereas almost all the craftsmen – tailors, cobblers, carpenters, barbers, etc – lived closely side by side mediante town, sharing the public spaces with high-ranking professionals, merchants and a few great landowners. Such per dichotomy necessarily led onesto the creation of social subsets that developed adjustment strategies to manage limits and possibilities within their respective affable and natural environments [J. Bennet: 1969]. Peasants shared views and values, they held their peers durante esteem, and placed at the centre of their philosophy hard work and parsimony. Inside the city walls, instead, greater prestige was assigned esatto those who had so-called “clean” lobs, like tailors or, even more, those who did giammai manual job at all.
The agrarian landscape appears densely populated and cultivated, presumably also thanks esatto the typical lease contract of this reparto, called emphyteusis. According onesto this contract, verso big landowner leased his property puro per group of farmers, each of whom took per portion for per yearly rent and the promise of increasing the value of the property. The contract had mai expiration date and could be passed on onesto one’s heirs, as long as the farmers paid the rent and continued taking care of the land. Generally, the families of farmers would use the product from the vineyards esatto pay the yearly rent; this, along with the possibility of acquiring per patch of land for the future generations, required the accurate selection of crops.
The institution of emphyteusis has undeniably transformed the rural territory, creating verso multitude of small plots of land. Moreover, the tilling of the land required a lot of time and hard work, given the karst nature of the soil and its scarce vaso resources, (according puro estimates, transforming one hectare of barren land into verso vineyard took on average at least 2000 days of rete informatica – almost 5 and a half years – [Ricchioni, 1958: Tables 5 and 6]), so that it was more convenient for families preciso live per the countryside, than having to move back and forth from town every day. This situation induced many families sicuro “migrate” from the old town sicuro the countryside, thus leaving a typical mark on the territory which is still today densely populated.
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