Trullo Restoration Workshop Details

Aptil 15th - 29th ~ 2018

We're excited to have you join us for the Trullo Restoration Workshop in Ceglie Messapica, Puglia, Italy. A trullo is build of stones collects and quarried on site, and constructed without mortar. This ancient form and building typology is found across the Mediterranean and places in Europe and the Middle East where the stone was suitable to this type of construction. The trulli are particularly interesting because they are still inhabited and being restored for modern day use.

This 15-day course in Ceglie, Messapica, Puglia, Italy will offer students experience in stone restoration and immersion in the vernacular architecture of the Valle d'ltria area. The workshop will consist of two parts, a workshop construction project, as well as excursions to nearby towns and UNESCO sites in order that students may gather a broadened understanding of the area. 

Contact

Amanda Roelle is the overall coordinator for this workshop and will lead the excursions and adventures around the area. The workshop construction project will be lead by Thea Alvin, and a local master trullo builder (Trullaro) named Mario Santoro.

Coordinator    Amanda Roelle  or call +39 366 595 3582

Instructors   Thea Alvin   &     Michael Clookey

Date and Registration Details

Detailed information pending: please contact Thea Alvin or Amanda Roelle directly via their email links above for specific details. 

Students are responsible for their own travel to and from the course site (see Arrival Details below), including air and train fare. If enrollment is cancelled before the date of the last installment, we will refund your course dues. 

We highly encourage participating in the full workshop if you are able. There is great satisfaction that comes with working on a project from beginning to end, as well as being able to participate in all excursion days. However we understand that the full workshop option may not be available to everyone so we have designed three options.

Below is the schedule that we will try to follow as closely as possible, however, we are at the mercy of the weather and work days may need to be adjusted accordingly.

The workshop is limited to 8 participants at any one time, and there is a minimum number of students needed to run the course. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE ANY TRAVEL PLANS WITHOUT CONFIRMING THAT THE WORKSHOP IS HAPPENING.

Our workshop project and experience will be very similar to the 2015 Trullo Restoration Workshop. Preview photos from our 2014 Workshop too! 

Making Travel Plans

Both workshop site and accommodations are located in the countryside of Ceglie Messapica, a town loaded in the Valle d'ltria area of the region of Puglia, The nearest airport to Ceglie is Brindisi. The nearest train station is Ostuni. Again, arrival day is April 14th. Once travel plans have been made, please send details to Amanda via email. If you are having trouble making arrangements feel free to contact Amanda with any questions. 

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Workshop Project

The workshop project will be to restore the roof of the trullo pictured at the far left of the adjacent image. At some point in the past the cone was plastered, probably due to water leakage, thus the stone shingles called chianche are covered. The objective is to restore the roof so that the chianche are once again visible, similar to the other cone visible in the image. 

We will start by removing the plaster, existing chianche and inner layer of rubble. We will then reinstall chianche that can be salvaged, replace the damaged chianche with new, and reinstall the inner layer of rubble. Students will learn the techniques of this unique limestone shingle roof construction, from dressing the chianche to installing them correctly so the roof sheds water.

The goal is to complete the restoration of the roof by the last day of the workshop: October 8th. The demolition work will likely begin prior to the start of the workshop to ensure that we are able to complete the project within the allotted time. 

WHAT TO BRING

Clothing:

  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • work boots and/or hiking boots for construction and light hiking
  • light shoes or sandals for casual use
  • work clothes
  • light summer clothing
  • light sweater or sweatshirt for cool evenings 
  • waterproof apparel incase of rainy days
  • sun protection: hat/cap, sunglasses

Personal Items:

  • notebook/sketchbook/journal & pens/pencils
  • flashlight
  • mosquito repellent
  • toiletries, soap, shampoo, sunscreen, toothpaste
  • prescription medications
  • day pack for daily items and lunch
  • water bottle
  • camera, with storage and batteries or charger 
  • european plug adapter
  • books you've been meaning to read

Passports & Insurance

You will need a passport to enter the country. It is a good idea to travel with a copy of your passport, as it will make getting a replacement much easier in the event that something were to happen to your original. 

Insurance is required of all students. It should be coverage that includes medical expenses, luggage theft, and costs incurred due to unforeseen and unavoidable changes in your travel itinerary. It should also cover you in the case that you have an accident and have to be flown home. Check with your insurance agent to get additional information about the coverage that they may offer; it can differ depending on the agent and typically costs $50-$100. A few companies to check into are WorldNomads, STA Travel, and USI Affinity

Money

Although many places in big cities like Rome are accepting major credit and ATM cards, it is a good idea to have some Euro cash on hand. Most places in Ceglie and the surrounding towns still only accept cash. There are ATM machines in airports and train stations; often the machines give a better exchange rate than banks and Currency Exchange booths. There are several ATM's in Ceglie. Be sure to notify your bank that you will be using your card out of country, as they are likely to block the card during transactions in efforts to protect you from fraud. 

About the Instructors

Amanda Roelle In 2012 Amanda left her life as a restoration architect working on the historic masonry high-rises of Chicago and now lives in a trullo in Ceglie. She developed A Spasso Con Un Architetto, as an architectural educational initiative for exploration and engagement with the vernacular architecture of the Valle d’Itria, and founded Archistrati, an architecture and sustainability consulting firm. Intrigued and inspired by different ways of living on the planet, Amanda has travelled extensively. She has collaborated on sustainable building, community development, and small-scale agriculture projects in the U.S., Europe, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and West Africa. She never ceases to be amazed by our individual and collective creativity, and the endurance of the human spirit. She is thrilled to be sharing the architecture of the trulli and the beauty of Puglia during the course.

Amanda Roelle

In 2012 Amanda left her life as a restoration architect working on the historic masonry high-rises of Chicago and now lives in a trullo in Ceglie. She developed A Spasso Con Un Architetto, as an architectural educational initiative for exploration and engagement with the vernacular architecture of the Valle d’Itria, and founded Archistrati, an architecture and sustainability consulting firm. Intrigued and inspired by different ways of living on the planet, Amanda has travelled extensively. She has collaborated on sustainable building, community development, and small-scale agriculture projects in the U.S., Europe, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and West Africa. She never ceases to be amazed by our individual and collective creativity, and the endurance of the human spirit. She is thrilled to be sharing the architecture of the trulli and the beauty of Puglia during the course.

Mario Santoro Mario is the workshop project Trullaro, or master trullo builder. Mario comes from Ceglie and a family of trullari. Thirty years ago, when he was in his twenties, there wereonly three trullari left in Ceglie - one very old and retired, another, his older uncle (alsoretired), and the third was his father.   The art of building trulli around Ceglie was thatclose to being lost! He now builds and restores trulli and stone walls. Mario has been the workshop trullaro since 2014. 

Mario Santoro

Mario is the workshop project Trullaro, or master trullo builder. Mario comes from Ceglie and a family of trullari. Thirty years ago, when he was in his twenties, there wereonly three trullari left in Ceglie - one very old and retired, another, his older uncle (alsoretired), and the third was his father.  

The art of building trulli around Ceglie was thatclose to being lost! He now builds and restores trulli and stone walls.

Mario has been the workshop trullaro since 2014. 

Michael Clookey Michael spent many of his earliest years reveling in a rural New York setting with pencils and paper in hand. In pursuit of his dreams, he went on to study studio art at Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York, and North Country Community College, Saranac Lake, New York. During the years following, Clookey took an opportunity to study in San Miguel< Mexico. For the last several years he has lived and worked with Thea in Vermont, traveling to instal site-specific installations and sculpture. Throughout the long Northeast winters he devotes his time to gathering and carving stone. 

Michael Clookey

Michael spent many of his earliest years reveling in a rural New York setting with pencils and paper in hand. In pursuit of his dreams, he went on to study studio art at Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York, and North Country Community College, Saranac Lake, New York. During the years following, Clookey took an opportunity to study in San Miguel< Mexico. For the last several years he has lived and worked with Thea in Vermont, traveling to instal site-specific installations and sculpture. Throughout the long Northeast winters he devotes his time to gathering and carving stone. 

Thea Alvin Thea is currently in her 30th season as a stone mason. She has spend many years in construction of all kinds, while also being well versed in interior design, drafting, and vernacular historic reconstruction. Alvin is a self-taught sculptor, having completed apprenticeships to two mater masons for five years and two years further studying hammer technique. She has sought to work masonry in many cultures from the desert Southwest of the US, to the cityscape of Southern China, and from the steep cold of Iceland to the steep lush of the Italian Alps, in order to deepen knowledge of style and technique. At this time she is specializing in site-specific sculptural masonry installations. Alvin has been featured in the NYT and O Magazine, and on local and national TV programs most recently including Super Soul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey. 

Thea Alvin

Thea is currently in her 30th season as a stone mason. She has spend many years in construction of all kinds, while also being well versed in interior design, drafting, and vernacular historic reconstruction. Alvin is a self-taught sculptor, having completed apprenticeships to two mater masons for five years and two years further studying hammer technique. She has sought to work masonry in many cultures from the desert Southwest of the US, to the cityscape of Southern China, and from the steep cold of Iceland to the steep lush of the Italian Alps, in order to deepen knowledge of style and technique. At this time she is specializing in site-specific sculptural masonry installations. Alvin has been featured in the NYT and O Magazine, and on local and national TV programs most recently including Super Soul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey. 

Lodging and Food

Accommodations

You will be staying in multi-occupancy, dorm-style rooms in Casa Cilona, a Bed & Breakfast in the countryside near the town of Ceglie Messapica. Casa Cilona has multiple structures consisting of trull and lamie (the more standard square shaped building), all built of stone. There are separate accommodations for men and women. Bedding and towels are provided. 

There is a shared dining space that will be used as the eating area in one of the two lodging buildings. In the mornings we will walk together to the project site. Explore Casa Cilona through their facebook page.

Food

Tonino Tuma is the owner of Casa Cilona and is an amazing chef! Three meals a day are provided. All meals are made fresh with local produce and are primarily vegetarian- a lot of pasta, vegetables, cheese, and bread. Much of the country’s produce is grown in Puglia, as well as olives for oil, so there is an abundance of deliciousness! Breakfast is typically European, consisting of bread, cheese, fruit and occasionally eggs. Coffee and tea are provided. Please notify Amanda with any special dietary requirements.

Phone and Internet

Cell phone coverage in the Pugliese countryside, even with Italian providers, can be hit or miss. There is good cell phone coverage in some areas, but check with your carrier for rates, plans, data and the like. Public phones exist, but are not necessarily convenient to get to. You can get international phone cards in Italy at stores or Kiosks called Tabaccheria. Ask for "na scheda del telefono per favore" (then you'll have to tear off the perforated corner of the phone card in order to use it). 

There is limited WiFi available at Casa Cilona, some areas will have available signal, while others will not. There is also an Internet Café in Ceglie. 

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Language: Italian

All program activities will be in English or translated. Many Italians speak English, especially in cities and tourist areas, but an elementary phrasebook is likely to come in handy. Below are a few basic survival phrases that will go a long way:

Thank you. Grazie         Excuse me. Mi scusi     You're welcome. Prego    Please. Per favore

I don't understand. Non capisco      I don't speak Italian. Non parlo Italiano     Yes.     No. No 

Do you speak English? Parla Inglese?          How much does that cost? Quanto costa?

Weather

It is typically hot during the day and cool throughout the evening. As noted above in the "What to Bring" section, it will come in handy to have a range of clothing options including a sweatshirt or sweater, swimsuit, sun protection, hat, rain gear, etc. 

Daily Schedule

The typical structure of a day in Puglia differs from North America, Northern Europe and even other parts of Italy. The weather may still be quite warm during the day in April, and sometimes a bit rainy. Everything shuts down between 1pm and 4-5pm as this is lunch and time for rest. Dinner is  typically started around 8pm (at the earliest ) and many restaurants don't open until 8 or 8:30. 

Understanding that most people in the class are coming from North American culture, we will try to accommodate those daily structures into the construction days, but when we are on excursions or in towns our schedule will be dictated by the Pugliese daily rhythm. Depending on the weather, we may start our construction days early in the mornings, followed by a long break after lunch, then resume construction work around 4 or 5pm. 

During the evenings, you will mostly be on your own aside from dinner. Casa Cilona is located in an area beautiful for talking walks and spending time outdoors. Ceglie is a twenty - thirty minute walk.

Excursions

On the days we are not working on the project, we will be exploring the area. The excursion days and locations are noted in the calendar on page 1. All sites are chosen based on the use of stone to create human habitation: dwellings carved from stone, dwellings built of mortared stone, and dwellings built of dry stone.

During the introductory walk in the village of Pascarosa we will observe trulli in various states of disrepair as well as recently restored ones. We will visit rupestrian cave dwellings in a ravine and the nearby town of Grottaglie. We will spend a full day in the UNESCO city of Matera which was recently awarded the title of the 2019 European Capital of Culture in Italy. When available in the evenings we will visit one or two of the nearby medieval towns of Ostuni, Cisternino, and Ceglie, each with their own architectural styles.

Suggested Reading

We've selected just a few pieces that will enhance the experience. 

On Trulli: by far the best reading in English on the construction of the trulli,  architecture and stone of the area is in an out-of-print book called Stone Shelters by Edward Allen. Allen was a Fulbright scholar who came to the Valle d'ltria in the 60's and documented types of construction. This book we highly recommend you to bring with you to the workshop.

An informative, technical article has been published in Stonexus magazine in the Summer of 2001 called Trulli Amazing. 

On Matera: An important Italian memoir, Christ Stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi, describes conditions of the area around Matera when Levi was sent there in exile in the 1935-6.