Dry Stone Walls
A region as beautiful as Puglia must be told in all its main aspects and through the stories of the people and places that characterize it.
In this article of our blog, however, we will deal with an artistic asset of global importance that is not only found in a place of this amazing region but, rather, along the whole perimeter: the dry stone wall.
It is important to write a piece about this example of art and dexterity in the week in which it is named “World’s Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO.
Above all because it represents one of the symbols of Puglia and Mediterranean Europe in general.
From the Gargano to the Salento, passing through the Tavoliere, every land of the heel of Italy preserves and enhances the beauty of these fences made through the mastery of the artisans who shape its beauty.
The dry stone wall was introduced in antiquity to delimit the agricultural properties and to increase the productivity and natural growth of the plants that rose within the perimeters it delimited.
In fact, thanks to the absence of adhesives, this “artefact” is able to produce an internal microclimate that increases the humidity and favors the development of the land.
The material used mainly derives from the rocky terrain of many areas of the region; to make them more fertile, all the stones in the subsoil were removed and then reused for the construction of these natural fences.
In a rocky area such as Salento, for example, the stones brought to light were so many as to allow the construction of the “Pajare”, small buildings made with the same technique that did not include the use of lime or mortar and which served as a fresh shelter during the hot summers of southern Italy and, also, a deposit for drying figs, tomatoes etc.
The masters who still build these “masterpieces” have handed down the art for generations, through techniques that have remained unchanged over time.
A string of rope allows to follow a very precise line, the larger stones are interlocked between them using only a hammer, while the smaller stones act as an adhesive to hold the whole structure firmly.
The inclusion of dry stone walls in the special UNESCO list is a great recognition of the culture and rural history of the entire Mediterranean.
A heritage to keep alive and to be preserved for future generations.
Puglia is one of the territories in which this art continues to be valued and handed down, from north to south, because it is an integral part of a beautiful region that is trying to develop maintaining a simple and peasant soul.
To see art closely, just come to Puglia: an experience to live at least once in a life.