I realised my destructive tendencies when I envisaged levelling the conical landscape of Alberobello. But then, the self-deconstruct trigger in each dwelling was as it was intended by its architect, theorised to be a tax-evading overlord of feudal Puglia.

Cunning may their construct be – a supporting matrix of piling stone tiles narrowing and converging on its tipped height – a trullo could be erased as craftily. Just so when money collectors from the royal court plagued these swathes, coffers of rubble didn’t exactly fall under the bracket of taxable properties.

When the only inspectors are admiring tourists and realty investors, the brick-yanking mechanisms are left untouched these days. The longevity of temporary traded peasantry for tourism; at one trullo I was enticed into seeing its interior alcoves – feel free to cast eyes on our agricultural goodies we sell too – while at another, a jewellery merchant, I was handed a fact sheet of meanings of symbols, painted on the otherwise greyscale-bleak cones.

Another shopkeeper poked her head out amidst the hubbub, retreating when the strolls swiftly passed by – a similar fleeting as the edifices were purposed to remain erected.

Behind the lens

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Ever the failing perfectionist, I always take multiple shots of the same scene. Deliberate may the practice be – toddling manual settings, adjusting focus, repositioning and getting dimensions right – quite often the improvement factor pops into frame where I least schemed.

This image was chosen out of three or four near-identical ones; except, in this particular shot, the shopkeeper’s unannounced entrance completes the narrative, as opposed to inanimate subjects absent of human interest.