You may have heard more than once that Lecce is dubbed “The Florence of the South”. Actually, Lecce has something unique, amongst which, is its lively Baroque style, known as Barocco Leccese, the charm of the town, the very mild weather, the warmth of local people, the tasteful cuisine and vibrant nightlife, it is that, that makes it stand out.
Lecce, a charming town, nestled just in the heel of Italy’s boot, in the southernmost part of Puglia, known as “Salento”, is home of impressive and magnificent architecture style which has its pride in the local, sand-coloured stone called pietra leccese.
On strolling the streets of the old town, which becomes more and more beautiful as the day goes on, you can admire Lecce’s most amazing Baroque masterpieces, browse through the countless shops and workshops displaying traditional handicrafts, including the art of papier mâché and stop for a rustico leccese a delicious appetizer filled with mozzarella, béchamel, tomatoes, pepper and nutmeg, or a puccia, a kind of flatbread stuffed with different fresh ingredients…
And if you have a sweeth tooth, be sure to stop for a coffee and a delicious pasticciotto Leccese, a local pastry filled with yummy lemon cream! Lecce is absolutely the icing on the cake on your tour of Puglia!
In Lecce, do not miss:
• the Basilica of Santa Croce, the emblem of the town; next to it is the Palazzo Celestini, a former monastery, which is now the seat of the Province of Lecce;
• Piazza Sant’Oronzo, dominated above all by the Statue of S. Oronzo, the town’s patron saint, and by a well-preserved Roman Amphitheatre, half of which is still buried under the valuable Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie;
• Piazza Duomo, one of the most beautiful squares in Europe with its astonishing buildings;
• Porta Napoli, a Triumphal Arch built in honour of Charles V. Once crossed the gateway you will found enchanting palaces, churches, as well as the beautiful Paisiello Theatre;
• Porta Rudiae, again once crossed the doorway you will find amazing churches and a maze of winding streets among houses and courtyards