The beautiful Salento area of Puglia, with its crystal clear shores and its many fascinating, inland towns makes it an amazing place to explore. Right in its heart, yet only 12km from the coast, lies the Baroque, provincial capital of Lecce. The "Florence of the South", beautiful Baroque façades, elegant palazzi & wonderful churches.
Still relatively undiscovered and unknown, it is truly magnificent. Once a Greek city, and then a Roman town, you can discover fine examples of its ancient past, including the 2nd century amphitheatre. There is the Spanish Castle, right in the centre, and its many ‘palazzi’, churches and squares are brimming with Baroque architecture, such as the remarkable Santa Croce Church. This is one of the finest models of ‘Barocco Leccese’, with its intricate exterior and wonderful, Renaissance interior with large wooden caisson ceilings.
The spectacular and impressive façades of the grand and palatial Piazza del Duomo, lit up at night, are beautiful. Art in Lecce is still very much alive and you may even spot sculptors and artisans working on the local sandstone, in their shops or out on the streets. Then there’s the shops – resist if you can!
You can easily spend time here, to absorb the atmosphere, and to discover all that Lecce has to offer.It is a city well worth exploring, yet, often overlooked, and that is a shame – you don’t know what you’re missing!
Any itinerary in Puglia should include Lecce, by law! Spoil yourselves by combining a few days here, with other places in Puglia. In fact, it’s a must!