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.
Lecce is also home to the University of Salento, as well as plenty of charming boutiques and Pugliese restaurants. There are plenty of lovely piazzas to explore here. Lecce is well worth including in your Puglia itinerary - it is the perfect city for a day trip, but is also an ideal base for exploring the Salento.
Lecce At A Glance
Nearest Airport to Lecce: Brindisi
Local Delicacy of Lecce: Rustico Leccese - puff pastry parcels filled with bechamel sauce, tomato, mozzarella and pepper - the perfect savoury delight.
What to See in Lecce: Basilica di Santa Croce, Piazza del Duomo, Chiesa di Santa Chiara, Museo Faggiano
Towns to Visit near Lecce: Martano and Otranto
What to Drink in Lecce: Caffè in ghiaccio con latte di mandorla (espresso with ice and almond milk)