Visiting Lecce tips

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Aina Prat Blasi

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Lecce tourist guide and advice on what to do, what to see, where to eat and where to have fun.

  • What to do in Lecce
  • What to see in Lecce
  • Historic Center of Lecce
  • Piazza Sant'Oronzo Lecce
  • Lecce Cathedral
  • Lecce Castle
  • Basilica of Santa Croce Lecce
  • Celestini Palace Lecce
  • Roman amphitheater Lecce
  • Roman Theater Lecce
  • Palmieri boarding school Lecce
  • Church of San Niccolò and Cataldo Lecce
  • Lecce restaurants
  • What to do in the evening in Lecce
  • Lecce pictures and photos

What to do in Lecce

Lecce is one of most beautiful cities of art in Spain, arises at the center of the Apulia in a privileged position (Tavoliere di Lecce) about 11 km from the Adriatic coast and about 23 km from the Ionian coast.

Also known as the Florence of the South and Lady of the Baroque, Lecce has Messapian origins (ancient Messapian population settled in southern Murgia and Salento) and is a city rich in historical evidence from the Roman, medieval and Renaissance periods.

Lecce it is above all one baroque city which enjoyed the greatest architectural splendor during the Kingdom of Naples when i palaces, the monuments and churches they were built purely in Lecce stone and typical baroque style of the '600.

We point out that Lecce is, after Naples, the most visited peninsular city in Southern Spain ever and is often a candidate for European Capital of Culture (it was in 2015 and to date it has other applications).

Lecce discos and night clubs

What to see in Lecce

Lecce is one of the most attractive destinations for those who want to spend a few days in between Relaxing e culture, in short between historical monuments, uncontaminated nature e Caribbean beaches within driving distance.

Let's find out together what to see and which are the greatest places of interest in Lecce:

Historic Center of Lecce

Il historic center of Lecce it is the beating heart of the city that contains the major ones architectural beauties in a mixture of different styles and eras.

All projects Ancient Lecce it is accessed from Porta Napoli which was erected in honor of Charles V in 1548 and from which the most beautiful and evocative streets of the city where you can admire palaces with a refined style and artisan shops who create beautiful and very special objects exclusively in Lecce stone.

We point out that the historic center of Lecce it can be visited easily even in just one day and gods monuments, palaces, museums and churches more representative ones we will talk about later.

Piazza Sant'Oronzo Lecce

Piazza Sant'Oronzo is the ancient living room of the city, all the streets of Lecce flow into the charming square that houses the major ones attractions tourist.

Lecce where to eat well and spend little

La Square was dedicated to the patron saint of the city who, according to legend, defended and spared the city from the great plague that struck the Kingdom of Naples and as a token of thanks was dedicated not only the name of the square but also a tall column 29 meters at the apex of which the statue of the Saint.

Inside the square you can admire and visit the beautiful Anfiteatro Romano, St. Mark's Church, Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and Palazzo del Seggio better known as Seat.

Lecce Cathedral

Il Lecce Cathedral or the Cathedral of Maria Santissima Assunta it is the largest place of worship in the city and stands in the homonymous area Square which was made in Lecce Baroque by the famous architects Giuseppe Cino, Giuseppe Zimbalo and Mauro Manieri.

La Cathedral it was built in 1144, it was remodeled in 1230 (in Romanesque style at the behest of Bishop Roberto Voltorico) while in 1659 it was completely rebuilt at the behest of Bishop Luigi Pappacoda by the architect Giuseppe Zimbalo known as Lo Zingarello.

The exterior of the Lecce Cathedral it is composed of a 72 meters high bell tower (from its top, during the clearest days it is possible to admire the Adriatic Sea and the mountains of Albania) and a very simple facade where the statues of San Gennaro, San Ludovico da Tolosa and Saints Peter and Paul.

The interior, on the other hand, is in the shape of a Latin cross with three naves divided by semi-columned pillars where you can admire paintings by Joseph of Brindisi placed on the wooden ceiling depicting the Preaching of Sant'Oronzo, theLast Supper, the Protection from the Plague and the Martyrdom of Sant'Oronzo.

La Lecce Cathedral still hosts 12 altars of which the most important and representative is the one dedicated to Virgin of the Assumption which was made by Neapolitan artists in marble and gilt bronze.

Recall that the Piazza del Duomo in Lecce it has only one entrance, is closed on three sides and also houses the Seminar and Bishop's Palace.

Lecce Castle

Il Lecce Castle it was built at the behest of Charles V of Hapsburg in 1539 he ordered the demolition of an old princely bulwark dating back to Middle Ages to build, in fact, one fortress with modern and avant-garde architectural techniques.

The work was entrusted to the architect engineer of the Kingdom of Naples Gian Giacomo dell'Acaya, was used for defensive purposes and, subsequently, was used to house events and theatrical performances and how military district.

Currently the Lecce Castle o Castle of Charles V it is owned by the municipality, is the seat of the Department of Culture and the rooms are used for art exhibitions ed cultural and food and wine events.

Basilica of Santa Croce Lecce

La Basilica of the Holy Cross with the adjacent ex Convent of the Celestines is the maximum expression of Lecce Baroque and is one of the largest architectural complexes in the city.

This minor basilica of unique and spectacular beauty was created by the most important Salento architects between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries who were assisted by skilled masters scappellini and carvers.

The facade of the Basilica of Santa Croce in Lecce looks massive and opulent and is made up of three parts:

  • The upper part houses two female statues symbolizing the Faith and the Fortress and the tympanum with the triumph of the Cross in the center.
  • The central part made in Romanesque style and is dominated by the beautiful central rose window profiled in laurel leaves and berries which is well highlighted by Carinthian columns.
  • The lower part was made in the Renaissance style.

Celestini Palace Lecce

Il Celestini Palace it's a former Convent of the Celestine Fathers which together with the Basilica of the Holy Cross constitutes a single architectural complex.

This architectural complex, expression of the Lecce Baroque, was built on the area occupied today by Castle of Charles V in fact the emperor had the work demolished to enlarge the fortress but starting from 1549 the convent was rebuilt in the present area and the works were entrusted to Riccardi.

It must be said that most of the work was carried out during the 1600s under the direction of the architects Giuseppe Cino e Giuseppe Zimbalo in fact they built the first and second order.

When there was the suppression of the orders in 1807 the convent was transformed into Government Palace and currently hosts the Prefecture and Province.

Roman amphitheater Lecce

THELecce amphitheater it was built during the XNUMXnd century BC and, together with the theater located in via Arte della Cartapesta, is the indelible testimony of the Roman domination on the city.

This magnificent work located in the center of the beautiful Piazza Sant'Oronzo, could accommodate over 20.000 people and inside were held shows and games.

What we can admire today is only a third of the entire structure while the rest is still buried by the rubble caused by earthquakes over the years and, still today, houses concerts and theatrical performances.

Roman Theater Lecce

Il Roman Theater of Lecce it was accidentally brought to light during the works carried out in 1929 inside the gardens of the Arpe Palace and Roman Palace and according to scholars it was built during the Augustan period.

This beautiful work is located in the most hidden part of the historic center of Lecce, has an external diameter of 40 meters and an external diameter of 18 meters, it could accommodate over 5000 spectators and inside it were represented comedies and tragedies.

Recall that all archaeological finds found inside the theater including some marble statues are kept inside the Roman Theater Museum.

If you are in this area we recommend that you visit the Must that is the Historical Museum of Lecce which hosts interesting and very important exhibitions.

Palmieri boarding school Lecce

THEformer Palmieri boarding school is a Franciscan building and is considered a real Lecce jewel that reopened its doors in 2016 after 5 years of restoration.

The structure is completely renovated and houses a beautiful and incredible garden, a series of cloisters e courtyards ancient, multimedia reading rooms and Bernardini Provincial Library in short, it is considered as the largest cultural center in the South.

Church of San Niccolò and Cataldo Lecce

La Church of San Niccolò e Cataldo in the town cemetery it is a church of medieval origin founded together with the adjacent one monastero by the Norman Tancredi d'Altavilla in 1180.

The facade of the building has features Romanesque and strokes baroque with a portal decorated with arabesques and plant motifs while the interior has a shape a Latin cross with three naves.

Very beautiful to admire are the statue of St. Nicholas Blessing, the altars and related eighteenth-century canvases attributable to the Neapolitan painter Giovan Battista Lama.

We point out that Lecce is also considered as the city of churches in fact it hosts more than 40 and others that we recommend to visit are the Church of San Matteo, Church of Sant'Irene, the Church of San Nicolò dei Greci, the Church of San Sebastiano, the Church of Carmine and the Church of Santa Chiara.

More things to see in Lecce I'm:

  • Faggiano Museum
  • The Gates of the City
  • Provincial Archaeological Museum
  • Castello di Acaya
  • Brunetti Palace
  • Public gardens
  • Palazzo del Seggio or Sedile

Lecce restaurants

To know the best restaurants, pizzerias, Inns, osterie of the city where you can taste the excellent dishes of the Lecce cuisine and cUkrainian Salento consult Lecce where to eat well and spend little.

What to do in the evening in Lecce

to know the best places in the city where to get a appetizer or where to spend an evening dedicated to divertissement consult Lecce discos and night clubs.

Lecce pictures and photos

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