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Welcome to Lecce, the pearl of Apulia, right at the heel of the Italian boot! Described as the “Florence of the South” and the “Rome of Baroque”, this is the one and only city south of Naples that enjoys such a tremendous love from national and international visitors. Lecce is a baroque city with a special touch of its own and it’s surrounded by a beautiful bunch of little towns and villages, a wonderful countryside and magnificent beaches. Access is easy and you can find cheap air tickets to Lecce all-year-round; all you need is to sort your transfer to the city from Brindisi airport. Book your accommodation in Lecce and enjoy one of the most idyllic destinations of Southern Italy, for a most relaxing and pleasant city break!
Lecce is situated at the heart of the Salento Peninsula, at the “heel” of the Italian “boot” on the map. It is constantly referred to as the “Florence of the South” and it’s not difficult to see why!
- The history of Lecce stretches a long way back in history, from the ancient Greek era to Roman times and even earlier, the Messapian era.
- Lecce was immortalised during the 16th-18th centuries, a period of great development and artistic boom that gave birth to elegant buildings, palaces and churches that make up Lecce’s skyline.
Lecce’s historic centre is surprisingly well-preserved, and, combined with the cutting-edge art, culture, nightlife and dining trends, creates a wonderful backdrop for your city-break.
The nearest airport to Lecce is the airport of Brindisi (Brindisi – Aeroporto del Salento), 58 kilometres northwest of Lecce and is accessible by bus and train.
Getting around Lecce
You can get around Lecce by bus; fares start at 1.00€ and minimum taxi fare costs 3.00€.
The ultimate charm of Lecce lies inside the historic core of the city, where you can find the majority of the iconic architecture that characterises the skyline of Lecce. Churches, cathedrals, monuments and archaeological sites, everything stretches in front of you, as you cross the Porta Napoli.
One of Lecce’s most notable landmarks is the Basilica di Santa Croce, a fine example of the city’s architectural style referred to as “barocco leccese”. The basilica was built within 150 years, from the 16th to the 17th century and its famous dreamlike façade filled with allegorical scenes was created by Giuseppe Zimbalo’s team of artists.
Lecce has two distinctive reference points, the Piazza Sant’ Oronzo and the Piazza del Duomo.
The Piazza Sant’ Oronzo is the home of many important sights and landmarks, with highlights being the following:
- The Colonna Romana is a Roman column that used to stand across its twin column in Brindisi, marking the beginning of the Appian Way. In 1528, its top was destroyed by a lightning and left to decay until 1661, when it was collected, restored and relocated to Lecce. Today, the column is topped with the statue of Sant’ Oronzo, patron saint of Lecce.
- The end of World War II brought to the surface a fascinating discovery; the Teatro Romano, covered in dust until then, today is one of Lecce’s most precious archaeological sites, dating back to the 2nd century BC.
The Piazza del Duomo is the second focal point of Lecce, dominated by the Cathedral of Lecce. Dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the cathedral was built in 1144 and features different styles, depending on where you’re standing; one façade is simple and elegant, while the other one is grandly Baroque.
Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Museo Provinciale, to be taken to a journey back in time. 10,000 years of history are thoroughly presented in this excellent museum, through collections of items dating back to the Palaeolithic and Neolithic times, featuring ancient Greek ceramics, Roman jewellery, military equipment and many other precious memorabilia of the past.
The official language of Lecce is Italian.