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La guida di Eugenio

Eugenio

La guida di Eugenio

Points of Interest
If the provincial capital of Lecce were not so remotely located at the heel of the Italian boot, its abundance of Baroque architecture would make it one of Italy's most visited cities.
A short distance further to the east from the Cathedral is the Piazza Sant’Oronzo; this is another beautiful open square with some interesting architecture and fantastic sites. Notable structures include the Chiesa di Santa maria delle Graize, the Roman Amphitheatre and the gorgeous Palazzo del Sedile. Il Sedile is possibly the most noticeable structure and features a huge glass doorway framed by some intricate stonework. The whole immediate area surrounding the square is a pleasant place to walk through and the adjacent streets are perfect to explore in the beautiful Italian weather.
Piazza Sant'Oronzo
A short distance further to the east from the Cathedral is the Piazza Sant’Oronzo; this is another beautiful open square with some interesting architecture and fantastic sites. Notable structures include the Chiesa di Santa maria delle Graize, the Roman Amphitheatre and the gorgeous Palazzo del Sedile. Il Sedile is possibly the most noticeable structure and features a huge glass doorway framed by some intricate stonework. The whole immediate area surrounding the square is a pleasant place to walk through and the adjacent streets are perfect to explore in the beautiful Italian weather.
Lecce has several beautiful squares that feature some gorgeous architecture and the Piazza del Duomo is one of the most charming. This square is located in the centre of the historic old town of Lecce and has some gorgeous monuments and religious structures. Two notable buildings include the baroque Lecce Cathedral with its intricate northern façade and the opulent library building that looks more like a palace. Most of the structures are created in Lecce stone and this really is an impressive square. Furthermore, the surrounding streets feature a series of shops and restaurants for those who want to enjoy a fine meal or a little retail therapy.
Piazza del Duomo
Lecce has several beautiful squares that feature some gorgeous architecture and the Piazza del Duomo is one of the most charming. This square is located in the centre of the historic old town of Lecce and has some gorgeous monuments and religious structures. Two notable buildings include the baroque Lecce Cathedral with its intricate northern façade and the opulent library building that looks more like a palace. Most of the structures are created in Lecce stone and this really is an impressive square. Furthermore, the surrounding streets feature a series of shops and restaurants for those who want to enjoy a fine meal or a little retail therapy.
This is one of the most beautiful churches in Lecce and is renowned for its amazing architecture and stunning Baroque façade. Created in the 17th century, this church is created from the unique Lecce stone that gives the structure its light cream colouration. The front façade is truly breath-taking and the amount of decoration and artwork is quite astounding. The walls are packed full of intricate sculptures, gorgeous rose windows and interesting stone statues. The interior in contrast is not as opulent but still features some beautiful stonework and religious decoration.
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Basilika Santa Croce
1 Via Umberto I
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This is one of the most beautiful churches in Lecce and is renowned for its amazing architecture and stunning Baroque façade. Created in the 17th century, this church is created from the unique Lecce stone that gives the structure its light cream colouration. The front façade is truly breath-taking and the amount of decoration and artwork is quite astounding. The walls are packed full of intricate sculptures, gorgeous rose windows and interesting stone statues. The interior in contrast is not as opulent but still features some beautiful stonework and religious decoration.
You can find this ancient structure in the southern part of the Piazza Sant’Oronzo. This amphitheatre was not unearthed until 1929 but it was built in the second century AD and had a capacity of 25,000. It is possible today to take tours of the theatre and see the remains of this once impressive structure. Much of the stairs, seating, external walls and columns still stand in a fantastic condition and you can really gain a great sense of the magnificence of this arena. For those who love ancient history there is no better site in Lecce to visit.
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Römisches Amphitheater
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You can find this ancient structure in the southern part of the Piazza Sant’Oronzo. This amphitheatre was not unearthed until 1929 but it was built in the second century AD and had a capacity of 25,000. It is possible today to take tours of the theatre and see the remains of this once impressive structure. Much of the stairs, seating, external walls and columns still stand in a fantastic condition and you can really gain a great sense of the magnificence of this arena. For those who love ancient history there is no better site in Lecce to visit.
The castle of Charles V is the main defensive fortification in the city and has stood for hundreds of years since the 16th century. During the reign of Charles V the castle was reinforced and strengthened and moulded into the design and style you can see today. A typical four cornered defensive structure was used with diagonal guard towers and high walls. Today the castle stands in a fantastic condition and much of the walls and towers are intact. Aside from walking through the grounds, there is also an interesting Papier-Mache Museum and seasonal exhibitions containing beautiful artwork or historical displays.
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Lecce Castle
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The castle of Charles V is the main defensive fortification in the city and has stood for hundreds of years since the 16th century. During the reign of Charles V the castle was reinforced and strengthened and moulded into the design and style you can see today. A typical four cornered defensive structure was used with diagonal guard towers and high walls. Today the castle stands in a fantastic condition and much of the walls and towers are intact. Aside from walking through the grounds, there is also an interesting Papier-Mache Museum and seasonal exhibitions containing beautiful artwork or historical displays.
Another fantastic museum in the centre of Lecce, the Faggiano Museum is a private structure that has been excavated over a course of 7 years – underneath the foundations of this building there are some fantastic archaeological finds dating back as far as 2000 years ago. During the course of the excavations, the house has been found to have served as a Templar home, a granary, and a burial site. You can now explore the excavations and find the various artefacts and structural remains of these ancient sites. Over 5000 archaeological finds are packed into this infinitely interesting museum and Luciano and his sons have turned the Faggiano Museum into something truly special.
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Museo Faggiano
56 Via Ascanio Grandi
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Another fantastic museum in the centre of Lecce, the Faggiano Museum is a private structure that has been excavated over a course of 7 years – underneath the foundations of this building there are some fantastic archaeological finds dating back as far as 2000 years ago. During the course of the excavations, the house has been found to have served as a Templar home, a granary, and a burial site. You can now explore the excavations and find the various artefacts and structural remains of these ancient sites. Over 5000 archaeological finds are packed into this infinitely interesting museum and Luciano and his sons have turned the Faggiano Museum into something truly special.
As with many historical cities in Italy, Lecce once had an impressive defensive network and encircling city wall. The Porta Napoli is a relic from this defensive network and is one of the three remaining city gates. Originally constructed in 1548 in honour of King Charles V, the portal features a Baroque design and is made from white Lecce stone. The centre of the archway features four ornate columns and is topped with a triangular pediment that features the insignia of Charles V and Lecce. This monumental gateway is a fantastic piece of history and definitely worth a visit when walking through the city centre.
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Porta Napoli
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As with many historical cities in Italy, Lecce once had an impressive defensive network and encircling city wall. The Porta Napoli is a relic from this defensive network and is one of the three remaining city gates. Originally constructed in 1548 in honour of King Charles V, the portal features a Baroque design and is made from white Lecce stone. The centre of the archway features four ornate columns and is topped with a triangular pediment that features the insignia of Charles V and Lecce. This monumental gateway is a fantastic piece of history and definitely worth a visit when walking through the city centre.
This is the most impressive public garden in Lecce and is a great place to walk through and relax on a fine summer’s day. Located in the centre of Lecce, this open public space has four entrances and was constructed in the 19th century. In the centre of the park is a large bandstand surrounded by some ornate stonework. Furthermore, there is a series of grid-like paths lined with some fantastic trees, bushes and flowers. Additionally there is several delightful fountains and ponds, plus a selection of statues and monuments to various important Italian figures.
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Villa Comunale
. Piazza Sant Oronzo
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This is the most impressive public garden in Lecce and is a great place to walk through and relax on a fine summer’s day. Located in the centre of Lecce, this open public space has four entrances and was constructed in the 19th century. In the centre of the park is a large bandstand surrounded by some ornate stonework. Furthermore, there is a series of grid-like paths lined with some fantastic trees, bushes and flowers. Additionally there is several delightful fountains and ponds, plus a selection of statues and monuments to various important Italian figures.
This church is often understated and overshadowed by the Basilica and Cathedral, but it actually has one of the most interesting facades and a unique design. Created in 1667, the Chiesa di San Matteo has a Baroque architectural site and its front façade has a curved design – the wall actually curves in a sweeping arch and is covered in beautiful sculpture work and statues. Furthermore, the interior of this church has 9 spectacular altars that feature depictions of different religious figures and fables such as the nativity and the assumption. Each altar has a fantastic amount of detail and the surrounding plasterwork is highly intricate.
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San Matteo
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This church is often understated and overshadowed by the Basilica and Cathedral, but it actually has one of the most interesting facades and a unique design. Created in 1667, the Chiesa di San Matteo has a Baroque architectural site and its front façade has a curved design – the wall actually curves in a sweeping arch and is covered in beautiful sculpture work and statues. Furthermore, the interior of this church has 9 spectacular altars that feature depictions of different religious figures and fables such as the nativity and the assumption. Each altar has a fantastic amount of detail and the surrounding plasterwork is highly intricate.
The Roman Theatre of Lecce, as a hidden treasure amid the alleys of the historic centre, opens up amid the roof gardens of 18th- century palaces. The Roman Theatre, in the heart of the historic centre of Lecce, embedded amid baroque alleys, suddenly appears, almost intact. Built in the 2nd century AD, it was forgotten for a long time, covered by gardens and palaces and absorbed by the 18th century city, until it was rediscovered in 1929. The large cavea of almost 70 metres, built according to the Greek style on a rocky slope, indicates that here there was enough space for 4000 spectators. Opened to the public in 1940, it was restored again at the end of the 90s, when it was built the Museum of the Roman Theatre, which keeps its finds, such as the marble statues which decorated the scaenae frons, among which a head of Asclepius and the statues of Athena, Artemis, Ares and Heracles. The wonderful theatre is the seat of shows and plays, also thanks to the quite unusual silence around there, despite the night life of the nearby historic centre.
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Römisches Theater
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The Roman Theatre of Lecce, as a hidden treasure amid the alleys of the historic centre, opens up amid the roof gardens of 18th- century palaces. The Roman Theatre, in the heart of the historic centre of Lecce, embedded amid baroque alleys, suddenly appears, almost intact. Built in the 2nd century AD, it was forgotten for a long time, covered by gardens and palaces and absorbed by the 18th century city, until it was rediscovered in 1929. The large cavea of almost 70 metres, built according to the Greek style on a rocky slope, indicates that here there was enough space for 4000 spectators. Opened to the public in 1940, it was restored again at the end of the 90s, when it was built the Museum of the Roman Theatre, which keeps its finds, such as the marble statues which decorated the scaenae frons, among which a head of Asclepius and the statues of Athena, Artemis, Ares and Heracles. The wonderful theatre is the seat of shows and plays, also thanks to the quite unusual silence around there, despite the night life of the nearby historic centre.
Located in the Piazza del Duomo, Lecce cathedral is on par with the Basilica di Santa Croce as the most important religious buildings in the city. Constructed in the late 17th century, this cathedral also features a Baroque design similar to the basilica and has an opulent northern façade and a beautiful bell tower. The northern façade contains some magnificent stone statues and sculptures and faces the charming cathedral square. In contrast to the Basilica di Santa Croce, the interior of the Cathedral is highly decorative and features a myriad of gold artwork, opulent arches and a ceiling that contains some gorgeous historical artwork. Furthermore there is also twelve chapels within the church, each of which is dedicated to a different saint or religious figure.
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Kathedrale von Lecce
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Located in the Piazza del Duomo, Lecce cathedral is on par with the Basilica di Santa Croce as the most important religious buildings in the city. Constructed in the late 17th century, this cathedral also features a Baroque design similar to the basilica and has an opulent northern façade and a beautiful bell tower. The northern façade contains some magnificent stone statues and sculptures and faces the charming cathedral square. In contrast to the Basilica di Santa Croce, the interior of the Cathedral is highly decorative and features a myriad of gold artwork, opulent arches and a ceiling that contains some gorgeous historical artwork. Furthermore there is also twelve chapels within the church, each of which is dedicated to a different saint or religious figure.
Out of Town
The east coast of Italy is truly beautiful and the Cesine Nature Reserve is an absolutely sublime stretch of protected landscape. Only 25 minutes to the east of Lecce you can explore this beautiful natural area. Largely covered in wetlands, the reserve is one of the best preserved in Italy and features some stunning landscapes bathed in luscious greenery, low-lying pools and a diverse range of flora and fauna. Throughout the reserve you can find a myriad of well-developed footpaths that lead up to the stretches of golden sand and the warm waters of the Adriatic Sea. For those who love nature and the outdoors this is the perfect place to explore.
Cesine
The east coast of Italy is truly beautiful and the Cesine Nature Reserve is an absolutely sublime stretch of protected landscape. Only 25 minutes to the east of Lecce you can explore this beautiful natural area. Largely covered in wetlands, the reserve is one of the best preserved in Italy and features some stunning landscapes bathed in luscious greenery, low-lying pools and a diverse range of flora and fauna. Throughout the reserve you can find a myriad of well-developed footpaths that lead up to the stretches of golden sand and the warm waters of the Adriatic Sea. For those who love nature and the outdoors this is the perfect place to explore.
Another beautiful coastal town that is accessible from Lecce is Gallipoli. This town is split into two main sections – the main part of the town that sits on the coast, and the small island that is accessible from a single road jutting out into the sea. This small island is a fascinating place to walk through as it contains a myriad of charming side streets packed full with beautiful architecture. Furthermore, there is the stunning Baroque Cathedral of St. Agata, the Castello and the old fishing harbour which are all interesting sites in their own right.
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Gallipoli
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Another beautiful coastal town that is accessible from Lecce is Gallipoli. This town is split into two main sections – the main part of the town that sits on the coast, and the small island that is accessible from a single road jutting out into the sea. This small island is a fascinating place to walk through as it contains a myriad of charming side streets packed full with beautiful architecture. Furthermore, there is the stunning Baroque Cathedral of St. Agata, the Castello and the old fishing harbour which are all interesting sites in their own right.
Otranto is just a 40 minutes’ drive to the south east of Lecce and is a great place to visit for a day trip. A main feature of this delightful coastal town is the Aragonese Castle that was constructed in the 15th century. The walls of this castle offer fantastic views of the town and the ocean and contain a great deal of history. Furthermore the harbour of Otranto is picturesque and a great place to admire the fishing boats. Finally, there is a great stretch of inviting beach perfect to sunbathe on and take a paddle in the sea.
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Otranto
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Otranto is just a 40 minutes’ drive to the south east of Lecce and is a great place to visit for a day trip. A main feature of this delightful coastal town is the Aragonese Castle that was constructed in the 15th century. The walls of this castle offer fantastic views of the town and the ocean and contain a great deal of history. Furthermore the harbour of Otranto is picturesque and a great place to admire the fishing boats. Finally, there is a great stretch of inviting beach perfect to sunbathe on and take a paddle in the sea.
The Bauxite Cave of Otranto located in the low Salento, is a neglected Cave used between 1940 and 1976. After that the Cave was completely abandoned and the nature took its own place. The intense emerald color lake is the peculiarity of the Bauxite Cave of Otranto. It is probably generated by the infiltrations from the aquifers nearby. Into the Bauxite Cave of Otranto, the characteristic dark red color of the rocky walls is determined by the minerals contained in the Bauxite rock, which is the main element for aluminum composition. The strong green of the vegetation and the little lake is pulled out thanks to the great contrast developed with the red rocks. This incredible site is one of the main natural and uncontaminated attraction in the Salento area. The Bauxite Cave of Otranto is a very distinctive hiking area, it is not so big area, but walking on the red dunes makes awesome emotions, it really seems to walk on Mars. Quite close to the Bauxite Cave, the city of Otranto gives you the possibility to rest for a while in a typical restaurant, before to run towards the beach enjoying the beautiful Salento sea.
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Lake of Bauxite della Cava
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The Bauxite Cave of Otranto located in the low Salento, is a neglected Cave used between 1940 and 1976. After that the Cave was completely abandoned and the nature took its own place. The intense emerald color lake is the peculiarity of the Bauxite Cave of Otranto. It is probably generated by the infiltrations from the aquifers nearby. Into the Bauxite Cave of Otranto, the characteristic dark red color of the rocky walls is determined by the minerals contained in the Bauxite rock, which is the main element for aluminum composition. The strong green of the vegetation and the little lake is pulled out thanks to the great contrast developed with the red rocks. This incredible site is one of the main natural and uncontaminated attraction in the Salento area. The Bauxite Cave of Otranto is a very distinctive hiking area, it is not so big area, but walking on the red dunes makes awesome emotions, it really seems to walk on Mars. Quite close to the Bauxite Cave, the city of Otranto gives you the possibility to rest for a while in a typical restaurant, before to run towards the beach enjoying the beautiful Salento sea.
The Poetry Cave is a magical natural swimming pool located in Roca Vecchia village, close to Lecce, Puglia. One of the best places in the world.
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Cave of Poetry
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The Poetry Cave is a magical natural swimming pool located in Roca Vecchia village, close to Lecce, Puglia. One of the best places in the world.
The Sea stacks of Sant’Andrea is a located in Torre San’Andrea, very close to Lecce, Puglia. Bathing here is a great experience.
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Sant'Andrea
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The Sea stacks of Sant’Andrea is a located in Torre San’Andrea, very close to Lecce, Puglia. Bathing here is a great experience.
The Regional Nature Park of Porto Selvaggio, covers an area of 1100 hectares in the municipality of Nardò and is part of an area by the sea, where reforestation has been started since the 50s. The landscape, which used to be bare and rocky, is nowadays characterised by a thick pine forest, surrounded by the wonderful Ionian Sea. The habitat is mostly covered by forests, but there are also pseudo-steppe paths, the habitats rich with grasses and annual plants and jagged cliff. The visitor has the chance to watch foxes, weasels, hedgehogs, chameleons and, during the bird migration season, also blackbirds, thrushes and hoopoes, beside the lesser kestrels and the kestrels. A few metres away from the coast, it is also possible to visit he Palude del Capitano (Marsh), where there are the “spunnulate”, that is to say caves, the result of karst phenomena, whose vault has collapsed creating small salt-water lakes.
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Parco naturale regionale Porto Selvaggio e Palude del Capitano
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The Regional Nature Park of Porto Selvaggio, covers an area of 1100 hectares in the municipality of Nardò and is part of an area by the sea, where reforestation has been started since the 50s. The landscape, which used to be bare and rocky, is nowadays characterised by a thick pine forest, surrounded by the wonderful Ionian Sea. The habitat is mostly covered by forests, but there are also pseudo-steppe paths, the habitats rich with grasses and annual plants and jagged cliff. The visitor has the chance to watch foxes, weasels, hedgehogs, chameleons and, during the bird migration season, also blackbirds, thrushes and hoopoes, beside the lesser kestrels and the kestrels. A few metres away from the coast, it is also possible to visit he Palude del Capitano (Marsh), where there are the “spunnulate”, that is to say caves, the result of karst phenomena, whose vault has collapsed creating small salt-water lakes.
We Love Lecce
Built in the local soft creamy limestone with dazzling architectural surprises around every corner, Lecce is a minor Baroque masterpiece. Its spider's web of streets offer a kaleidoscopic mix of long-range vistas, alluring glimpses and playful perspectives that have long enchanted visitors. Supported by a history going back at least 2,500 years, modern-day Lecce is the main town on Puglia's Salento peninsula and a major draw for the area's tourism industry. Its 95,000 inhabitants haven't forgotten their roots, however, and the production and sale of olive oil, wine and ceramics continues to be the mainstay of the local economy. History Legend tells us that a town existed near the site of Lecce right back at the time of the Trojan Wars, though this is hard to verify. What is sure, however, is that the town was taken over by the Romans in the 3rd century BC. Evidently not caring much for its position, they moved it 3km north, began developing its potential and renamed it Licea. The Emperor Hadrian spent considerable time and resources fortifying it (he loved building walls remember!) and oversaw the building of an archetypally straight Roman road linking the town to the coast (at modern day San Cataldo, about 10km away). The town's stature was assured with the construction of a 25,000-seater amphitheatre and a theatre. With the fall of Rome, Lecce eventually came under the control of Byzantium in 549 and it remained thus until the arrival of the Normans in the 11th century. It prospered greatly as part of the Kingdom of Sicily and from 1053 to 1463 it was one of the most important towns in southern Italy. The early 17th century saw a new invasion, but this time of a cultural variety: the Baroque! Over the course of a hundred or so years, the town changed face almost completely. Existing churches and buildings were given makeovers and many new ones were built by ambitious young architects whose fantasy new no bounds. Baroque Lecce was born and most still survives to wow visitors. Sights to see while strolling through Lecce's lovely streets Piazza del Duomo is a real treat, surrounded, as it is, by some delightful buildings. The Duomo itself was built originally in 1144 but with the arrival of the Baroque zealots in the mid-17th century it was given a facelift and a 70m-high bell tower was added for good measure. The Basilica di Santa Croce has one of the finest and most intricate Baroque facades in Italy. The level of detail is quite stunning and the evident perfectionism of its creators most probably contributed to the building's exceptionally long period of gestation: it took over 200 years to complete before it was finally opened for worship in 1695. The Church of Saints Niccolo’ and Cataldo is a fascinating Norman church built by King Tancred of Sicily in 1180. The façade was significantly embellished with statues and other decorative art in the early 1700s, but the impressive original portal fortunately remained. The result is a fascinating mix of Norman austerity and Italianate Baroque fussiness. Cafés, bars and restaurants flank the streets offering refreshments and front row seats from which to observe the comings and goings of the locals as they go about their daily business. The Statue of Saint Oronzo: Saint Oronzo is the beloved patron saint of Lecce. The column from which his statue surveys the old town centre of Lecce was originally one of two that signalled the end of the Roman Via Appia in Brindisi. It arrived in Lecce in the 17th century as a gift from the people of Brindisi, who believed that their neighbour's patron Saint had interceded on their behalf and save their town from the plague. Under the gaze of Saint Oronzo's statue is Lecce's Roman amphitheatre, built at the end of the 2nd Century BC. A series of earthquakes, bombardments and unfortunate town-planning initiatives meant that it remained buried and forgotten until after the 2nd World War, when excavations began. About two thirds of the arena were uncovered and archaeologists have calculated that it would have measure some 100x80m with a capacity of around 25,000 spectators. Il Castello di Carlo V: Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain (just two of his many titles), inherited vast swathes of Europe, including the south-east of Italy. Plagued by attacks from the bothersome Ottomans, he ordered a series of towers and fortifications to be built along the coast of Puglia. One such work was the castle in Lecce, built between 1539 and 1549 on the site of an existing Norman fortress. Its muscular ramparts belie the beauty of the interiors, which feature a delightful central courtyard and a series of halls decorated to suit the tastes of a Holy Roman Emperor. Today the castle plays host to cultural and artistic events. A quintessentially southern Italian town, bursting with piazzas and palazzi, Lecce's old town centre is a wonderful setting for the strolling visitor. Cafés, bars and restaurants flank the streets offering refreshments and front row seats from which to observe the comings and goings of the locals as they go about their daily business.
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Lecce
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Built in the local soft creamy limestone with dazzling architectural surprises around every corner, Lecce is a minor Baroque masterpiece. Its spider's web of streets offer a kaleidoscopic mix of long-range vistas, alluring glimpses and playful perspectives that have long enchanted visitors. Supported by a history going back at least 2,500 years, modern-day Lecce is the main town on Puglia's Salento peninsula and a major draw for the area's tourism industry. Its 95,000 inhabitants haven't forgotten their roots, however, and the production and sale of olive oil, wine and ceramics continues to be the mainstay of the local economy. History Legend tells us that a town existed near the site of Lecce right back at the time of the Trojan Wars, though this is hard to verify. What is sure, however, is that the town was taken over by the Romans in the 3rd century BC. Evidently not caring much for its position, they moved it 3km north, began developing its potential and renamed it Licea. The Emperor Hadrian spent considerable time and resources fortifying it (he loved building walls remember!) and oversaw the building of an archetypally straight Roman road linking the town to the coast (at modern day San Cataldo, about 10km away). The town's stature was assured with the construction of a 25,000-seater amphitheatre and a theatre. With the fall of Rome, Lecce eventually came under the control of Byzantium in 549 and it remained thus until the arrival of the Normans in the 11th century. It prospered greatly as part of the Kingdom of Sicily and from 1053 to 1463 it was one of the most important towns in southern Italy. The early 17th century saw a new invasion, but this time of a cultural variety: the Baroque! Over the course of a hundred or so years, the town changed face almost completely. Existing churches and buildings were given makeovers and many new ones were built by ambitious young architects whose fantasy new no bounds. Baroque Lecce was born and most still survives to wow visitors. Sights to see while strolling through Lecce's lovely streets Piazza del Duomo is a real treat, surrounded, as it is, by some delightful buildings. The Duomo itself was built originally in 1144 but with the arrival of the Baroque zealots in the mid-17th century it was given a facelift and a 70m-high bell tower was added for good measure. The Basilica di Santa Croce has one of the finest and most intricate Baroque facades in Italy. The level of detail is quite stunning and the evident perfectionism of its creators most probably contributed to the building's exceptionally long period of gestation: it took over 200 years to complete before it was finally opened for worship in 1695. The Church of Saints Niccolo’ and Cataldo is a fascinating Norman church built by King Tancred of Sicily in 1180. The façade was significantly embellished with statues and other decorative art in the early 1700s, but the impressive original portal fortunately remained. The result is a fascinating mix of Norman austerity and Italianate Baroque fussiness. Cafés, bars and restaurants flank the streets offering refreshments and front row seats from which to observe the comings and goings of the locals as they go about their daily business. The Statue of Saint Oronzo: Saint Oronzo is the beloved patron saint of Lecce. The column from which his statue surveys the old town centre of Lecce was originally one of two that signalled the end of the Roman Via Appia in Brindisi. It arrived in Lecce in the 17th century as a gift from the people of Brindisi, who believed that their neighbour's patron Saint had interceded on their behalf and save their town from the plague. Under the gaze of Saint Oronzo's statue is Lecce's Roman amphitheatre, built at the end of the 2nd Century BC. A series of earthquakes, bombardments and unfortunate town-planning initiatives meant that it remained buried and forgotten until after the 2nd World War, when excavations began. About two thirds of the arena were uncovered and archaeologists have calculated that it would have measure some 100x80m with a capacity of around 25,000 spectators. Il Castello di Carlo V: Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain (just two of his many titles), inherited vast swathes of Europe, including the south-east of Italy. Plagued by attacks from the bothersome Ottomans, he ordered a series of towers and fortifications to be built along the coast of Puglia. One such work was the castle in Lecce, built between 1539 and 1549 on the site of an existing Norman fortress. Its muscular ramparts belie the beauty of the interiors, which feature a delightful central courtyard and a series of halls decorated to suit the tastes of a Holy Roman Emperor. Today the castle plays host to cultural and artistic events. A quintessentially southern Italian town, bursting with piazzas and palazzi, Lecce's old town centre is a wonderful setting for the strolling visitor. Cafés, bars and restaurants flank the streets offering refreshments and front row seats from which to observe the comings and goings of the locals as they go about their daily business.
Food, drink and more
coffee with ice and almond milk, pasticciotto and rustico
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Caffè Alvino
30 Piazza Sant'Oronzo
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coffee with ice and almond milk, pasticciotto and rustico
typical osteria
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La Vecchia Osteria da Totu
3 Via Dasumno
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typical osteria
Tasty pizza
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400 Gradi Lecce
65 Viale Porta d'Europa
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Tasty pizza
typical osteria
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Bar Moro
10 Via degli Ammirati
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typical osteria
local and international cuisine
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00 Doppiozero
2 Via Guglielmo Paladini
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local and international cuisine
local cuisine and pizza
6
Einheimische empfehlen
La Magiada
48 Via Vittorio Emanuele II
6
Einheimische empfehlen
local cuisine and pizza
local and international cuisine
La barca di mario
7 Via Santa Maria del Paradiso
local and international cuisine
Food, drink & live music
Cantiere Hambirreria Lecce
23 Viale dell'Università
Food, drink & live music
Food, drink & live music
Locale - Birreria con Cucina
2 Via Giuseppe Giusti
Food, drink & live music
Food, drink & live music
Corto Maltese
Food, drink & live music
Food & drink
Officine Birrai
52 Via G. D'Annunzio
Food & drink
cocktail
40
Einheimische empfehlen
Quanto Basta
29 Via Marco Basseo
40
Einheimische empfehlen
cocktail
Wine and more
Shui Wine
21 Via Umberto I
Wine and more
Beach
Slight white sand and clear turquoise sea water
43
Einheimische empfehlen
Torre dell'Orso
43
Einheimische empfehlen
Slight white sand and clear turquoise sea water
Slight white sand and clear turquoise sea water
64
Einheimische empfehlen
Porto Cesareo
64
Einheimische empfehlen
Slight white sand and clear turquoise sea water
Slight white sand and clear turquoise sea water
Pescoluse
Slight white sand and clear turquoise sea water
Slight white sand and clear turquoise sea water
18
Einheimische empfehlen
Baia dei Turchi
18
Einheimische empfehlen
Slight white sand and clear turquoise sea water