If you want to marvel at the most magnificent baroque buildings in Apulia, you cannot avoid Lecce. The likeable small town of Lecce is considered the Baroque capital of the region and is sometimes even referred to as the “Florence of the South”.
The Lecce Baroque style, which runs like a red thread through the entire old town. Almost all the buildings in Lecce’s old town are made of light beige tuff, which gives the city a very special color scheme.
On our road trip through Puglia we stopped in Lecce for one night and were immediately impressed by the flair. In this blog article we will show you the most beautiful sights and give you our personal tips for Lecce.
1. Lecce (Italy): First travel tips at a glance Interesting facts about Lecce Lecce has around 684. Residents. The old town is thus pleasantly manageable and can be explored relatively quickly on foot.Lecce is the largest city on the so-called Salento, that peninsula in the very south of Puglia .Lecce = baroque! While elsewhere in Puglia you’ll find typical whitewashed houses, in Lecce some of the most magnificent baroque sights in southern Italy await you.It is not for nothing that the Baroque style in Lecce has its own name: Lecce Baroque.Lecce is not by the sea. However, it is not far to the coast. In approximately 20 minutes you can reach the sea from Lecce . How many days should I allow for Lecce? Lecce is small, but fine. The old town is not too extensive. In a few hours you can visit the most important sights, at least from the outside. A day trip is theoretically enough for a visit.
We would recommend you to travel through Apulia 1 to 2 nights to stay in Lecce. We stayed one night ourselves (with enough time on the day of arrival) and found it perfect.
What should I not miss in Lecce? For those who want it short and sweet, here is a small best-of list. (Of course, more information about these highlights and sights will follow in the course of the blog article.)
Visit the Cathedral of Lecce and don’t forget to also visit the crypt below the Duomo. Wow!The Marvel at the Roman amphitheater. Enjoy the baroque flair of the city and keep looking up. Try one Pasticciotto leccese – or better yet several. This pastry filled with a kind of custard cream is typical of Lecce. 2. Sights in Lecce Piazza del Duomo & Lecce Cathedral The main square in the old town of Lecce is the spacious Piazza del Duomo. As the name suggests, Lecce Cathedral is enthroned here, the most important sacred building and one of the top sights in the city.
The baroque cathedral is already quite impressive to look at from the outside, you but you should definitely take a look inside. Our tip: Under no circumstances should you miss the descent down to the crypt. The columned hall below the interior of the church impressed us the most. (Photography is forbidden down here.)
Of course, the cathedral also has a bell tower, the so-called campanile. An elevator takes you up to the viewing platform in a very short time. From up here you can look in all directions and marvel at Lecce from above. Altogether worthwhile, but with 16 Euro not just a cheap venture.
The Piazza del Duomo is also lined with a few other impressive sights, such as the Palazzo Arcivescovile and the Palazzo del Seminario (= Antico Seminario). The latter not only houses the ticket office for the cathedral tickets, but also a courtyard that is really worth seeing.
Information on visiting Lecce Cathedral Entry: 6 euros (our tip: combined ticket for several churches 9 euros)
Price Elevator Bell Tower: 16 EuroOpening hours and further information: Churches of Lecce (official website)
Campanile Lecce Cathedral View from the Campanile Cathedral interior Basilica Santa Croce The second important church in Lecce is the imposing Basilica Santa Croce. The detailed decorated facade of this basilica with Renaissance and Baroque elements is a highlight in itself. Several artists contributed to this total work of art. All in all, it probably took a whole century to complete.
We also strongly recommend that you take a look inside the church. We personally liked the comparatively simple church interior lined with columns.
The unusual ceiling of the Basilica of Santa Croce is also worth seeing. The coffered ceiling, carved from wood and gilded, dates from 17. Century.
Information on visiting the Basilica of Santa Croce Admission: 6 euros (our tip: combined ticket for several churches 9 euros )Opening times and further information : Churches of Lecce (official website)
Piazza Sant’Oronzo & Roman Amphitheater If you follow the promenade (“Via Vittorio Emmanuele II”) from the cathedral to the east, you will reach the spacious Piazza Sant’Oronzo. This square is one of the most famous in the center of Lecce and is home to several attractions.
First of all there is the 29 Meter-high column called “Colonna di Sant’Oronzo”. The bronze statue of the Saint Oronzo. He is said to have saved the city from the plague. (Unfortunately, the statue was not in place when we visited, as a duplicate is being made to replace the original statue.)
Probably the most famous sight on the Piazza Sant’Oronzo is the Roman Amphitheater. Yes, that’s right – an amphitheater in the middle of the city. It dates from the 2nd century and was in fact discovered accidentally during excavations at the beginning of the 20. century discovered. You can marvel at the amphitheater from the outside and also visit it as part of a guided tour .
Roman Theater (“Teatro Romano”) As now, another Roman theater? To be honest, we were confused at first too. But in addition to the large amphitheater on the Piazza Sant’Oronzo, there is actually another, somewhat hidden Roman theater just a stone’s throw away in Lecce.
The Roman theater is significantly smaller than the amphitheater, but impresses with a unusual location. It nestles directly against neighboring houses – somehow quite strange, so in the middle of the city.
Through a lattice you can admire and photograph the Roman Theater around the clock. If you also want to enter it, a guided tour is necessary.
Other sights in Lecce for more time Historical city gates of Lecce: Worth seeing too the former gates to the old town of Lecce: Porta San Biagio, Porta Napoli and Porta Rudiae. A detour (especially to the Porta San Biagio, which is worth seeing) is worthwhile.
Castello Carlo V: This extensive castle complex was built under Emperor Karl V in 16. century built. Current (status autumn 801) the fort is being renovated and can therefore only be visited to a limited extent. There is currently not much to see. The fort houses several exhibitions, about which there are probably divided opinions.
Abbazia di Santa Maria di Cerrate: This impressive Abbey of 11. Century is not in the old town of Lecce, but about 12 away by car. The detour is definitely worthwhile.
City Gate Porta San Biagio Castello Carlo V 3. Eating and drinking: Culinary tips for Lecce Lecce is known as one of the Culinary hotspots in Apulia known, find accordingly you have a pretty wide range of great, authentic restaurants here.
A specialty that you should not miss is Pasticciotto leccese. This shortcrust pastry filled with custard cream is typical of the region and available in almost all cafés in the city – usually in different flavors.
Also very popular is Caffè leccese. You will receive an espresso on ice with almond milk. Tastes wonderfully refreshing on hot days.
Cafés and restaurants in Lecce Vico del Cuciniere: Italian-Mediterranean cuisine of a high standard is served in this restaurant. Meat and fish predominate, but on request the young chef prepared two excellent vegetarian dishes for us. The restaurant is in a quiet side street. When the weather is nice, you can sit outside in front of the restaurant.
Crianza: Popular, young restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere. Italian cuisine is served, partly with a modern twist – eg bruschetta, burgers and salads.
Pizza & Co: Here’s a tip for all pizza fans . (Please don’t let the name confuse you.) This small restaurant, located around the corner from the cathedral, serves excellent pizza.
Pasticceria Natale: In this popular pasticceria there is not only very good ice cream, but also Italian dolci such as the famous pasticciotti leccesi.
Vico del Cuciniere Crianza 4. Map: All sights and tips at a glance So that you can have a To give you a better overview, we have marked all the sights and tips on this map. Our tip: It is best to click on the rectangle at the top right to save the map on your smartphone (Google Maps app).
5. Our accommodation tip for Lecce For our night in Lecce, ours fell Choice of the Palazzo Bignami, a family-run Bed & Breakfast. You spend the night here very close to the city centre: it is only a ten-minute walk to the cathedral. Nevertheless, the palazzo is located in an easily accessible street, so that the journey is uncomplicated. Parking is free of charge directly on the street.
Back to the Palazzo Bignami. In total there are only ten rooms in different categories. They are all lovingly furnished. The bed was a little too “sprung” for us personally, but that’s really whining at a high level. Overall, you feel very, very welcome – which is also due to the extremely courteous host couple.
A special highlight is the breakfast. In Italy we’re always lowering our expectations. But here we were actually taught better. A fantastic buffet with many local products is served – cheese, fresh fruit, delicious foccacia, the best cakes and, and, and.
Our conclusion: Great value for money. Very friendly and helpful owners and an excellent breakfast. We would book again!
Here you can book the accommodation: Palazzo Bignami
Transparency: Affiliate Links39188 This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!
Have you ever been to Lecce and therefore to Apulia? Tell us about your experiences below this blog post. Or do you have any other tips for sights or restaurants? We look forward to your comment.