Lecce is a city with historical treasures and inhabits around 95,000 people in a sprawling landscape. Southern Italy, which is defined with picturesque locales houses this city and Lecce is one of the most important cities in Apulia. Many Baroque architectural monuments can be found in the city and is also named the ‘Florence of the south’. Developed by the Greek foundations, this part of Italy is visibly different from the rest of the country owing to its Greek relations and not only Roman influences. So much so that the language commonly spoken here is ‘Griko’! Mainly Lecco exports Lecco stone which is a kind of a limestone and is suitable for scriptures, and statues mainly. An important agricultural hub of southern Italy, Lecco also produces Olive Oil and wines and is also industrially settled specializing in ceramics. A riot of cherubs, Baroque masterpieces and a beautiful sky to see, Lecce is truly one destination in the south of Naples that appeals a lot of travelers all the year through. Budget flights running to this destination from all over Europe make it even more accessible and it also makes a good weekend getaway even if you do not have much time to spend here. Ruins of roman architecture are scattered throughout the city and through there was a sharp incline in the development of the city, much of the richness in the history and culture has been retained, making it just perfect for the amalgam of historic and modern cultures. The Baroque style of architecture refers to soft locally produced stone which is intricately decorated with cherubs and figurines.
A city which is recalled as a city full or surprises, one minute it would treat you to high class fashion of Milan, an in the next instant you would be able to see a church in all its glory. Asparagus columnar tops, decorative dodos and cavorting gremlins make it just perfect for its symmetry with nature. Graceful and lively this town of Italy is relaxed and no one seems to be in a hurry. Assuming all people here believe in enjoying life and not rushing through it! With many options of Antique shops, restaurants and bars, both the Adriatic and Ionian seas can be accessed from here and it’s also a gateway to exploring Salento. Though the beaches are a bit away, yet the accessibility makes it look like as if the city itself is on the beach. A car free touring holiday best describes the time spent in Lecce which is also famous for its Tulli Houses and is definitely worth travelling further into the Otranto.
When To Go:
The months of June, July and August are extremely hot to be venturing outside. The rest of the year stays pleasant enough for all the outdoor activities and tours. The precipitation and rainfall is the highest during the same three months. To enjoy the best of Lecce and to make sure that you indulge in outdoor fun, visiting Lecce should be avoided in the hot summer months where the temperature may also touch 40 degrees Celsius in typical heat. This is why the best part of the tour may be missed if you plan to travel in peak summer months. However, the benefit is the scarcity of travelers during the hot summer months, making the place seem empty and free for you. With no maddening crowds and no issues of overcrowding, off season months make it more convenient for you, if of course you are ready to bear the heat!
This is the list of the top
things to do
in Lecce, Italy…
This is the heart of the city. With many people just walking around, all you would want to do here is laze around. Just that the beautiful and rich architecture surrounding you, does not let you do that. You just feel like exploring every nook and corner of the place, making sure that you have touched every detail. The best part of course is that this place is abuzz with life and needs more than a day to explore. Be it the broken ruins of the walls or the still standing rooms of the past, these ruins are in a good condition and let you imagine the life that may have been.
The best thing to do when you are here is to explore the place like an archaeologist and you would not believe the number of secrets that you can expose. It was surprising to see that even back then, hundreds of years ago, the mathematical calculations and architecture was so fine and precise. Apparently the white towns and cities seem to be pleasant to the eye, but this style of architecture with mud grained walls and cobbled paths are surely special. Move on to the next spot before you get hooked to
The Awaiting Table Cookery School in Lecce, Italy
Now this is fun for all! Nothing is better in a day than a good cooked meal. And to feel the pride of
Whisking up a meal for your loved ones is just awesome. Enroll for the
Awaiting Table cookery school
and have a blast. You will fall in love with the cuisines, the ingredients and be surprised at the way in which they can good a cook meal in a matter of minutes. If you have time stick around for longer and choose a longer course for you, else just get in for a day or even a couple of hours, and bask in the aroma of Italian Cooking. The good thing about this school is that it lets you enjoy cooking thoroughly along with the trainers and chefs narrating anecdotes and legendary tales of heroism.
This school is not like a traditional school but just a collection of people who gather at this venue for having fun and learning a few tricks of the trade. Another point to note is that they are well versed in commonly spoken languages including English of course, which makes it easy for them to communicate. By the time you are leaving, not only have you learnt a few things, and cooked, but they also give you samples and freebies to take back home. This is one place that has the locals and the tourist’s together crowding the place. If you happen to be there in up season, you might have to wait for a couple of days before your turn finally shows up. So make your reservations in advance and have fun!
The proof that this city has a lot of Greek influence is so evident with this architectural masterpiece right in the heart of the city. Nothing makes the city more wonderful that true heritage which has been preserved with care. The location is accessible from all sides and you may just want to walk down. Alternatively, you can take a ticket to explore the area surrounding it too. The amphitheatre is large and has seating still lines the way it used to be and is also the same building which has not been reconstructed ever and the amount of restoration that is there is not visible at all. Entering into the place, the first glance of the majesty makes you glorify the pride that must have been here when the Greeks were in the bloom of their reign.
With the color of the rocks changing by the sun and the moon time, this amphitheatre still is functional and has many shows that are planned every season. With great interests in art and drama, the locals crowd the place to attend them. If you happen to be in town when a show is scheduled, make sure that you do not miss it. It will always be a choice to remember. Many times free tickets are also distributed to engage more people and are available at the tourist office! With rehearsals for the ballet and the skits, this theatre is audible even when you are strolling in the Piazza. The
a must visit for its grandeur and charm!
Gesuiti Chiesa del Gesu’
We may just say that a church is a church, however the fact that needs to be mentioned is that every church may have been built for the same reason, they are not built the same. While some churches focus on windows and ceilings, some other churches focus on works of art and altars. Each church also has its own unique style of construction. Located right in the center of the city in the Piazza, the external façade of the
Gesuiti Chiesa del Gesu’
is pretty different from what you would find inside. The main altar of the church is stupendous with a lot of detailing and beauty. If you happen to be visiting this place at night, then the lights of the whole structure will amaze you no end.
A façade which has been divided into two orders, this church was built in the 16th century. There is also a precedent which is broken that frames the sculpture showing the pelican engaged in the act of extreme nurture offspring which is split in the chest. Interiors bear Latin crosses and use the framework Capitoline and have four chapels on each side. This visit is definitely meant for the day because otherwise it is eerily dark inside and you may not be able to find the details that you would normally find in the day with the sunlight flowing through the huge church windows. There is no dearth of art works and paintings to keep you wondering at the sheer mastery of the work. Scintillating and wonderful, this place is just magnificent and undoubtedly the best in the history of Lecce.
This is a drive and not just an ordinary one. You visit this place more than once and you would start assuming that you know the coastline like the back of your hand. But every time you visit the city, it will offer you treats and surprises. Considered to be the best scenic drive and an adventurous road trip to the Adriatic, this is stretch covering Ontrato south and Ionian coasts.
Try the picnic option at Porto Badisso and you would not be disappointed at your choice. Tread farther down south into the tricase Porto and you would be able to see the Marina Serra, which has been voted as one of the Europe’s best pools. A picnic stop and a swim at Porto Selvaggio which is a natural reserve, there is actually quite a lot to do in a day. If you want some sandy beaches in your trip, seat a bit and reach Lido Conchiglia which is just a ten minute drive from Gallipoli. A trip on the
is a must.
Via Vittorio Emanuale
This is a must for sure. You cannot be in Lecce and not be in this area. The main street of the town which connects every part and every inch of the street is lined with shops that boast of richness in their displays.
This place is also famous for the many display windows that the shops have. Most of them narrating stories and celebrating themes, the show case windows of the stores are as interesting as the merchandise itself. There is also the tourist information office and the Church of San Giovanni that lines this area. A perfect visit, you may indulge is some good shopping and a leisure time spent strolling around and buying many things at
Via Vittorio Emanuale.
Spiaggia Porto Selvaggio
If you want to make the best at this place, you should visit it in off season. The only thing you may not like in the peak season is that it is a bit crowded owing to the large number of people visiting this place. With the closest parking spot just a little away, the natural reserve of
is wonderful. Burn off some pasta pounds and stretch your legs, even enjoy a leisurely swim if that is what you have been missing all these days. The parking which is near the Toree dell’ Alto which lies on the coastal road is at the end of Santa Caterina. From here you will have to hike down to the beaches. You may be strongly tempted to hike up the forests once you see them. Grab a spritz at the excellent bar called Bar Fico d India, which lies by the Torre. Surely by this time of the hike you have earned it! Happy campers everywhere and trekkers and hikers form the major part of the crowd.
Lifeguards are placed all around the place to ensure you of your safety once you take the dives, some of which can be a bit risky too. You may swim safely in the pool as well, but the whole idea of having the clear fresh waters, sparkling in the blues make it better to be with. You may even want to carry your own snack. You do have small shacks serving food but the menu and choices are not extensive at all. Surprisingly the different trails have different kinds of rocks and sands, the low rock ones provide comfortable and good foot space. This beach is fed by a number of underground springs and this causes the water to have low salinity actually making it sweet tasting and almost fresh. Some swimming holes are easy to locate and a jump into them is surely worth a shot. Approximated to be almost 12 feet deep and fresh, the water splashes against the rocks making them beautifully crystalline and shiny. There is so much more to say about this portion, just that going there in person and experiencing is a whole lot of difference.
Colonna di Sant’Oronzo
There is this column standing in the middle of the tourist square and is good for everyone. There are local markets selling local produce and items that are regularly set up in this area. You may have to watch out for some pickpockets in the area. Open and spacious, this piazza has an old amphitheatre and has yellowish stones. The nights are awesome with multi colored lights lighting up the square and pubs and lounges offering various packages and discounts to lure customers.
watches the place, over a huge loft and it is an enormously high and an Ornamental pilaster. With warm gestures and beatific expressions, the statue of the Saint lovingly oversees the Piazza while you sit and enjoy. Take a look around and see the Roman Teatro as well.
Lecce is not just one thing but many aspects combines together and this is why a visit to his place should be on your diary. Nature and modernization come hand in hand. Tourism is a flourishing industry here and that is why there are many hotels and lodging facilities offering a comfortable stay in the town. Nothing beats the magic of travelling when you have a warm host and there is not dearth of warmth in this city. A must visit for people of all age groups. Lecce is impeccable!