Lecce is a city located in the south of Puglia and is well-known for its Baroque Architecture and rich history. That’s why it’s called the ‘Florence of the South.’ Lecce is a city that has it all: history, art, gastronomy, and architectural beauty. If you have the opportunity to visit Lecce, I recommend dedicating at least a full day to explore.

There are so many things to see and do that you won’t want to miss anything. To get around Lecce, the best option is to walk, as the city is relatively small and has numerous pedestrian streets. Plus, walking will allow you to enjoy the city’s Baroque architecture and discover its numerous monuments and squares.

Piazza Duomo

Start your day at Piazza Duomo, where you can admire the impressive Lecce Cathedral and its accompanying bell tower. Then, stroll through the cobbled streets of the historic center, surrounded by Baroque buildings. This square is one of Lecce’s main attractions, centrally located and exemplifying a closed square, enclosed on three sides with only one entrance and exit.

lecce piazza duomo
source italy.it


The Cathedral of Maria Santissima Assunta stands in Piazza del Duomo. Designed by Giuseppe Zimbalo, it includes the adjacent five-story, 70-meter bell tower. This cathedral is Lecce’s most significant and representative church. We highly recommend stepping inside; it’s truly worth it. Once inside, take note of the organ and the ceiling of the central nave, entirely adorned with carved wood.

lecce cattedrale
source viaggiamo.it

Basilica Santa Croce

Don’t miss the Basilica di Santa Croce, one of the city’s most impressive churches. Originally a monastery in 1353, it was transformed into a Basilica a century later, a project spanning 200 years and completed in 1646. This church exemplifies the Leccese Baroque style. Its facade is adorned with statues, reliefs, animals, grotesque figures, vegetation, and a large rose window. While criticized in the 19th century for perceived vulgarity, it’s now one of the city’s most admired and visited sites.

lecce santa croce
source affariitaliani

Castle Carlo V

If you’re a history enthusiast, don’t miss out on visiting the Castle of Charles V. Built in 1539 and later remodeled under the orders of Charles V, this fortress served as a military stronghold to defend the city from Turkish attacks. Today, it hosts numerous cultural events, and entry to the courtyard is completely free.

lecce castello carlo V
source lagazzettadelmezzogiorno

Sant`Oronzo Square

Head to Sant Oronzo Square, Lecce’s heart. Discover the 2nd-century Roman Amphitheater, unearthed in 1929 during construction near Palazzo D’Arpe and Palazzo Romano. Ongoing excavations reveal only a third of its total expanse. Yet, this square holds more treasures: the 29-meter-high Column of San Oronzo, crowned with the statue of the city’s patron saint.

lecce piazza sant oronzo
source visitlecce

Porta Napoli

The Porta Napoli, built in 1548 by city residents in honor of Charles V, who fortified the city’s defenses, marks the starting point of the consular road to Naples. Besides its impressive significance, Porta Napoli serves as an ideal gateway to begin exploring Lecce’s old town.

lecce porta napoli
source expedia

Porta Rudiae

Porta Rudiae is one of the historic gates of Lecce, Italy, dating back to the Roman period. Named after the ancient city of Rudiae, it stands as a significant architectural landmark, representing the city’s rich history. Today, Porta Rudiae remains a captivating attraction, offering visitors a glimpse into Lecce’s past and serving as a gateway to its charming streets and cultural heritage.

lecce porta rudiae
source wikipedia

Santa Chiara Church

The Church of Santa Clara, built in 1429, stands as one of Lecce’s most beautiful and renowned Baroque churches. Located in the heart of the old town, behind the Plaza de San Oronzo, its most famous feature is its false ceiling entirely crafted from papier-mâché.

lecce chiesa santa chiara
source visititaly

Museum Faggiano

The Museo Faggiano is a unique archaeological museum located in Lecce, Italy. What makes it extraordinary is its unconventional origin—it began as a private home owned by the Faggiano family. During renovations in 2001, the family discovered layers of history beneath their property, uncovering a complex archaeological site spanning various periods, from ancient Roman times to the Middle Ages and beyond.

The museum showcases the remarkable findings unearthed during these renovations, including well-preserved frescoes, ancient artifacts, and even underground chambers. Visitors can explore the layers of history beneath the Faggiano family’s home, gaining insight into Lecce’s rich past and the everyday lives of its inhabitants across different eras. The Museo Faggiano offers a fascinating journey through time, blending archaeology with the story of a modern-day family’s discovery of their city’s hidden heritage.

lecce museo faggiano
source visitlecce


If you’re seeking to indulge in local cuisine, Lecce’s kitchen, like much of Puglia, is renowned for its fresh seafood dishes, such as grilled octopus and steamed mussels. You must also try handmade orecchiette pasta served with fresh tomato sauce and basil. Lastly, don’t miss out on the famous pasticciotti, delicious pastries filled with custard cream, typical of the region.

pasticciotto lecce

What to do in Lecce

But Lecce is not only Churches, museums and Baroque buildings. Lecce’s old city center is a big outdoor museum: there’s a grace and original elegance in its wonderful small streets, alleys and courtyards packed with upmarket boutiques, antique shops and furniture restorers.

There are many tours and activities you can do, here is a sample:

Walking Tour of Lecce’s Historic Center: This tour is a great way to explore Lecce’s beautiful historic center. You’ll visit the city’s iconic Baroque churches, elegant palaces, and winding streets lined with artisan shops and cafes.

Horse ride in a Salento Nature Reserve: You will ride on gentle horses and in the company of an expert equestrian guide we will ride along the paths of the Park to discover the natural beauty of the area. You will arrive on the beach to take some photos and at the end of the excursion we will return to the Ranch.

Wine Tasting Tour of Salento: The Salento region is also known for its excellent wines, and this tour will take you to some of the best wineries in the area. You’ll sample delicious wines and learn about the region’s wine-making traditions.

Cooking Class in Lecce: If you love Italian cuisine, this tour is for you. You’ll learn how to prepare some of Puglia’s most famous dishes, such as orecchiette pasta and frisella bread, and enjoy a delicious meal afterwards.

Day Trip to tour of the caves of Santa Maria di Leuca: Book a boat trip to the Caves of Santa Maria di Leuca, and enjoy stops to swim and snorkel along the way. In a small group of just 12 travelers, you’ll cruise past Punta Ristola, the southern tip of the Puglia region, as well as Punta Meliso, on your route to the caves.

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