Basilica di Santa Croce, Piazza Sant’Oronzo and Piazza del Duomo are three fundamental visits amidst the city’s Baroque wonders that cannot fail to evoke admiration and enchantment.
The heart of this Salento city, also known as the “Lady of the Baroque”, features superb, richly-decorated churches and buildings, contributing to an authentic, unique architectural style, Lecce Baroque.
The style takes form in the complex, imaginative decoration of the façades of churches and buildings, and it is also hallmarked by the use of Lecce stone in both architecture and sculpture.
Renaissance elements and Baroque sophistication are combined in the architecture of Basilica di Santa Croce, one of the most important constructions in Lecce, a masterpiece of incredible beauty.
The opulence of the external decorations can also be found inside, a space with three naves subdivided by sumptuous columns.
Sited on the like-named square, at the heart of the historic city and just a short walk from Piazza Sant’Oronzo, Lecce’s Cathedral is the focal point of the city’s religious life.
Even though the original construction of the Cathedral dates back to 1144, it was the rebuilding work performed in the second half of the 17th century that transformed it into the triumph of Lecce Baroque that it is still today.
Covering an area of 34,000 square metres, the Giuseppe Garibaldi gardens are a much-loved park, frequented by the people of Lecce, a short distance from the historic centre.
The verdant plant life is enhanced by benches, fountains and small architectural works, and it provides cool shade during even the hottest days of summer.
Built on the site of an earlier fortification dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries, the Castle commissioned by King Charles V in 1539 is one of the most important pieces of military architecture in Apulia.
Originally used principally for defence, today the castle hosts exhibitions, performances and conferences, and it can be visited free of charge.
The Roman Amphitheatre is the most important Ancient Roman monument in Lecce.
Built in the 2nd century A.D., today only a third of the arena can be seen. In fact the original structure was buried over the course of time, devastated by earthquakes and depredation. Extensive excavation work performed in the early 20th century made it possible to bring part of this architectural masterpiece to light. Today it offers an evocative backdrop for theatre performances and concerts.
Hallmarked by Baroque architecture and monuments, the historic centre of Lecce is a jewel of maze-like streets, lined by sophisticated buildings and crafts workshops.
Just a few minutes stroll is enough to bring you to all the major attractions of the city.