Lecce is a lovely historical city in the Salento region of Puglia Italy. Old town of Lecce is so well protected that you feel like you are hanging around hundreds of years ago and you really feel the ancient atmosphere. Best way to discover this beautiful city is just keep walking and getting lost in the streets but for not to miss some important checkpoints I will try to point them out. You can also find some info about accomodation and transportation in this post. If Lecce is not in your travel plans I suggest you to add the list as soon as possible 🙂
LECCE OLD TOWN
1.BASILICA DI SANTA CROCE
One of the most famous churches with baroque style. This structure is built in 17th century with special yellow Lecce stones which is used all over the old town.
2.CATTEDRALE DELL’ASSUNZIONE DELLA VIRGINE
Lecce Cathedral which is located in Piazza del Duomo is the most important religious building in the city. Originally built in 12th century and then rebuilt with baroque style in 17th century. Interior of the building is very beautiful with detailed paintings and decorations.
3.PIAZZA DEL DUOMO
Duomo Square is an atraction point for tourists since it is full with important buildings, firstly the cathedral itself and the bell tower. This square is like a summary of the succesful architectural design of all old city. Furthermore you can find some nice restaurants and original shops in this region.
This amphitheatre gives you the feeling of visiting a real arena. Some part is lost under the nearby buildings but it had 25.000 people capacity in the past.
5.CASTELLO CARLO V
This castle is built during the time of Charles V. It is a very well protected sturcture. You can walk in the castle and you can also visit Papier-Mache Museum.
6.PORTO SAN BIAGIO
Porto San Biagio is one of the three remaining gates of old town. It is an impressive sturcture with its unique art.
It is the most popular gate that is built in 16th century in honour of Charles V. Porta Napoli is an amazing piece of history and one of the famous tourist attractions.
In Puglia region, railway system is well developed. Trains are on time and you can even go to small villages by train. Just be sure that you check the timetable before going to the station from trenitalia.com . There are also buses to the nearby places from Lecce but they are not so often like trains and more expensive. However if you need further info, you can check it from stplecce.it or fseonline.it . Another option is of course renting a car but we couldn’t find an option cheaper than 50 € per day so we decided to continue with train.
Lecce has many budget B&B options but I recommend to choose one close to the old town. It is nice to walk to the old town in 5 min whenever you want, early in the morning or at night. We’ve stayed in Ada Suites which is just nearby the old town. They have given the names of the philosophers to the rooms and we stayed in the room of Aristotle. Our room with high ceelings, stone walls and historical atmosphere, made us feel like we are living in the past centuries and it was a lovely experience to stay in that kind of ancient building. We became friends with the manager of the hotel Stefano and his beautiful fiance Eugenia and they were wonderful hosts. They gave us some local tips about Lecce and helped us to discover the city in a short time. Here is a video that we record with Stefano to share some local advice and to get some info about for Lecce…
Since we didn’t have a car, and we had limitted time, we couldn’t go for swimming but here are the list of most beautiful beaches after a long search and local advice from Stefano.
Santa Maria Al Bagno
Afterall, I can say that 1-2 days are just enough to discover the old town of Lecce but if you want to go to the wonderful beaches and other small villages nearby then at you need at least 5 days or maybe 1 week in this region. You will be leaving happy and satisfied from Lecce after tasting good vine, eating delicious pizzas, walking around old town and swimming in the crsytal clear sea. Enjoy the romantic atmosphere! 🙂