Holidays in Salento? You can't miss Lecce, the Baroque city and nightlife. Perfect place to reach the Adriatic beaches of Otranto and Gallipoli Ionic ones. Here's what to see in Lecce and the Salento.
The Cathedral of Lecce in Piazza Duomo is also known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta of 1659. The side façade in the Piazza Duomo is a sumptuous example of Rococo style by the architect Zimbalo. With its Bell Tower, 17° in height among the twenty-two major bell towers in Europe, the Cathedral is a main stop for fans of the genre.
Cathedral square is the heart of the historic centre of Lecce. It is in walking distance from Piazza s. Oronzo and includes a number of monuments such as the Cathedral and its Bell Tower, Palazzo del Vescovado and the workshop. We suggest that you see the square at sunset when this wonderful triumph of the salentino, comes alive by colored lights.
From the Baroque Duomo square just minutes away, we are at theRoman amphitheatre of Lecce. Augustan Roman is located in the central Piazza Sant'Oronzo, the monument has emerged thanks to the excavations of 1904, which yielded only one third of the entire structure hidden underground in Piazza Sant'Oronzo.
The Palazzo del Seggio del 1592 more known as "the seat" is always in Piazza Sant'Oronzo. Characterized by an interesting mix between Gothic and Renaissance, the seat was formerly used for corporate events and is now destined to art shows and exhibitions.
The Castle of Charles V known as the simple "Castello di Lecce" is located east of downtown and in Piazza Sant'Oronzo. The Swabian-Angevin age Tower is in the middle of the sixteenth century fortress, out of which grew the entire system of the Castle as it appears today. The castle was not only defensive functions, in fact in the past one of the rooms was used as a theater and today is used as the headquarters of the Department of culture and cultural centre.
The basilica di Santa Croce is located in via Umberto I, and is the most expressive of baroque of Lecce Salento. The façade has a particular Visual impact, a must for lovers of photography. In it you can see the self-portrait of Antonio Zimbalo (architect) while the extremes the two female statues, symbolizing "faith and Fortitude". Inside, the altar dedicated to Saint Francis of Paola realized by the same architect, is considered the ultimate expression of baroque sculpture in Terra d'Otranto.
A short walk from Santa Croce you can reach Porta Napoli. Built in 1548 in honor of Charles V, marks the entrance into the historical centre of the city along with the other two existing ports. Porta Rudiae is located in via Adua, is the most interesting and ancient doors of Lecce rebuilt in 1703 on an antecedent. Erected towards the ancient city destroyed by Rudiae, open access to the city on the eastern side. The third and last is Porta San Biagio, is close to southern Italy Square and gives access to the old town.
La Chiesa di Sant'Irene of 1639 is located in via Vittorio Emanuele II. Inside is the altar of Saint Andrew Avellino in Rococo style. If you are curious and keen on religious artifacts this monument is characterized for the custody of nine busts of Saints that surround each depicted religious relics.
After a tour amidst the rich Baroque architecture in the heart of Salento, cannot certainly miss a relaxing stroll among 19th-century gardens of the Villa comunale. Today dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi, formerly commonly known as "Villa della Lupa", symbol of the city of Lecce called "Lupiae" by the Romans. The Villa is currently structured as an Italian garden, with a wide sweep, flowerbeds, geometric hedges and a beautiful Fountain.
Piazza Sant'Oronzo is the most important Square of Lecce, where beats the night and public life of the city. From it you can walk to many of the historic streets, crowded streets and meeting places for young people and adults. We suggest that you move from Piazza Sant'Oronzo towards Duomo, where you'll meet some locals where you can try typical cuisine. While nearby you'll find wineries, breweries and the famous and known by Lecce "historical street of Pubs". In short, reserved at least one night to experience the atmosphere of Lecce by night, looks amazing.