Lecce In Italy, The Florence Of The South

Lecce in Italy, the Florence of the South

It is one of the best kept secrets in Italy, a city full of wonderful monuments, culture and history everywhere. Not for nothing is Lecce known as the “Florence of the South”, alluding to the number of important monuments it has. It is definitely a unique destination of its kind that we are sure you will love to visit. Do you dare to travel to  Lecce  with us?

Lecce: an Italian treasure

1. Historic center of Lecce

Baroque palaces in Lecce
Baroque Palaces, Lecce – GoneWithTheWind

One of the main attractions of Lecce is its historic center, whose style is known as “the Lecce style”, a baroque style that breaks the mold of the typical rules of Roman Baroque. The whole town has an imposing style that glides between its old streets, churches, palaces and the ornaments that decorate such splendid buildings.

2. Piazza de Sant’Oronzo

The Piazza de Sant’Oronzo is one of the most special places that this mythical city of Baroque style hides. The name of the square, Oronzo, was chosen in honor of the city’s patron. This Saint protected Lecce from the epidemic that had spread throughout the kingdom of Naples.

Roman amphitheater of Lecce
Roman Amphitheater – John Copland

The Piazza de Sant’Oronzo still preserves remains of the amphitheater, discovered during construction work on the square in 1940. Today it is one of the most important tourist sites in the city.

The history of this monument is still doubtful,  however it is believed that it could have been built between the times of Augustus and Hadrian. The amphitheater was designed with a capacity of 25,000 spectators.

3. The Teatini Monastery

Teatini Monastery in Lecce
Teatini Monastery – Andrea Donato Alemanno / Flickr.com

The old Teatini Monastery is one of the most important and emblematic buildings in the city. It is located in the historic center of Lecce and its history dates back to 1586 when the Teatini Fathers arrived in the city. This congregation was characterized by promoting the counter-reform of the ecclesiastical sacrament.

Today some elements of the unique baroque style that defines practically the entire city are still preserved. In this space, fairs, exhibitions and events are held, in which the Bethlehem exhibition stands out.

4. Piazza del Duomo

The Piazza del Duomo is one of those must-see places when visiting Lecce. This typically Baroque-style square has the particularity of being a closed square, since it has only one entrance and one exit. In order to visit the city’s cathedral, it is necessary to enter through these doors, which were once closed at night.

Lecce Cathedral
Lecce Cathedral – Mi.Ti.

The history of Lecce Cathedral dates back to 1144 when it began to be built, although it actually underwent various changes over the years. In fact, the structure of the church was changed again in the 17th century.

The cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, it has three naves and 12 altars, in addition to the main altar. It is definitely one of the most impressive buildings in Lecce that is well worth visiting.

5. The Roman theater

Roman theater of Lecce
Roman theater – Mi.Ti.

Like the amphitheater, it was discovered accidentally, in 1929, when works were being carried out in the gardens of two palaces in Lecce. It is believed to be from the time of Augustus and had the capacity to hold 5,000 spectators.

6. Basilica of the Holy Cross

Basilica of the Holy Cross in Lecce
Basilica of the Holy Cross – Kushch Dmitry

The construction of the imposing Basilica of the Holy Cross took several centuries. Construction began in 1353, but work continued until 1549 and was not completed until 1695. This building has elaborate ornaments such as figures of animals and plants.

7. Castle of Carlos V

The castle of Carlos V is an imposing building that was built between the years 1539 and 1549, it is one of the obligatory stops when you visit this incredible city. In addition, right next to it you can find the opera theater called Politeama Greco, which was inaugurated in 1884.

Lecce is one of the most interesting cities in Italy that you can visit. Its ancient and rich history is embodied in every great monument, square and building. Would you like to know this amazing city?

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