15 Greatest Issues To Do in Lecce, Italy

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The southeastern Italian area of Puglia has no scarcity of wonderful locations to go to; Bari, Monopoli, Alberobello, and Ostuni, to call however a couple of. On this publish, I’ve written about the very best issues to do in Lecce – one in all my favourite Puglian cities.

Lecce is an exquisite, historic metropolis that’s sometimes called the “Florence of the South” attributable to its abundance of Baroque structure. Along with admiring the attractive buildings in its historic heart, there’s a wealth of different enjoyable issues to do in Lecce.

This charming city additionally receives fewer international vacationers than lots of the different well-known areas in Puglia. It’s a terrific place to find for those who’re after a style of genuine southern Italian tradition and is someplace that I’d fortunately return to time and time once more.

Greatest Issues To Do in Lecce

Inside this text, I’ve included a number of sights and actions that can enchantment to a variety of individuals; whether or not you’re touring solo, as a pair, with youngsters, on a price range, or as a part of a wider journey to Italy, there’s one thing of curiosity right here for you.

So, with out additional ado, enable me to introduce you to my choose of the highest issues to do in Lecce.

1. Take a Strolling Tour of the Centro Storico (Historic Middle)

One in all my favourite methods to introduce myself to any new vacation spot is to participate in a strolling tour, and Lecce isn’t any exception. Having an area professional present you across the metropolis and educate you about its wealthy historical past is a good way to familiarize your self with this unbelievable place.

There are a couple of totally different strolling excursions to select from, however I like to recommend reserving this one. It’s run by a pleasant and educated native information who will present you round lots of the prime locations to go to in Lecce, together with the Piazza del Duomo, the Teatro Romano, the Piazza Sant’Oronzo, and the Basilica di Santa Croce.

The streets of the historic centre of Lecce

I’ve included extra info on every of those locations, in addition to many different Lecce sights, beneath.

2. Admire the Teatro Romano (Roman Amphitheater)

Lecce’s Roman Amphitheatre is an unimaginable instance of historic structure and engineering. It’s situated within the very heart of the historic heart of Lecce and is likely one of the metropolis’s main highlights.

Constructed between the first and 2nd century AD, the amphitheater was initially used for grotesque gladiator fights and different public reveals. Nonetheless, after the autumn of the Roman Empire, the large construction fell into disrepair and ultimately turned buried. It was solely rediscovered in 1901, through the development of foundations for a financial institution.

Right this moment, the ruined amphitheater is used for live shows and theatrical performances that are held infrequently. In case you’re visiting while one in all these is on, I strongly suggest getting tickets. Attending a dwell efficiency in an nearly 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheater must be one of the distinctive and memorable issues to do in Lecce, Puglia.

3. Soak Up the Environment in Piazza Sant’Oronzo (One of many Greatest Free Issues To Do in Lecce, Italy)

The Piazza Sant’Oronzo is likely one of the most well-known squares in Lecce. It’s house to plenty of vital monuments, together with the Baroque-style City Corridor, a mosaic of a feminine wolf (a logo of historic Rome), and a formidable column topped with a statue of Saint Oronzo, the patron saint of Lecce.

After a busy few hours of sightseeing within the metropolis, this sq. is a perfect spot to take a seat, relaxation, and partake in a bit people-watching. It’s a preferred assembly level with locals of all ages and has an exquisite, buzzing environment at most instances of the day and properly into the night.

The Roman Amphitheater in Piazza Sant'Oronzo in Lecce, Apulia

Lingering right here with an after-dinner digestif is one in all my favourite issues to do in Lecce at evening. In case you’re fortunate sufficient to be in Leece through the pageant of Saint Oronzo (Festa di Sant’Oronzo) on the finish of August, this plaza is a focus of the celebrations, with fireworks, parades, and costumed reenactions of tales from native folklore.

4. Feast on Native Road Meals

I completely love the meals in Puglia, and Lecce is especially famend for its wonderful avenue meals. You’ll discover distributors promoting a wide range of native delicacies corresponding to focaccia, sfogliatelle (pastry full of candy ricotta cream), and panzerotti (fried pastries filled with mozzarella and tomato).

One of the simplest ways to pattern and study these scrumptious meals is to affix a avenue food-tasting tour, the place you’ll get the chance to style a variety of savory and candy Puglian specialties.

Along with taking a meals tour, there’s additionally a meals market in Piazza Libertini most days of the week to attend, (though it’s greatest to go to on a Saturday as that’s normally when the most important variety of distributors attend). Right here, you’ll discover a vary of stalls promoting all types of mouthwatering dishes and native elements to strive.

5. Be part of a Conventional Cooking Class

In case you’d prefer to learn to make some traditional Puglian dishes at house, I like to recommend becoming a member of a conventional cooking class. There are a number of totally different lessons to select from, that are held inside an exquisite personal Seventeenth-century palazzo.

You’ll rustle up a variety of native specialties after which feast in your creations together with a number of wonderful wines. All meals and drinks are included, and it’s one of the enjoyable issues to do in Lecce for {couples}.

The famous and tasty Orecchiette on a ceramic plate.

For many who’d desire to learn to make recent orecchiette pasta (which interprets as “little ears”, attributable to its distinctive form), try this masterclass which additionally contains wine tasting.

6. Go to Native Wineries and Strive Wine Tasting

The world round Lecce produces some scrumptious wines that complement the native delicacies completely. Lecce wines are usually wealthy and darkish, with notes of cherry and oak.

Salice Salentino is likely one of the hottest varieties, made with Negroamaro grapes that are native to the Salento area and nearly solely grown there. There are a number of wineries situated on the outskirts of Lecce, that are unbelievable locations to go to to study (and style!) the native forms of wine.

A number of of the vineyards even supply lunch, so you may linger for some time longer and luxuriate in a leisurely and indulgent afternoon in an exquisite, pure setting – it’s undoubtedly one in all my favourite issues to do close to Lecce. Take a look at this glorious tour, which features a go to to 2 native wineries, lunch, and transport to and from Lecce.

7. Step Inside Lecce Cathedral

Positioned within the Piazza del Duomo, Cattedrale Maria Santissima Assunta e S.Oronzo (Lecce Cathedral for brief) is a shocking baroque masterpiece that was first in-built 1144, after which considerably rebuilt in 1659.

One in all its most distinctive options is the bell tower which was designed by native architect Giuseppe Zimbalo. The tower options 5 separate “ranges” which taper as they rise. It additionally leans barely because of the subsidence that’s occurred over the centuries.

A magnificent Lecce Cathedral

The Cathedral inside incorporates a mix of Roman, Gothic, and Baroque kinds and is full of statues, frescoes, and complicated marble pillars.

8. Uncover Lecce’s Pre-Roman Secrets and techniques

The Faggiano Museum is likely one of the most uncommon vacationer sights in Lecce, Italy, and has a captivating story. In 2001, an area resident was finishing up some house repairs when he stumbled throughout plenty of historic artifacts.

After an extended interval of cautious excavation, it was found that a large wealth of vital archaeological stays lay buried proper beneath his house. These stays date again 2,500 years, to the time earlier than the Roman Empire, and embrace tombs, cisterns, frescoes, and underground escape tunnels.

Right this moment you may tour this underground community and (actually) uncover the numerous layers of Lecce’s historical past.

9. Benefit from the Salento Peninsula

The Salento peninsula kinds the southeastern tip of Puglia (i.e. the “heel” of Italy), with Leece being the most important metropolis inside. The remainder of the peninsula is house to many picturesque little cities and villages that are stuffed with old-world allure and are good for exploring on foot or by bike.

Don’t miss the beautiful seashores both – they’re a few of the greatest within the area and supply loads of alternatives for swimming, sunbathing, and stress-free. Baia dei Turchi is one in all my favorites.

A stunning coast of Salento Peninsula

In case you’re pressed for time, this is a superb one-day tour of Salento. It departs from Lecce and is a good way to expertise a few of the different highlights of this lovely area.

10. Discover Castello Carlo V

The Citadel of Charles V was constructed within the Center Ages. It’s been used for a lot of functions over the centuries, together with as a defensive fortress, a palatial house, and (right now), because the headquarters of Lecce’s Council of Cultural Affairs.

Exploring the numerous hidden staircases, gardens, underground chambers, and ornate stately rooms is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Lecce for households. You may also stroll alongside sure sections of the fort’s partitions the place you may take some unbelievable pictures of town and its environment from above.

11. Study How one can Make Recent Pasta (and Tiramisù)

What could possibly be extra Italian than studying learn how to make your personal scrumptious do-it-yourself pasta? Whether or not you’re an entire newbie or an skilled pasta-making professional, this small-group masterclass will educate you the artwork of genuine Italian pasta-making inside an actual Puglian house.

pasta making class in Italy

Your hosts can even present you learn how to make the proper tiramisù – belief me, it’s to die for! Lastly, you’ll sit right down to benefit from the magnificent fruits of your labor. Be sure you arrive hungry!

12. Calm down within the Giardini Pubblici Giuseppe Garibaldi

Subsequent to the Castello Carlo V, the Garibaldi Public Gardens are tranquil and stuffed with lush greenery, decorative timber, sculptures, and fountains. It’s a great place to spend a peaceable afternoon or take a stroll to flee the hustle and bustle of town heart.

I like to recommend bringing a picnic and a bottle of wine to take pleasure in right here – (Italy has splendidly liberal public ingesting legal guidelines!).

13. See the Basilica di Santa Croce

One other beautiful church, the Basilica of the Holy Cross was in-built 1695 and is likely one of the greatest locations to go to in Lecce to see perfectly-preserved Baroque structure. Its central rosette window specifically is basically beautiful.

The magnificent Basilica di Santa Croce under a bright blue sky.

The constructing’s facade is roofed with marble and stucco, and the ornate inside is embellished with masterpieces by the artist Antonio Zimbalo and options no fewer than 17 altars.

14. Go Sea Kayaking

Lecce is situated near the glowing, calm waters of the Adriatic Sea and a rugged shoreline that’s superb for exploring by kayak. There are many islands and exquisite coves to find too, making this a good way to absorb a few of the beautiful coastal surroundings.

You possibly can select to go kayaking by your self or be a part of a guided tour that can take you to a few of the most picturesque spots within the space.

This guided sea kayaking journey departs from the city of Nardò, 25 kilometers southwest of Lecce. You probably have your personal automotive, it’s a simple 30-minute drive. Alternatively, you may catch the direct regional prepare which hyperlinks the 2 cities.

15. Take a Day Journey to Ostuni, Alberobello, or Polignano a Mare

Ostuni, Alberobello, and Polignano a Mare are all lovely cities and nice locations to go to close to Lecce. Ostuni is an historic hilltop city full of whitewashed homes, cobblestone streets, and loads of charming little cafes.

Alberobello is known for its trulli homes – cone-shaped stone dwellings constructed centuries in the past by native farmers. Polignano a Mare is a historic and picturesque fishing village with dramatic cliffs and is house to one of the photogenic seashores in all of Italy – Lama Monachile.

Trulli of Alberobello typical houses street view in Apulia, Italy.

You possibly can simply go to every of those locations as a day journey from Lecce. In case you’d prefer to see all 3 in in the future, try this tour which departs from Lecce.

Fast Journey Itineraries For Lecce

Whether or not you’ve got a day or every week to spend, listed below are a couple of prompt itineraries that can assist you get probably the most out of your time in Lecce.

1 Day in Lecce Itinerary

You possibly can see a lot of the metropolis’s most important sights in in the future. I like to recommend beginning with a strolling tour of the historic heart of Lecce. Afterward, head to the Castello Carlo V to discover the fascinating inside and benefit from the wonderful views of town.

Take a calming stroll by means of the Giardini Pubblici Giuseppe Garibaldi within the afternoon, then head to the Piazza Sant’Oronzo for a gelato and a spot of people-watching earlier than ending your day with dinner in one of many metropolis’s glorious eating places, corresponding to Negroamaro (see beneath).

2-3 Days in Lecce Itinerary

I like to recommend spending your first day in the identical means as above. For day two, go to the Faggiano Museum and attend a conventional Puglian cooking class or pasta-making workshop after.

In your third day, go sea kayaking within the morning, go to a few of the native wineries for wine tasting within the afternoon, and head again into town to take pleasure in some tasty avenue meals and watch the sundown.

1 Week in Lecce Itinerary

With every week in Lecce, you may comfortably do all the actions I’ve talked about on this publish. Spend days 1-3 roughly as described above, though take your time on every exercise – you’re in no rush! For instance, for those who’re actually into kayaking, you could possibly all the time spend a complete day doing this.

Then, spend the ultimate days ticking off the remainder of the gadgets on this listing. Be sure you spend a full day exploring the remainder of the Salento peninsula, both by hiring a automotive or by becoming a member of this glorious guided tour.

The beautiful Ostuni Cathedral is placed at the top of the highest hill in the city.

Don’t miss the chance to go to Ostuni, Alberobello, and Polignano a Mare too. They’re all very totally different and undoubtedly value seeing.

The place to Keep in Lecce

Lecce isn’t an enormous metropolis, and most locations are inside simple strolling distance of one another, so it doesn’t actually matter the place you select to remain throughout the metropolis limits. That stated, listed below are a few choices so that you can think about:

Centro Storico – Greatest for First-time Guests

That is Lecce’s outdated city and the very best place to remain if you wish to be near all of the motion. There’s a variety of various lodging choices right here, together with lodges, guesthouses, and Airbnbs.

Take a look at this glorious resort in Lecce’s Centro Storico.

San Cataldo – Greatest for Lovely Sea Views

If you wish to keep someplace subsequent to the ocean, I like to recommend having a look at San Cataldo. It’s not technically throughout the metropolis of Lecce however is simply 11 kilometers up the highway, and there’s a bus that may take you all the best way into the historic heart.

It is a nice little house in San Cataldo.

Greatest Eating places in Lecce

There are some actually nice eating places in Lecce. Listed here are a couple of that I’d suggest attempting:

Negroamaro Restaurant

Negroamaro focuses on ingenious takes on traditional regional specialties, utilizing recent, high quality elements sourced as regionally as attainable. The menu is seasonal and adjustments repeatedly. It’s a bit on the expensive aspect, however I believe it’s value the additional expense and could be a terrific place to return for a special day.

Zefiro

Zefiro is likely one of the greatest seafood eating places within the metropolis. Their price-to-quality is excellent, (mid-range worth, top-quality recent seafood), and their monkfish pasta and shrimp ravioli are each scrumptious.

Daiki Japanese Restaurant

Italian meals is wonderful, however for those who’re visiting for an extended interval, after a whilst you could begin to crave one thing totally different. If this occurs whilst you’re in Lecce, it is best to head to Daiki. They serve a few of the greatest sushi I’ve present in Italy in addition to a variety of different traditional Japanese dishes.

Getting To Lecce

The closest worldwide airport to Lecce is Brindisi. From there, you may simply get a bus or prepare to Lecce. The prepare is quicker and takes a mere half-hour. Alternatively, you may fly to Bari and catch the prepare to Lecce, which takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Busy airport of Bari

In case you’re coming from Rome or one other main Italian metropolis, you may both reap the benefits of Italy’s glorious high-speed railway community or rent a automotive and drive your self (although do watch out for Italian drivers – in my expertise, their repute for aggressive driving is comprehensible).

When you arrive in Lecce, getting across the metropolis is straightforward as a lot of the sights and sights are situated inside strolling distance of one another. If you wish to discover additional afield or make day journeys out of town, you may all the time rent a automotive, take the bus, a regional prepare, or be a part of a guided tour that features transport.

Issues To Do in Lecce: FAQs

Listed here are some solutions to generally requested questions on visiting Lecce:

What’s Lecce identified for?

Lecce is understood for its beautiful Baroque structure and its laid-back, southern Italian allure.

When is the very best time to go to Lecce?

The perfect time to go to Lecce is within the late spring or early autumn (Could or September). The climate will likely be heat and sunny, however not too sizzling, and also you’ll keep away from nearly all of the peak-summer-season vacationers.

Is Lecce value visiting?

Completely! There are many issues to do in Lecce and it’s a very engaging and attention-grabbing little metropolis.

What number of days ought to I spend in Lecce?

Though you could possibly go to a lot of the prime locations to see in Lecce in in the future, I like to recommend spending not less than 2-3 nights right here to make your journey extra relaxed and satisfying. Extra time can even provide the probability to take pleasure in a few of the many issues to do round Lecce.

Is Lecce protected?

Sure, Lecce is a protected place to go to. In fact, it’s all the time a good suggestion to pay attention to your environment and take the standard precautions corresponding to not leaving valuables unattended, conserving an eye fixed out for pickpockets, and sticking to areas which might be lit at evening.

What’s the hottest factor to do in Lecce?

The preferred factor to do in Lecce is to discover town’s iconic Baroque structure, together with the Cathedral, the Church of Santa Croce, and the Piazza del Duomo.

What’s the greatest seaside in Lecce?

The perfect seaside close to Lecce is Baia dei Turchi which is an exquisite stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear water, about 40 kilometers southeast of town. In case you’re on the lookout for a seaside a bit nearer, Torre dell’Orso is a mere 25km from Lecce and has a great vary of amenities together with bars and eating places.

What meals ought to I strive in Lecce?

You must undoubtedly strive a few of the native specialties whenever you’re in Lecce, corresponding to focaccia, orecchiette pasta, sfogliatelle, and panzerotti.

In Closing

Now what to see and do in Lecce, Italy. Regardless of its comparatively small dimension, there are various nice issues to find right here. Whether or not you’re excited by historic monuments, structure, the native meals and wine scene, or exploring the tranquil countryside across the metropolis, there’s positive to be one thing right here that you just’ll love.

In actual fact, I’d go as far as to say that Lecce is one in all my favourite cities in all of southern Italy; for those who get the possibility to go to, I extremely suggest it!

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