Lecce is a wonderful travel destination.  Lecce, Italy is a city of close to 100 square miles in southern Italy with a rich history given the 2,000+ years since it was founded.  Lecce has wonderful architecture and monuments, as well as a rich culture, and its people are quite welcoming to tourists.  To really enjoy just one day there we suggest that you might concentrate on staying in the town itself.  Mingle with tourists and townsfolk alike in the beautiful shop and restaurant area.

Lecce Italy Overview

Lecce is the kind of place where you don’t have to imagine history because the city has retained so much in its architecture and culture that you can actually see it.  With a healthy dose of unique baroque structures that maintain their charm because the city has kept them looking great since they were built in the 17th-century architects and builders, the city is quite unique and special.  Unique may be the key here, as experts would tell you that the architecture here is specifically “Lecce baroque”.  You will find a lot of opinions about the overall look of Lecce, from beautiful to too crowded with carvings, figures, and scenes.

Lecce is both relaxed and busy, with enough to do to keep you interested and happy to be there, but not so much hustle and bustle to take away from the experience.  The food is excellent, the nightlife fun, and the people friendly and engaging.  You will find nice shops selling art and small eateries worth checking out.  If you are looking for a short getaway you are within a stones throw of some wonderful beaches on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.

Climate in Lecce Italy

Lecce experiences a mediterranean climate, wonderful in almost any season.  In the winter expect a variety of temperatures, almost never freezing though sometimes close.  Fall and spring are quite comfortable, while in summer the temperatures are often above 90 degrees Farenheight and can even get over 100.

Lecce Travel Guide

The highlight of your trip to this region will likely be the town center.  It is like walking through beautiful postcards that have come to life, and you see wonderful architecture and quaint streets.  You can easily get a nice map of Lecce from the tourist information offices.  The best one, or at least easiest to find, is in the wonderful old castle.  The people of Lecce Italy will also gladly tell you some of their favorite places to go and what you may enjoy.  And finally, there is a wonderful tourist train that will take you to all the major sights.

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Lecce Sightseeing

Many people go to Lecce Italy to take in the wonderful architecture and historical sights.  In fact, you could design a small holiday vacation around just that.  Some of the specific Lecce sightseeing destinations are:

Church of the Holy Cross (In Italian: Chiesa di Santa Croce)

Chiesa di Santa Croce has a wonderful exterior, with intricate carvings of animals, human figures and gardens.  Inside you will feel the rich history and enjoy the artwork.  Another great church to visit is Santa Irene.   This church also has a wonderful façade with amazing artwork and a large statue.  Inside there is also great artwork, and several high alters with historical scenes.  The kids, in particular might enjoy this one.

Torre del Parco

Torre del Parco harkens back to medieval times in the Lecce region, sating back to the early 15th century.  The “Park Tower” tower stands  at around 23 meters high (75 ft), surrounded by a ditch.  The Park Tower is worth visiting, at least briefly, where you can learn about its history and the history of the whole region.

Piazza Sant’Oronzo

This is truly the town center, Piazza Sant’Oronzo.  It is shaped like a square and all around it has wonderful historical features including a real excavated Roman amphitheatre a large and famous statue of the patron saint of Lecce and other wonderful sights all available by just turning in each direction.

Roman Amphitheatre

The Amphitheatre in Lecce Italy was built in the 2nd century and situated near the Sant’Oronzo Square described above.  It was large, able to seat more than 25,000 people when it was fully functioning, although now it is somewhat buried.  It is still used for different religious and arts events.  You may want to find out if there are any interesting events there during your trip.

Piazza del Duomo

The cathedral square, called Piazza del Duomo, similar to many others you find in this wonderful country.  The Lecce version has a wonderful bell tower.  You can spend a relaxing time in this square.

Museo Provinciale

The museum in Lecce is called Museo Provinciale and it is worth a trip if you are exploring this area.  You will find great historical artifacts from this and the surrounding region.

Lecce restaurants and food

You almost can’t go wrong with the many restaurants in Lecce.  Look for ones that are busy in the late evening.  Don’t look only to the center of the Lecce town because there are some within walking distance but out of sight. Here are some examples of the top places to get food or dine, Lecce restaurants that are worth the trip:

  • If you have a sweet tooth do not miss Gelateria Pasticceria Natale for absolutely wonderful Italian desserts. There is a nice variety but everything is fresh and homemade.
  • Among the restaurants Joyce Vineria/Enoteca has received very positive reviews.  This Lecce restaurant serves food typical of the area.  You can find it in the older part of the city, and while you can certainly get traditional faire, you will also find new and interesting dishes.  Of course your will also have your pick of a good number of regional wines.
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A Day in Lecce Italy

A typical day in Lecce Italy might include:

Lecce in the morning

You might start with a warm pastry in a breakfast cafe where you sit by a window and watch the town slowly come to life.  You’ll see shopkeepers opening up and putting their most prized items out near the street, and other food cafes and carts opening up with colorful and tasty pastries and other food.  You might see the people of Lecce Italy or longer-term visitors out for a long walk or jog before the town really comes to life.  And you may meet others like you who want to explore the best this holiday town has to offer.

Lecce Shopping

Then you might stroll along the various shops in town, seeing what is for sale that has been homemade in Lecce.  The quality of the craftmanship and the care that goes into these pieces is excellent and you may have trouble resisting buying a few things to remind you of the town.  You may even want to look into clothing or jewelry that is native to the region and quite unique and fashionable.

Lecce Atmosphere

During your walk through town you will notice many historical landmarks, so don’t go too fast or be in such a rush that you miss reading about them.  And there may be people from Lecce Italy who are interested in talking – if you want – about the town and what might be going on and what the history is.  The townspeople tend not to be intrusive, but they do like to brag about their town and spread excitement and interest about it.

Other excellent Lecce Italy Travel Guides can be found at “Discovery Italy” and “Go Italy“.  If you decide to go, please let us know all about your trip to Lecce!

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