15 Greatest Issues To Do in Lecce, Italy

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 put up, I’ve written about one of the best issues to do in Lecce – considered one of my favourite Puglian cities.

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

This charming city additionally receives fewer international vacationers than most of the different well-known places in Puglia. It’s an ideal place to find if you happen to’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 may attraction to a variety of individuals; whether or not you’re touring solo, as a pair, with youngsters, on a finances, 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 Heart)

One among my favourite methods to introduce myself to any new vacation spot is to participate in a strolling tour, and Lecce is not 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 completely 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 most 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, under.

2. Admire the Teatro Romano (Roman Amphitheater)

Lecce’s Roman Amphitheatre is an unbelievable instance of historic structure and engineering. It’s situated within the very middle of the historic middle 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 ugly gladiator fights and different public reveals. Nevertheless, 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.

At present, the ruined amphitheater is used for concert events and theatrical performances that are held on occasion. If you happen to’re visiting while considered one of these is on, I strongly suggest getting tickets. Attending a dwell efficiency in an virtually 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheater must be one of the distinctive and memorable issues to do in Lecce, Puglia.

3. Soak Up the Ambiance 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 dwelling to a variety of necessary monuments, together with the Baroque-style City Corridor, a mosaic of a feminine wolf (a logo of historic Rome), and a powerful 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 slightly people-watching. It’s a preferred assembly level with locals of all ages and has a beautiful, buzzing ambiance at most instances of the day and effectively into the night.

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

Lingering right here with an after-dinner digestif is considered one of my favourite issues to do in Lecce at night time. If you happen to’re fortunate sufficient to be in Leece through the competition 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 Avenue Meals

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

One of the best ways to pattern and find out about these scrumptious meals is to hitch a avenue food-tasting tour, the place you’ll get the chance to style a spread 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 often when the most important variety of distributors attend). Right here, you’ll discover a vary of stalls promoting all kinds of mouthwatering dishes and native components to strive.

5. Be a part of a Conventional Cooking Class

If you happen to’d wish to learn to make some traditional Puglian dishes at dwelling, I like to recommend becoming a member of a conventional cooking class. There are a number of completely different courses to select from, that are held inside a stupendous non-public Seventeenth-century palazzo.

You’ll rustle up a spread of native specialties after which feast in your creations together with a number of superb 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 individuals who’d desire to learn to make contemporary orecchiette pasta (which interprets as “little ears”, because of its distinctive form), try this masterclass which additionally contains wine tasting.

6. Go to Native Wineries and Attempt Wine Tasting

The realm 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 virtually solely grown there. There are a number of wineries situated on the outskirts of Lecce, that are unbelievable locations to go to to find out about (and style!) the native sorts of wine.

A number of of the vineyards even provide lunch, so you may linger for some time longer and revel in a leisurely and indulgent afternoon in a stupendous, pure setting – it’s undoubtedly considered one of my favourite issues to do close to Lecce. Try this glorious tour, which features a go to to 2 native wineries, lunch, and transport to and from Lecce.

7. Step Inside Lecce Cathedral

Situated 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 among 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 as a result of subsidence that’s occurred over the centuries.

A magnificent Lecce Cathedral

The Cathedral inside incorporates a mix of Roman, Gothic, and Baroque types and is stuffed with 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 an enchanting story. In 2001, an area resident was finishing up some dwelling repairs when he stumbled throughout a variety of historic artifacts.

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

At present you may tour this underground community and (actually) uncover the various layers of Lecce’s historical past.

9. Benefit from the Salento Peninsula

The Salento peninsula types 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 dwelling 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 gorgeous seashores both – they’re a few of the greatest within the area and provide loads of alternatives for swimming, sunbathing, and stress-free. Baia dei Turchi is considered one of my favorites.

A stunning coast of Salento Peninsula

If you happen to’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 Fortress 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 dwelling, and (at the moment), because the headquarters of Lecce’s Council of Cultural Affairs.

Exploring the various 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 citadel’s partitions the place you may take some unbelievable pictures of town and its environment from above.

11. Study The way to Make Contemporary Pasta (and Tiramisù)

What may very well be extra Italian than studying find out how to make your individual scrumptious selfmade pasta? Whether or not you’re a whole 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 dwelling.

pasta making class in Italy

Your hosts may even present you find out 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. Make sure you arrive hungry!

12. Loosen up within the Giardini Pubblici Giuseppe Garibaldi

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

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

13. See the Basilica di Santa Croce

One other gorgeous 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 gorgeous.

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 adorned 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 supreme for exploring by kayak. There are many islands and exquisite coves to find too, making this a good way to soak up a few of the gorgeous coastal surroundings.

You may select to go kayaking by your self or be part of a guided tour that may 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. If in case you have your individual automobile, it’s a straightforward 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 stuffed with whitewashed homes, cobblestone streets, and loads of charming little cafes.

Alberobello is legendary 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 dwelling to one of the photogenic seashores in all of Italy – Lama Monachile.

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

You may simply go to every of those locations as a day journey from Lecce. If you happen to’d wish to see all 3 in someday, try this tour which departs from Lecce.

Fast Journey Itineraries For Lecce

Whether or not you will have a day or per week to spend, listed below are a couple of urged itineraries that will help you get essentially the most out of your time in Lecce.

1 Day in Lecce Itinerary

You may see many of the metropolis’s principal sights in someday. I like to recommend beginning with a strolling tour of the historic middle 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 way 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, comparable to Negroamaro (see under).

2-3 Days in Lecce Itinerary

I like to recommend spending your first day in the identical method 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 get pleasure from some tasty avenue meals and watch the sundown.

1 Week in Lecce Itinerary

With per week in Lecce, you may comfortably do all the actions I’ve talked about on this put up. Spend days 1-3 roughly as described above, though take your time on every exercise – you’re in no rush! For instance, if you happen to’re actually into kayaking, you can at all times spend a complete day doing this.

Then, spend the ultimate days ticking off the remainder of the gadgets on this checklist. Make sure you spend a full day exploring the remainder of the Salento peninsula, both by hiring a automobile 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 completely different and undoubtedly price 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 inside the metropolis limits. That stated, listed below are a few choices so that you can take into account:

Centro Storico – Greatest for First-time Guests

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

Try this glorious resort in Lecce’s Centro Storico.

San Cataldo – Greatest for Stunning 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 inside the metropolis of Lecce however is simply 11 kilometers up the highway, and there’s a bus that may take you all the way in which into the historic middle.

This can be a nice little condominium 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 makes a speciality of ingenious takes on traditional regional specialties, utilizing contemporary, high quality components sourced as domestically as potential. The menu is seasonal and adjustments recurrently. It’s slightly on the dear facet, however I feel it’s price the additional expense and could be an ideal place to return for an important day.


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

Daiki Japanese Restaurant

Italian meals is wonderful, however if you happen to’re visiting for an extended interval, after a whilst you might begin to crave one thing completely different. If this occurs whilst you’re in Lecce, you must head to Daiki. They serve a few of the greatest sushi I’ve present in Italy in addition to a spread 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

If you happen to’re coming from Rome or one other main Italian metropolis, you may both benefit from Italy’s glorious high-speed railway community or rent a automobile 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 many 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 at all times rent a automobile, take the bus, a regional prepare, or be 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 recognized for?

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

When is one of the best time to go to Lecce?

The most effective time to go to Lecce is within the late spring or early autumn (Could or September). The climate will probably 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 price visiting?

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

What number of days ought to I spend in Lecce?

Though you can go to many of the prime locations to see in Lecce in someday, I like to recommend spending a minimum of 2-3 nights right here to make your journey extra relaxed and fulfilling. Extra time may even provide the likelihood to get pleasure from a few of the many issues to do round Lecce.

Is Lecce protected?

Sure, Lecce is a protected place to go to. After all, it’s at all times a good suggestion to pay attention to your environment and take the standard precautions comparable to not leaving valuables unattended, preserving a watch out for pickpockets, and sticking to areas which can be lit at night time.

What’s the hottest factor to do in Lecce?

The most well-liked 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 most effective seaside close to Lecce is Baia dei Turchi which is a stupendous stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear water, about 40 kilometers southeast of town. If you happen to’re searching for a seaside slightly nearer, Torre dell’Orso is a mere 25km from Lecce and has vary of amenities together with bars and eating places.

What meals ought to I strive in Lecce?

It’s best to undoubtedly strive a few of the native specialties while you’re in Lecce, comparable to focaccia, orecchiette pasta, sfogliatelle, and panzerotti.

In Closing

Now you already know what to see and do in Lecce, Italy. Regardless of its comparatively small measurement, there are numerous nice issues to find right here. Whether or not you’re keen on historic monuments, structure, the native meals and wine scene, or exploring the tranquil countryside across the metropolis, there’s certain to be one thing right here that you simply’ll love.

The truth is, I’d go as far as to say that Lecce is considered one of my favourite cities in all of southern Italy; if you happen to get the possibility to go to, I extremely suggest it!

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