A vacation in Italy conjures images of the romantic gondola and olive oil and pasta. Move beyond the obvious. This year, why not go off the beaten track and explore a delightful little town called Lecce.
Lecce is part of the Salentine sub peninsula in the Puglia region. Interestingly, the Salentine peninsula, because of its location, is often referred to as the heel in the boot of the Italian peninsula. Lecce is an important city in this region.
History Of Lecce
Like many ancient cities around the world, Lecce has seen its share of ups and downs, experiencing numerous conquests and subsequent new rulers. Lecce has been witness to history right from the time of the Trojan War prior to 3rd century BC to World War II, where it served as an aircraft base for the allies between 1943 and 1945.
Travel and Stay
Lecce is accessible by train on Eurostar rail from Foggia. The nearest
airports are Brinidisi and Bari
Lecce offers a wide variety in terms of accommodation and caters to all budgets. The city has “only lodging” hotels, bed and breakfast and luxurious resorts.
This is the name for ornate architecture that has originated from Lecce. Lecce is known for abundant reserves of soft limestone that is extremely malleable and easy to work with. And the city is filled with Baroque monuments that use this limestone. This special limestone is the city’s main export and a major commercial activity here.
Things to do in Lecce
Most of the interesting sights in Lecce are located around the compact historic center. This coupled with a mild Mediterranean climate makes it an excellent choice to walk around. Enjoy long romantic walks, which have no place in the regular stressful life that you are probably leading. Besides, you need these walks to work up an appetite for the sinfully rich and heavenly tasting cuisine that is part of the Puglia region. There are many fine restaurants located around the historic center. And don’t forget to sample “Ncapriata”, a typical dish of Lecce.
Interesting Sights in Lecce
Lecce is literally a sight seeing paradise. Every corner you turn, you find an exquisite Baroque monument. The quaint streets and houses retain an old world charm that will warm your heart. Some of the interesting sights in Lecce seeped in history include the Piazza del Duomo, the Roman Amphitheatre, Castle of Charles V and the Basilica of Santa Croce. Other attractions in Lecce are the archeological museum that gives you a glimpse into how people in Lecce led their lives centuries ago and the provincial museum that houses important finds from the city and region. Do walk along the Via Vittorio Emmanuel, which is the main street in the city lined with cafes and shops and restaurants. It also has the tourist information office.
Memories and Souvenirs
Lecce is most famous for its Baroque limestone. Show pieces made of this material make good gifts for friends and serve as unique souvenirs of your trip. Lecce is an industrial center for ceramic production and excels in the art of paper mache, giving you some options to carry back memories of your trip in a more tangible form