What to see in Lecce

St. Oronzo's square

St. Oronzo’s square is the flagship of Lecce and the most appealing tourist attraction. The famous romanic amphitheatre (which dates back to the 2nd century), the seventeenth-century columns of St.Oronzo, Palazzo del Seggio (known as Sedile), the church of St. Marco and the church of St. Maria delle Grazie stand here. Nearby there’s Bar Avio which offers delicious dishes: cold espresso and coffee with ice, while at Franchini sweets shop you can taste local pasticciotto.

Castello di Lecce

Near St’ Oronzo square, there’s the Castle of Carlo V. The king turned the medieval bulwork into a military fortress in 1539 in order to defend the city. Thanks to the engeneer Giacomo dell’Acaja it became unconquerable. Since 2010 it houses the Carta Pesta museum.

The church of Santa Croce

The church of Santa Croce is the major expression of Barocco style. The facade is richly decorated and all the details make it one of the most important monument of our artistic heritage. Inside you can take beautiful pictures of the rose window and of the rich wooden caisson ceiling. You’ll be amazed!

The church of St. Nicolò dei Greci

In Ascanio Grandi street, in a beautiful square, there’s a little church dedicated to St. Nicolò dei Greci. It was built in 1756 for the merchants who lived in Lecce. It’s characterised by the ruins of a romanic church and by the Greek-Orthodox rite. Get in and look for Byzantine details!

Duomo square

Duomo square has been built by three architects: Giuseppe Zimbalo, Giuseppe Cino and Mauro Manieri. The square disposes of a unique entrance between Via Giuseppe Libertini and Via Vittorio Emanuele II. It’s located in the ancient part of Lecce and it’s made up of stone, marble and bronze. Here there are the Cathedral, Palazzo Vescovile and Seminario.

Convitto Palmieri

Convitto Palmieri has been inaugurated in 2016 after five years of restoration which required 8 million of euros. It stands between Via Cairoli, Piazzetta Giosuè Carducci and Via Caracciolo; it has a multimedia reading room, a big garden and a lot of courtyards and cloisters. It represents the major cultural centre of the South.

Roman Theatre of Lecce

Flanking the left side of St’ Chiara’s church, you’ll find the Romanic Theatre of Lecce which disposes of an arena (18 meters wide) and houses 5000 spectators. Nearby there’s the Must museum which offers interesting exhibition.

Palazzo dei Celestini

Here we are in Umberto I street where Palazzo dei Celestini stands. In the origins it was a convent, today it’s the headquarters of the Prefecture and of the Province of Lecce. It has been planned by Zimbalo and Cino. Have a look to the magic entrance portal decorated with cherubs and fruits.

Museo Provinciale Sigismondo Castromediano

Sigismondo Castromediano archeological museum is the oldest museum in Puglia. It helps tourists to understand better the history of this region. You’ll admire in a few time many finds which come from Salento: statues, ceramics, paintings, Attic vases with red figures. The museum has the name of the duke who ordered its construction in 1868.

Ex Convento di Teatini

The monastery adjacent to the church of St.Irene houses exhibitions and events; it represents an appealing attraction. It was the home of the Theatine fathers, but today it’s the property of the municipality. In the cloister there’s an antiques fair where you can find furniture, ceramics and vases on sale. That’s the right place for vintage lovers and curious people.

Chiesa di Santa Chiara e Piazzetta

Another important attraction is St. Chiara’s church in Vittorio Emanuele II square. The facade shows the emblem of the order of the Clades. The nuns used to take part in the mass from the gratings of the altar. There are also beautiful statues belonging to Neapolitan school. Outside the church there’s a beautiful church full of tourists particularly in summer, where they have dinner in typical restourants.

Ex Conservatorio di Sant’Anna

Adjacent to St. Anna’s church there’s a Conservatory, an unusual destination, built nearby Porta Rudiae. This conservatory used to hoste women retiring to private life. Reach it in the morning and walk through the courtyard where a big rubber plant grows: 18 meters high, 800 cm wide and 500 years old!

Paisiello Theatre

Here you can also visit the biggest theatre in Salento, “Politeama Greco”, and Paisiello neoclassic theatre which has 320 seats, three rows of boxes and a gallery. Every year this little theatre houses an event called “Maggio Musicale”. Here also the works of Puccini and Pirandello are represented. Its name takes origin from a musician, Giovanni Paisiello, who is the dedicatee, while its opening dates back to 1870 on the occasion of Verdi’s “Un ballo in Maschera”