15 Greatest Issues To Do in Lecce, Italy

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

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

This charming city additionally receives fewer overseas vacationers than most of the different well-known areas in Puglia. It’s an ideal place to find in the event you’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 children, on a funds, 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, permit me to introduce you to my decide 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 train you about its wealthy historical past is a good way to familiarize your self with this unbelievable place.

There are just a few 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 high 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.

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 unbelievable instance of historical structure and engineering. It’s situated within the very middle of the historic middle of Lecce and is among 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 finally grew to become buried. It was solely rediscovered in 1901, throughout the development of foundations for a financial institution.

As we speak, the ruined amphitheater is used for live shows and theatrical performances that are held every now and then. For those who’re visiting while considered one of these is on, I strongly suggest getting tickets. Attending a reside efficiency in an nearly 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheater needs to be one of the vital 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 among the most well-known squares in Lecce. It’s dwelling to numerous necessary monuments, together with the Baroque-style City Corridor, a mosaic of a feminine wolf (a logo of historical 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 a little bit people-watching. It’s a well-liked assembly level with locals of all ages and has an exquisite, buzzing environment 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 evening. For those who’re fortunate sufficient to be in Leece throughout 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 Avenue Meals

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

The easiest way 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 finest to go to on a Saturday as that’s normally when the biggest variety of distributors attend). Right here, you’ll discover a vary of stalls promoting all kinds of mouthwatering dishes and native substances to attempt.

5. Be part of a Conventional Cooking Class

For those who’d prefer to discover ways to make some basic Puglian dishes at dwelling, I like to recommend becoming a member of a conventional cooking class. There are a number of completely different lessons to select from, that are held inside a phenomenal personal Seventeenth-century palazzo.

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

The famous and tasty Orecchiette on a ceramic plate.

For many who’d favor to discover ways 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 Strive Wine Tasting

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

Salice Salentino is among the hottest varieties, made with Negroamaro grapes that are native to the Salento area and nearly completely 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 kinds of wine.

A couple of of the vineyards even provide lunch, so you’ll be able to linger for some time longer and revel in a leisurely and indulgent afternoon in a phenomenal, pure setting – it’s undoubtedly considered one of my favourite issues to do close to Lecce. Try this wonderful 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 surprising 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 because of the subsidence that’s occurred over the centuries.

A magnificent Lecce Cathedral

The Cathedral inside includes a mix of Roman, Gothic, and Baroque types and is crammed with statues, frescoes, and complex marble pillars.

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

The Faggiano Museum is among the most uncommon vacationer sights in Lecce, Italy, and has an interesting story. In 2001, an area resident was finishing up some dwelling repairs when he stumbled throughout numerous historical artifacts.

After a protracted interval of cautious excavation, it was found that an enormous 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 embody tombs, cisterns, frescoes, and underground escape tunnels.

As we speak you’ll be able to 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 biggest 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 among the finest 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

For those who’re pressed for time, this is a wonderful one-day tour of Salento. It departs from Lecce and is a good way to expertise among 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 (as we speak), because the headquarters of Lecce’s Council of Cultural Affairs.

Exploring the various hidden staircases, gardens, underground chambers, and ornate stately rooms is among the finest issues to do in Lecce for households. You may as well stroll alongside sure sections of the fort’s partitions the place you’ll be able to take some unbelievable pictures of the town and its environment from above.

11. Study Find out how to Make Contemporary Pasta (and Tiramisù)

What may very well be extra Italian than studying find out 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 train you the artwork of genuine Italian pasta-making inside an actual Puglian dwelling.

pasta making class in Italy

Your hosts can even present you find out how to make the right tiramisù – belief me, it’s to die for! Lastly, you’ll sit all the way down to benefit from the magnificent fruits of your labor. Remember to 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 perfect place to spend a peaceable afternoon or take a stroll to flee the hustle and bustle of the 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 consuming 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 among the finest locations to go to in Lecce to see perfectly-preserved Baroque structure. Its central rosette window specifically is actually 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 superb for exploring by kayak. There are many islands and delightful coves to find too, making this a good way to soak up among the gorgeous coastal surroundings.

You possibly can select to go kayaking by your self or be part of a guided tour that may take you to among 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 personal automobile, it’s a straightforward 30-minute drive. Alternatively, you’ll be able to catch the direct regional practice 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 historical hilltop city crammed with 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 dwelling to one of the vital 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. For those who’d prefer to see all 3 in someday, try this tour which departs from Lecce.

Fast Journey Itineraries For Lecce

Whether or not you’ve gotten a day or every week to spend, listed here are just a few instructed itineraries that will help you get essentially the most out of your time in Lecce.

1 Day in Lecce Itinerary

You possibly can see many of the metropolis’s essential 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 superb views of the 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 wonderful eating places, reminiscent of 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 among the native wineries for wine tasting within the afternoon, and head again into the town to get pleasure from some tasty avenue meals and watch the sundown.

1 Week in Lecce Itinerary

With every week in Lecce, you’ll be able to comfortably do the entire 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, in the event you’re actually into kayaking, you may at all times spend an entire day doing this.

Then, spend the ultimate days ticking off the remainder of the gadgets on this record. Remember to spend a full day exploring the remainder of the Salento peninsula, both by hiring a automobile or by becoming a member of this wonderful 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 straightforward strolling distance of one another, so it doesn’t actually matter the place you select to remain throughout the metropolis limits. That stated, listed here are a few choices so that you can contemplate:

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 variety of various lodging choices right here, together with accommodations, guesthouses, and Airbnbs.

Try this wonderful lodge 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 looking 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 middle.

This can be a nice little condo in San Cataldo.

Greatest Eating places in Lecce

There are some actually nice eating places in Lecce. Listed below are just a few that I’d suggest making an attempt:

Negroamaro Restaurant

Negroamaro makes a speciality of ingenious takes on basic regional specialties, utilizing contemporary, high quality substances sourced as domestically as attainable. The menu is seasonal and modifications usually. It’s a little bit on the expensive aspect, however I feel it’s price the additional expense and can be an ideal place to return for a special day.


Zefiro is among the finest 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 superb, however in the event you’re visiting for an extended interval, after a when you could begin to crave one thing completely different. If this occurs when you’re in Lecce, you must head to Daiki. They serve among the finest sushi I’ve present in Italy in addition to a variety of different basic Japanese dishes.

Getting To Lecce

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

Busy airport of Bari

For those who’re coming from Rome or one other main Italian metropolis, you’ll be able to both benefit from Italy’s wonderful 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 the town, you’ll be able to at all times rent a automobile, take the bus, a regional practice, or be part of a guided tour that features transport.

Issues To Do in Lecce: FAQs

Listed below 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 very best time to go to Lecce is within the late spring or early autumn (Might or September). The climate can be heat and sunny, however not too sizzling, and also you’ll keep away from the vast majority of the peak-summer-season vacationers.

Is Lecce price visiting?

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

What number of days ought to I spend in Lecce?

Though you may go to many of the high 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 gratifying. Extra time can even provide the likelihood to get pleasure from among the many issues to do round Lecce.

Is Lecce secure?

Sure, Lecce is a secure 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 reminiscent of not leaving valuables unattended, maintaining 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 most well-liked factor to do in Lecce is to discover the town’s iconic Baroque structure, together with the Cathedral, the Church of Santa Croce, and the Piazza del Duomo.

What’s the finest seashore in Lecce?

The very best seashore close to Lecce is Baia dei Turchi which is a phenomenal stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear water, about 40 kilometers southeast of the town. For those who’re searching for a seashore a little bit nearer, Torre dell’Orso is a mere 25km from Lecce and has a great vary of services together with bars and eating places.

What meals ought to I attempt in Lecce?

You must undoubtedly attempt among the native specialties while you’re in Lecce, reminiscent of focaccia, orecchiette pasta, sfogliatelle, and panzerotti.

In Closing

Now you realize what to see and do in Lecce, Italy. Regardless of its comparatively small measurement, there are various nice issues to find right here. Whether or not you’re occupied with 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.

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

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