One-Day itinerary in Lecce

Among churches, abbeys, amphitheatres, squares and museums… it is possible to follow a one-day itinerary in Lecce that will give you a 360-degree experience of this wonderful Apulian city. “The Lady of the Baroque”. This is how Lecce was defined. A city where the Roman, medieval and Renaissance eras meet with a period of Spanish domination that replaced the classical world. In Lecce you meet different styles that tell years of history waiting to be discovered.

Roman amphitheater, Lecce
Roman amphitheater, Lecce ©Planetix via Canva

One day itinerary in Lecce: locations

  • To visit Lecce in one day it is certainly essential to start your itinerary from the Obelisk and Porta Napoli. After crossing Porta Napoli you will enter an area closed to traffic: the real old city. You can enjoy the historic center of Lecce by walking among artisan shops, characteristic streets of the city and visiting the Church of Santa Maria della Provvidenza and that of Santa Maria di Costantinopoli.
  • Another square to admire is Piazza Sant’Oronzo, once known as the “merchant’s square”. Since 1656 it has been named after the patron saint of Lecce as thanks since it is said that the city was spared, during the plague epidemic that struck the Kingdom of Naples, thanks to the mediation of Oronzo. A 29 meter high votive column was also erected.
  • Near Piazza Sant’Oronzo there is the Villa Comunale, characterized by splendid gardens waiting to be discovered. The garden is enriched by numerous architectural and decorative elements such as a monolithic circular basin fountain, which in the 1960s hosted some swans.
  • The passage of the Roman era is witnessed by the Amphitheater which dates back to the 2nd century AD. and whose sculptural works, which have emerged to light, are today kept in the Castromediano Museum, the oldest museum in Puglia founded by Sigismondo Castromediano, a patriot, archaeologist and man of letters from Lecce who lived in the 19th century. In front of the Roman Amphitheater, in the central square of Sant’Oronzo, stands the Church of Santa Maria della Grazia. The church was built following the discovery of a fresco of the Madonna, dating back to the 14th century.
Charles V Castle in Lecce
Charles V Castle in Lecce ©
  • Another wonder is the Castle of Carlo V, a fortress designed by Gian Giacomo dell’Acaya and built with cutting-edge military architecture techniques. Inside the Castle it is possible to visit the Papier-mâché Museum, an art that determines a typical characteristic of the Salento area.
  • An architectural work, the fulcrum of the religious life of the people of Lecce, is the Cathedral located in the square of the same name. It is a baroque style church which inside houses paintings created by Giuseppe da Brindisi, depicting the Preaching of Sant’Oronzo, the Protection from the Plague, the Martyrdom of Sant’Oronzo and the Last Supper. The Cathedral also houses twelve altars dedicated to St. John the Baptist, to the Nativity with a sixteenth-century nativity scene, to the Martyrdom of St. Just, to St. Anthony of Padua, to the Immaculate Virgin, to St. Philip Neri, to the Crucifix and the Sacrament, to St. ‘Oronzo, Addolorata, San Giusto, San Carlo Borromeo and Sant’Andrea Apostolo.
Lecce baroque
Lecce baroque ©ilbusca via Canva
  • Also worth seeing in Lecce is the Basilica of Santa Croce, another example of Lecce baroque, together with the adjacent former Celestine convent. The façade of the Basilica, with its Romanesque-inspired rose window highlighted by Corinthian columns, conveys all its grandeur. The interior of the Basilica, with the typical structure of the Latin cross, houses numerous paintings, frescoes and altars.
  • Lecce is rich in beauties and above all in churches. On your walk to discover the city, you can stop to admire numerous churches scattered throughout the streets. One of the oldest is the Church of Saints Niccolò and Cataldo, founded in 1180 by Count Tancredi d’Altavilla who became king of Sicily.
  • Attached to the church is a convent which develops around two cloisters, in the oldest of which it is possible to admire a magnificent aedicule on richly sculpted spiral columns, placed as a cover for the Renaissance well. Among the most original churches in Lecce, one cannot fail to mention the Church of San Matteo with its singular curved façade which recalls the church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane located in Rome.

Typical food in Lecce

Lecce pasticciotto
Lecce pasticciotto ©sabinoparente via Canva

During your visit, you cannot avoid tasting the rustico Leccese, a “walking” gastronomic tradition and the pasticciotto, a typical shortcrust pastry dessert filled with custard. Frisa, on the other hand, is a simple and fresh Apulian delicacy, perfect for the summer season.

Many of the best clubs, bars and pastry shops in the city are concentrated in the historic center where, among other things, the famous shopping street is located: via Trinchese.

In short, if you have little time available, we recommend following this one-day itinerary in Lecce. This allow you to do not miss all the wonders of the city. An unforgettable experience between art and history that will amaze you.

Anfiteatro Romano di Lecce ©Planetix via Canva
Lecce: la “Firenze del Sud”

Un irresistibile connubio di storia e magia, palazzi e chiese, monasteri e conventi vi accoglieranno a Lecce anche detta “Firenza del Sud“ per via del suo stile barocco.

Trulli di Alberobello ©sky_blue via Canva
Itinerario di tre giorni in Valle d’Itria: alla scoperta dei trulli

Itinerario di tre giorni nella bellissima Valle d’Itria. Tour che vi farà immergere nella storia, nell’arte e nella cultura di questo angolo della Puglia.

Ostuni ©ladiras via Canva
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Itinerario che a partire dalla Valle d’Itria vi condurranno nella bellissima città di Matera, un tour tra storia, arte e, volendo, tradizione culinaria che vi faranno vivere a pieno i sapori e le meraviglie di questi territori.