This is the 6th day of the itinerary to explore Puglia, but Lecce is a place you can visit independently. Here are my 3 main reasons to love Lecce:
1. The Architecture
Lecce is sometimes called the Florence of the South, mostly due to the rich baroque architecture. It is very different from most cities in Southern Italy. The stone is the characteristic of the city, a sand-colour limestone called ‘pietra leccese’.
This is a city I’ll never get tired of. There is always something to discover on the narrow streets: a beautiful piazza, a flea market or another cathedral. Furthermore, there is a Roman Amphitheater excavated right in the center of the city. Also, tons of good restaurants.
Find a place to stay close to the old city center, you’ll be close to everything. Keep in mind that if you do rent a car, you’ll have to find parking outside the city center.
When I get to a new city for the first time, I like to join tour with a local. This way, I learn my way around the main attractions and find out about some good places to eat for the rest of the trip. This tips from someone who lives there are invaluable. For Lecce, I found THIS walking tour.
Wander the streets and visit the Cathedral in Piazza del Duomo and the Roman Amphitheatre before giving in to a plate of orecchiette with ricotta sauce.
3. The Atmosphere
Lecce is also a very art friendly city as there are plenty of craft shops everywhere adding a pretty bohemian feeling.
La dolce vita
In Lecce you can feel the laid-back italian rhythm more than anywhere else in Italy. La pausa here means that every shop is closed and locked for a few good hours for lunch and part of the afternoon. Also, everyone goes out for a walk before dinner, people love to socialize and an Italian authentic meal takes a few hours with multiple courses and lots of talking. Slow down and enjoy la dolce vita for a while.
We stayed in a cozy B&B close to the center, with a stunning rooftop terrace and amazing breakfast. Check it out here.
To travel to Lecce from Monopoli, you can buy the tickets in advance using this link. A one-way ticket should cost 7.90 to 9.90 € and the ride takes about 1h15min.
Lecce is a city where I can spend a day or a week and love every minute of it. Next, take a day trip to Gallipoli and explore the Ionian coast. Read all the details in my post about Gallipoli.
Get back to the full itinerary to explore the beautiful region of Puglia here.
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