The beautiful city of Lecce is located in the Puglia region. This city is known for its rich history, baroque architecture, and beautiful beaches. Below we have listed the 14 best Things to do and places to visit in Lecce Italy. Lecce is known for its Architecture, History, Food, Wine, and beautiful beaches. You can check locations in Google Maps. Let’s explore them one by one.
14 Best Things to do in Lecce Italy
- Lecce Cathedral (Duomo di Lecce)
- Basilica di Santa Croce
- Castle of Charles V
- Church of San Matteo
- Palazzo dei Celestini
- Porta Napoli
- Piazza Sant’Oronzo
- Roman Amphitheater of Lecce
- Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista
- Santa Maria della Porta
- Torre del Parco
- Torre dell’Orso
- The Maldives of Salento
- Punta Prosciutto
Cathedral & Duomo di Lecce
It is located in the heart of the historic center of Lecce, where at the end of via Palmieri, a refined Baroque scenography of Piazza Duomo opens up, announced by the entrance Propylaea with above the statues of the Fathers of the Church that seem to do the honors of the house to the visitors who they enter the sacred square par excellence of the city of Lecce. A square that fascinates with the warm tones of the Lecce stone that covers the four buildings that stand there, the Bell Tower, the Cathedral, the Episcope, and the Diocesan Museum.
Basilica di Santa Croce of Lecce
Selected as one of the most interesting places to visit in Lecce and considered the emblem of Lecce Baroque. he Basilica of Santa Croce is one of the most important and admired churches in Lecce. This immense religious factory began to be built starting from 1549 at the request of the Celestine fathers, after the demolition of the ancient temple and monastery founded in the second half of the 1300s in the area of the Castle of Charles V, at the behest of Gualtiero VI of Brienne count of Lecce. For the construction of the Basilica, built starting from 1549 and completed in 1699, important architects from Lecce of the time took turns: Gabriele Riccardi, Francesco Antonio Zimbalo and Cesare Penna with the help of master stonemasons and carvers from the Lecce area.
Castle of Charles V (Castle of Lecce)
The castle of Lecce is located near the city center, dating back to the Middle Ages, and to build a new fortress, with techniques of military architecture. The construction and design works was made by the general engineer of the Kingdom of Naples named Gian Giacomo. The outermost part was built between 1539 and 1549.
Church of San Matteo Lecce
The Church of S. Matteo was built between 1667 and 1700 on behalf of the Franciscan Tertiaries to replace the ancient chapel of S. Matteo, now small and in mediocre condition, to which their convent had been annexed. As Giulio Cesare Infantino, author of Lecce sacra printed in Lecce in 1634 informs us, the convent was founded by the gentlewoman from Lecce Audisia de Pactis, widow of Carlo Maremonti, second son of the Baron of Campi, who used her house together with the small chapel.
Palazzo dei Celestini
The Palace, which stands on the provincial road to Lecce, is irrefutable evidence of the permanence of the Celestine Fathers in Carmiano, who settled in 1448. It was built in various periods and presumably, the oldest nucleus dates back to the first half of the 14th century. Its grandeur derives from the considerable dimensions in length, equal to 45.50 meters, and in height, equal to 13 meters. Entirely made of local tuff ashlars, it is structured on two floors, including grandiose halls.
The prospectus of the Palace has a large smooth surface enlivened by various doors and windows and a large portal flanked on the sides by two niches of stone statues depicting Saints and framed above by a coat of arms of the Holy Cross representing the order of the Celestines.
The Porta Napoli monument is nothing more than a Triumphal Arch located in the homonymous square and built in 1548. The work was dedicated to Charles V, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, who had previously had a series of structures built in defense of the small town. Visiting Porta napoli is one of the most beautiful things to do in Lecce. It was also strongly desired by Loffredo Ferrante, a local nobleman and built by the architect Gian Giacomo dell’Acaya. Porta Napoli is only the third of two other gates also built near the historic center of Lecce. We have Porta San Biagio (dedicated to San Biagio) and Porta Rudiae, one of the oldest gates located not very far from Porta Napoli.
Piazza Sant’Oronzo of Lecce
One of the most beautiful squares in Puglia tells millennia of history with the Roman Amphitheater, the column of Sant’Oronzo, the sixteenth-century Sedile and the fascist architecture of the Palazzo dell’Ina. Piazza Sant’Oronzo is a symbol of the millenary history of Lecce and in it styles and architectural forms of different eras coexist in harmony.
Together with the “she-wolf” depicted on the oval of the square, the Roman Amphitheater represents the ancient heart of the city, dated between the Augustan and Hadrian ages, and in the large auditorium in front of the Baroque church of Santa Maria della Grazia today outdoor events and shows. Behind it, the Palazzo dell’Ina follows the curve of the amphitheater with its lines typical of fascist architecture.
Visiting Roman Amphitheater (One of the most beautiful things to do in Lecce)
Of course one of the most beautiful places to visit in Lecce. Located in the heart of Lecce, in Piazza S. Oronzo, the Roman amphitheater bears witness to the importance achieved by the ancient Lupiae in the imperial era. Discovered at the beginning of the twentieth century, about a third of the original building is visible today, with part of the arena and the cave, while the remaining portion is hidden below the square and the facing buildings.
The monument, already known at the end of the 19th century thanks to occasional discoveries, was brought to light at the beginning of the 20th century, as part of the radical redefinition of the urban layout of the center of Lecce, which saw, among other things, the demolition of the Isola del Governatore for the construction of the Banca d’Italia building.
Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista
The church is located on the western side of Piazza Matteotti with the facade on the Via Emilia. It was built in the Longobard era and was dedicated to San Michele, to whom the ancient street that flanked the church to the east as far as via Taglio was also named. The building was rebuilt for the first time in the 16th century, then rebuilt according to its current appearance in 1723 based on a design by Gerolamo Frigemelica Roberti.
The rounded shape ends with a tower on the backside. From 1 August 1774, it was officiated by the Confraternity of San Giovanni Battista della Buona Morte, a company that assisted those sentenced to capital punishment. On the external door is affixed the commemorative plaque of the transfer of the Confraternity to this church, which took the name of the Church of San Giovanni Battista. The terracotta façade has four Doric pilasters that support an entablature on which a triangular pediment rests.
Church of Saint Mary ‘Della Porta’
It was a small church outside the city walls dedicated to “Mary finding Jesus arguing with the Doctors in the Temple”. Around 1548, on the occasion of the reconstruction of the walls, during the reigning of Augustus Emperor Charles V, and governing this province Ferrante Loffredo, Marquis of Trevico, was the aforementioned Chapel rebuilt inside the city.
Torre del Parco
Within the ancient walls of Torre del Parco, the echoes of a distant past take shape and intertwine with the stories and images of the present, creating suggestions and emotions. The ancient fifteenth-century castle, silent witness of a thousand vicissitudes, comes alive and lights up in telling your story too. Choosing to celebrate your wedding in Torre del Parco is a way to anchor it to the history of your land, of a Salento full of colors and traditions, it is a way to consecrate it over time. In our opinion Torre del Parco is one of the best places to visit in Lecce.
Torre dell’Orso is one of the five Marinas located within the municipality of Melendugno (the others are: San Foca, Roca, Torre Sant’Andrea, and Torre Specchia) and is one of the most popular coasts in Salento. The presence of excellent accommodation facilities, services for tourists, and splendid beaches makes Torre dell’Orso one of the most popular seaside resorts in Puglia. This stretch of coast is characterized by coves and sandy beaches that are bathed by a truly clear sea that has received the title of the Blue Flag several times.
Visit the Maldives of Salento from Lecce
The Maldives of Salento is a place in Puglia known, now internationally. With the characteristic colors of the sand and the sea, so much so that it is compared to the Maldives. Maldives of Salento, in reality, is nothing more than a well-deserved appellation given to Pescoluse, Marina di Salve, awarded with the Blue Flag and the 3 Sails of Legambiente. It won’t be difficult to understand why: a long stretch of fine golden sand lets itself be caressed by the clear and crystalline waters of the Ionian Sea, with shallow water.
Those who visit Punta Prosciutto beach can count on excellently equipped bathing establishments, where the staff take care of the beach, umbrellas, deck chairs, and all related services. The beach, with a particularly light color, plunges into a turquoise sea reminiscent of Thailand. With one peculiarity: the steep seabed that tends to rise forming a sort of natural pool where the water is always calm.