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Explore the south's Florence

Lecce is one of the pearls of the south Italy - some also call it Firenze Sud for beauty. It is a beautiful city whose historical centre is dominated by the facades full of details typical of the Baroque period. It has recently earned many praises and international recognitions. In 2009 the UNESCO included it among the candidates for the World Heritage List so that it Lecce becomes part of the much-coveted list of sites worthy of preservation of cultural heritage, since the baroque that is here is unprecedented.

Furthermore, the famous Australian publishing house Lonely Planet, which publishes travel guides has defined in 2010 Lecce and vicinity (Salento) to be one of the best destinations in the world!

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A fascinating place

It has several beautiful piazzas and interesting street environments with a good selection of restaurants, cafes, pizzerias and not least many original shops that sell fine traditional craftsmanship. Piazza Sant'Oronzo is one of the city's main hubs. Here is a great amphitheatre, which is often used for cultural events.

Peninsula Capital

There are approximately 90,000 inhabitants of the peninsula of Salento. The town is characterized especially by its economic and artistic heyday between 1500 -1700, which gave it the epithets "Baroque Florence" and "Puglia's Athens".

Palazzo del Seggio

Built in 1592 and was home to the municipal headquarters until 1851. Of course, in rich baroque style, but also with Gothic windows.

Amphitheatre

Is only partially excavated but it has/had the capacity for 25,000 people, with an arena of 53 x 34 metres and a total size of 102 x 83 metres. The theatre probably dates from the first half of the 2nd century.

The Roman Theatre

Lecce also has the small Roman theatre more or less from the same era. It was discovered in 1929 and was found rather less well preserved, than the larger one. It is said to hold less people, around 5000 spectators.

Citadel

Built on the orders of Carlos V in the years 1539 - 49 as a development of an earlier citadel (itself a development of a Norman), from which still stands the massive square main tower.

Typical baroque churches

Among others are: Santa Maria delle Grazie (1590), Santa Irene (1591-1639), Santa Teresa (1620-30), Chiesa del Rosario / San Giovanni Battista (1691 to 1728), Chiesa del Carmine (1711-17) San Matteo (1667-1700), Santa Chiara (1694-?), Chiesa del Gesù (1575-79), Sant'Angelo (1663) and many more.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

Constructed in 1114, but changed profoundly 1659 - 70, so that today stands in full Baroque glory.

 
 

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