One day in Lecce. What to see in the City of Baroque

It is called Florence of the South, but is also known as the Lady of Baroque. Two names that over the years have allowed the city of Lecce to conquer the scene as a jewel of history, art, culture and tradition that you can enjoy all year round and not only in short summer stays.

However, we are aware that even those who arrive in Salento for a short summer holiday do not want to miss the opportunity to visit Lecce, also in one day. There are, indeed, many people who decide to stay near the sea, maybe in a strategic area for those who want to move, like the beautiful marinas of the town of Salve. So, if you are in the marina of Pescoluse or surroundings, here is a small tourist guide to enjoy Lecce in all its most authentic beauty. Ready?

A little tip before starting: leave any means of transport near Porta Rudiae and continue on foot through the alleyways of Lecce old town, alone or accompanied by a tourist guide. You will find so much to see… and taste.

What to see in Lecce in one day: the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

Piazza Duomo is the first stop of our small tourist itinerary. The symbol of the religious life of the city where the Cathedral stands with its two faces: one more sober and fine, the other more lavish and designed according to the lines of the typical Baroque style of Lecce. The interior, divided into three naves, has twelve altars plus the major one and houses paintings of great artistic value.

Beware! The road that leads from Porta Rudie to the Cathedral is a riot of perfumes that will test your will – if you have it –  not to give in to the appeal of the princes of Lecce street food: rustico and pasticciotto. However, if you take our advice, let you be tempted. Give yourself this sin of gluttony, even at the cost of having to give up dinner. Here, tasting rustici and pasticciotti has a completely different intensity…

What to see in Lecce in one day: Piazza Sant’Oronzo and Santa Croce

Baroque churches and palaces, artisan workshops where you can find the masters of papier-mache of Lecce stone: walking through the streets of Lecce old town to reach the beating heart of the city, Piazza Sant’Oronzo, is not a big effort. And the show is worth the price of the ticket.

A large square, dedicated to the patron saint of the city, where architectural forms of different eras coexist in harmony.

The eyes of tourists are drawn not only to the column of Sant’Oronzo, but also to the remains of the Roman Amphitheatre and the ancient Church of San Marco. Moreover, you cannot ignore the historic cafes in the square, where you must stop for an aperitif or an ice cream!

And then there is Santa Croce, right there, a few steps from the main square. If you have to visit Lecce in one day and want tips on the “must-see” attractions, the Basilica of Santa Croce with the adjacent Convento dei Celestini is part of the series. A perfect combination of Renaissance elements and Baroque style that gave birth to a monument of unparalleled beauty.

Watch out! Next to the Basilica of Santa Croce there is the underground Jewish Museum – the “Jewish Museum Lecce” – where the history of the Jewish in the medieval Lecce is preserved. It was here that the fifteenth-century synagogue stood, in the centre of the ancient Jewish quarter of Lecce. Another gem not to be missed.

What to see in Lecce in one day: via Trinchese and Piazza Mazzini

We could not miss a stop dedicated to shopping lovers, so in our small tourist itinerary dedicated to what to see in Lecce in one day we suggest a walk along Via Trinchese. The street belonging to the inhabitants of Lecce, the one that connects the old town to the most modern city centre, Piazza Mazzini.

Here you will find everything, from the most exclusive boutiques to the great fashion brands.

Have you booked your holiday? Check out the rooms at Coclee Suite Palace, Boutique Hotel in Salento.

23 July 2021