Lecce is a city that delights the eye. There are always new details to pick up on, no matter how often one walks down the same street. In order to see it all, one needs to look to the right, to the left, up above one’s head, all seemingly at the same time! This is why a prolonged stay (or at least three to four days) is best! The mixture of architectural styles that one sees in the city is fascinating, and is a testament to the city’s rich history.The Porta San Biagio was built in 1774. At the top, there is a statue of the saint. This tiny orthodox church was beautiful, but since they were preparing for a mass, we only peeked inside. The main tourist office is in what is called the Sedile, or the Seat, of Lecce. It is the small white building in Piazza Sant’Oronzo. I couldn’t stop looking up at the ceiling in there. Right next to it is the small Church of San Marco. Built on the site of an older building, the Castle of Charles V was begun in 1539, and was finished ten years later. This is a mammoth building! Tickets to enter the castle and its museums cost €3.00, and this is something that I highly recommend doing. Give yourself at least an hour and a half to see the site (preferably two hours)! Inside of the castle are the ruins of an old church. There were also excavations taking place during my visit. Inside of the castle is the Museum of Paper Mache, where the process of creating the beautiful statues that one sees all over the city is explained.There is also a museum of instruments used for the purpose of torture. The Church of Santa Maria della Grazia was quite beautiful, once you got past the scaffolding outside.The Arch of Triumph, or as it’s more commonly known, Porta Napoli, is one of the main gates of the city. It is hard to miss it.Directly in front of it is the Obelisk, put in place in 1822 in honor of Ferdinand I, the King of the Two Sicilies. Nearby is the city’s cemetery.About a fifteen-minute walk from the cemetery is the Torre di Belloluogo, an ancient tower that was once part of the city’s defense system.
Next up: Modern art, and another ancient tower in Lecce!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear. If you enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from bella Puglia, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!