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Sightseeing in Lecce - what to see. Complete travel guide

In the region of Apulia, which Italy is famous for, tourists can visit a wonderful city called Lecce. Why does this city attract tourists so much? The settlement is incredibly picturesque and never ceases to amaze its visitors with unparalleled beauty. Local people often call their homeland the Athens of Apulia as there is a Greek community in the city. Some people call Lecce “Southern Florence” because of a great number of architectural landmarks in Baroque style. Perhaps, the “Golden City” is the most interesting nickname of Lecce. This name appeared because of the golden limestone mining in the region. Many local buildings are made from this material. On a sunny day, the city shines as if it is made of gold.
The Messapians were the first inhabitants of the region. They founded a settlement called Sybar on the site of modern Lecce. The region attracted many different tribes but the Romans paid their attention to the area and conquered it in the 3rd century. When the Roman Empire added Lecce to its territory, the city started developing and growing in size. Many beautiful buildings appeared in the city at that time. However, the Visigoths invaded the region after the fall of the Roman Empire. They plundered the Italian city and made many local people suffer. The invasion of the Visigoths started a period of uncertainty in the history of Lecce.
The city frequently changed its “owners” – the Byzantines ruled here, followed by the Saracens, and after that the Hungarians claimed the territory. Only when Normans reached the poor town in the 11th century, the life of Lecce and its people changed drastically. The city started developing and becoming prosperous again. Thanks to the managing skills of the Norman rulers, Lecce turned into an important economic center. During the reign of the Hohenstaufen and Anjou dynasties, the Italian city turned into a large and flourishing center that had strategic importance for the whole country. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
In the heart of Lecce, in Piazza Sant'Oronzo, tourists can see a fabulous Roman monument – an ancient amphitheater. It is still not clear when the gorgeous amphitheater was built, so scientists still argue on the origins of the complex. Historians only agree on the approximate construction date between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. The ruins of the ancient amphitheater were discovered when workers started cleaning the site to build an Italian bank. Finally, citizens and guests of Lecce could see the ruins of the amphitheater in its full glory in 1940. That being said, archaeologists managed to unearth not the whole amphitheater.
In the past, this giant building could provide space for up to twenty thousand visitors. It is almost one hundred meters long and eighty-three meters wide. The arena itself is fifty-three meters long and thirty-four meters wide. Nowadays, visitors can see only one-third of the architectural monument because buildings and other points of interest stand on the remaining part of the amphitheater. Despite this, it is easy to imagine how grandiose and posh the building judging only by its fragment.
The Theatine Monastery is one more architectural attraction that deserves the attention of guests. The monastery is situated not far from a local sacred shine – the Church of Saint Irene. For centuries, the monastery was providing shelter to the Theatine monks. When the religious community ceased to exist, the building became municipal property. The city of Lecce started taking care of the monastery and maintaining it in good condition. Nowadays, this is a popular location of various trade fairs and exhibitions.
The construction and look of the monastery keep amazing its numerous guests. Perfectly positioned semicircular arches decorate the perimeter of the building’s first floor. The second floor looks spectacular with its beautiful windows and triangular attics. The curtain rail with a rigged design completes the architectural ensemble. The majority of Lecce’s guests try to visit the Theatine Monastery and explore the marvelous building inside and outside.
The city’s main square, Piazza Sant'Oronzo, has one more notable attraction – the Sedile Palace. According to historic records, the palace was completed in the 16th century. Nowadays, the eye-catching building is an important architectural landmark with decent traits of Gothic and Renaissance styles. The building is very tall. Giant columns and arches with intricate ornaments decorate the main entrance to the palace. The Sedile Palace was Lecce’s city hall until the 50s of the 19th century. Nowadays, this is a popular venue for all kinds of exhibitions and events.
Lecce is situated seventy kilometers from Brindisi. The latter has an international airport that serves flights from many European and Asian countries. However, tourists might need to make a change on their way to Brindisi. Numerous trains connect Brindisi to Lecce. The transit time to the golden Italian city is only one hour. Tourists can always choose to travel by bus but the journey time is the same. It is also possible to reach Lecce from Ancona – daily trains connect these two cities.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Lecce and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all shopping areas
Shopping streets in Lecce
♥   Shopping area ' Piazza Mazzini' Lecce, 0.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Lecce
♥   Castle 'Charles V Castle' Crotone, 0.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Acaya Castle' Vernole, 10.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Copertino Castle' Copertino, 14.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Melendugno Castle' Melendugno, 16.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Castiglion del Torto' Castiglioncello Bandini, 31.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sightseeing in Italy: things to see

Milan is a beautiful city with many wonderful landmarks like Duomo Cathedral that is considered one of most beautiful churches in the city. Its building started in the end of the 14th century and lasted till 1965. The mural painting “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci is the main decoration of the shrine. Other interesting landmarks are La Scala Theatre, The Pinacoteca di Brera, Francesco Emmanuelle Gallery and Castello Sforzesco. … Open
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Sightseeing in regions nearby Lecce

All about Lecce, Italy - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the 'must see' things in Lecce, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Lecce in few days.
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