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Travel Guide Europe Italy Apulia Lecce

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Introduction

Lecce is a city in the Italian region of Apulia and has about 95,000 inhabitants.

Lecce is situated in the heart of Salento, and it is so called capital of ‘the heel’ of Italy. When you enter its historic centre through one of the three gates (The Triumphal Arch - also called Porta Napoli (Neapolitan Gate), Porta San Biagio and Porta Rudiae), you can’t stop walking until you see all of it:) Under the bright sunlight Lecce seems a golden city, thanks to “pietra leccese” (Lecce stone) - local limestone, which is easy to process and with time it gets a beautiful golden hue. It is also called The Florence of the South due to numerous Baroque architectural monuments, the city is more than 2,000 years old and it has deep Greek roots, as it was founded by the Messapii Italic tribe.

Lecce is another city of Salento which is full of life all year round, as a main cultural centre of the heel, it attracts tourists and locals with various concerts, exhibitions, festivals (the most famous is The White Night), fairs, celebrations and performances, not to mention the plentiful sights the city has to offer.

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Sights and Activities

Let’s begin with the Sant’Oronzo square, with the column holding the statue of Saint Oronzo (the patron saint of Lecce), with Roman Amphitheatre (built in the second century, and was able to seat around 25,000 people, but now the bigger part of it is buried) and the Sedile Palace (built in 1592). Then goes breathtaking Duomo Square (Piazza del Duomo), the triumph of Baroque architecture in Lecce. Within the single courtyard, the Colonnades, the Bell tower (about 70 metres), the Cathedral (built in 1144), the Bishopry and the Seminary seem to create a perfect balance of the Square.

Among the infinite number of churches of the city, the Church of the Holly Cross (Basilica di Santa Croce) surely merits a visit. Its construction began in 1353, but was finished only in 1695. The Celestines’ Convent (now the seat of the Prefecture) is attached to the Church of Holly Cross, and behind it there is a municipal park of Lecce, where you can have a rest in the shadow of the trees (the temperature in Lecce is always 3-5 °C degrees higher than in the other parts of Lecce province).

Other important churches are the Church of San Niccolo and Cataldo (an example of Italo-Norman architecture, 1180), the Church of Saint Irene, the Church of San Matteo, the Church of Jesus with its beautiful altars, the Church of Santa Chiara and many-many others. The city’s obelisk, erected in 1822, is situated exactly in front of Porta Napoli.

The sight to not miss is the Castle of Charles V (built in 1539-49), surrounded by walls and bastions. The museums to visit in Lecce are the Diocesan museum (Piazza Duomo), Museum of Teatro Romano (via degli Ammirati), Provincial Museum of Sigismondo Castromediano (viale Gallipoli, 28) and Paper Machè Museum (Castle of Charles V).

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Events and Festivals

  • The White Night (La Notte Bianca)

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Sleep

Upscale

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Keep Connected

Internet

Almost all towns and cities in Italy have internet cafes. A growing number of budget hostels and nicer hotels have free Wifi. By law all public-access internet points must keep records of web sites viewed by customers, and even the customer's ID: expect to be refused access if you don't provide identification. Hotels providing Internet access are not required to record IDs if the connection is provided in the guest's room, although if the connection is offered in the main public hall then IDs are required. Publicly available wireless access without user identification is illegal, so open Wi-Fi hotspots (like the ones you might expect to find in a mall or cafée) all have some form of (generally one-time) registration.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The main networks are TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile, part of Telecom Italia, formerly state controlled), Vodafone, Wind, and 3 (only UMTS cellphones). Best advice is to buy a prepaid SIM card (from € 10 upwards) and a cheap mobile phone (€ 19 upwards) to put it in (if you don't have a cellphone already that you can use). It will be much more practical. All land line numbers start with 0. Mobile numbers start with 3. Numbers starting with 89 are high-fee services. In case of emergency call the appropriate number from the list below. Such calls are usually free and calls to 112, 113 (police), 115 (fire), 118 (health) can be made from payphones for free without the need of inserting coins. 112 (standard emergency number in GSM specification) can be dialed in any case for free from any mobile phone.

Post

Post Italiane is the national postal services of Italy and has quite an efficient network of postal offices and reliable postal services. Standard letters and postcards (up to 20 grams) cost €0.39 to send within Europe and the Mediterranean countries outside Europe and €0.41 to all other destinations throughout the country. Up to 50 grams, prices start at €0.52 for Europe, €0.62 for other areas. Packages start at €1.55 within Europe, and around €2.50 for other countries. Post office business hours in Italy are from 8:30am to 2:00pm from Monday to Friday, with closing times at Saturday and the last day of the month at 12 noon. In general, larger post offices in bigger cities and in tourist areas keep longer hours than those in local towns. Also note that business hours in the south might be different than the north, with longer hours at night, especially in summer! If you want to send packages you might try faster and more reliable/efficient private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.

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Accommodation in Lecce

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Lecce searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Lecce and areas nearby.

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This is version 12. Last edited at 3:42 on Aug 2, 17 by sleepBot. 1 article links to this page.

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