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.
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).
|A Corte Balduini||Corte dei Balduini, 1||Apartment||95|
|Aurora B&B||Viale Marche, 11/F||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Azzurretta B&B||Via A. Vignes 2b||GUESTHOUSE||90|
|B&B Centro Storico Lecce||Via A.Vignes 2 B||GUESTHOUSE||86|
|Bed & Breakfast La Piazzetta||P.zza SS. Addolorata 12||APARTMENT||86|
|Vico del Sole B||Vico del sole, 4||Guesthouse||83|
|B&B ANFITEATRO||Via XXV Luglio, 51||Guesthouse||-|
|B&B Asko||Provinciale Lecce-Vernole 96 Merine di Lizzanello||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|B&B La Scisa||Via Montegrappa 126/128 Alessano||GUESTHOUSE||98|
|B&B Redrooms||Via R.Pico Surbo||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|B&B Villa Maggiulli Alfieri||Via dei Conda 10||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Bed & Breakfast Villa Giuliana||Via Carretti n° 6 Arnesano||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Bed and Breakfast Il Gelso||Via Copertino, strada 101, n. 2||Guesthouse||-|
|Casa dei Mercanti Town House||Piazza S. Oronzo 44||guesthouse||-|
|De Fabri Village||Via Supersano 48||Guesthouse||-|
|Exedra Holiday House||Via Vincenzo Perrone, 57||APARTMENT||-|
|I Paradisi||Contrada I Paradisi SS Cutrofiano-Collepasso||APARTMENT||-|
|LecceSalento B&B||Via Eugenio Richel Rubichi 3 Piazza Sant'Oronzo||GUESTHOUSE||82|
|Masseria Coccioli||Via G. Monticelli 17||Hotel||-|
|Masseria Ospitale||S.P. 131 Km 6 Lecce Torrechianca||Guesthouse||-|
|Masseria Uccio||Contrada Mad. di Fatima - Tricase||Guesthouse||-|
|Mirage B and B||Via quarantasettesimo reggimento fanteria, 12||guesthouse||93|
|Ostello Lecce Namastè||Via novoli km. 4,5 - Lecce||Hostel||-|
|Patria Palace Lecce||Piazzetta Riccardi, 13||Hotel||-|
|B&B Piazza Sant'Oronzo||Piazza S.Oronzo||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Vigne Vecchie Bed & Breakfast||Via Uggiano 51||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Borgoterra||Viia Chiesa 7, Martano (LE)||Guesthouse||-|
|Casino Piarmi||Via Masseria Cozze Castiglione d'Otranto||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Casale del Forno B&B||Via Manara 8 Castiglione d'Otranto||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Palazzo Massa Dattilo||Via D'Amelio 6||Apartment||-|
|Alba del Salento||via antonio caraccio, 3 lecce||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Villa Mama Lecce||V.G. Agnelli 10||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Aedes Resort||Via Lombardia 8||Guesthouse||-|
|B&B Sant Andrea||P.zza Regina Margherita 56 Novoli||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Salento Boat & House||Via Raffaello Santa Cesarea||APARTMENT||-|
|Le Comari Salentine||Via Duca degli Abruzzi 67 - Lecce||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Arte della Stampa Home holidays||Piazzetta arte della stampa, 3||APARTMENT||-|
|Regina B&B||Piazza Sant'Oronzo 44||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|B&B Palazzo Barocco||Via Oronzo Quarta n21||GUESTHOUSE||81|
|Villa Fiore||S.S. 7 ter Contrada Lecciso Salice Salentino||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Suite One Bed and Breakfast||Via Quarantasettesimo Reggimento Fanteria 9||Guesthouse||-|
|Luna Piena Apartment||Via Giuseppe Zimbalo 2||APARTMENT||-|
|Residenza San Leonardo||Via A. Coniger, 10 73100 Lecce||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Lecce Guesthouse||Vico Boemondo, 15 Lecce||APARTMENT||-|
|La Bella Lecce B&B||Via A. Galateo, 43 73100||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Leccearte||via Don Bosco 4||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Lecce In||Via Gioacchino Toma 16 Lecce||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|B&B La Tana Del Duca||Via Taranto 323 73100||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Masseria Tornesella||via Como - Parabita||APARTMENT||-|
|B&B Piazzetta Santa Chiara||Vico Dietro lo Spedale dei Pellegrini 27||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Casa Cairoli||Via Cairoli, 19||APARTMENT||-|
|Terrazza Sant'Irene||Piazza dei Longobardi Via Degli Antonietta||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Vico Nohi Home Holidays||Vico dei Nohi 3||APARTMENT||-|
|Palazzo Bernardini||Via Marco Basseo 2573100||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|La Cerasa||Via Amilcare Foscarini 2,||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Alba||Via Magellano, s.n. Torre Lapillo Porto Cesareo||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Residence Palazzo Baldi||Corte Baldi||Hotel||-|
|Mediterraneo Short Lets||Via L. Flascassovitti 2C||APARTMENT||-|
|Tenuta Pellegrino||Via Aradeo||Guesthouse||-|
|Reale Bed & Breakfast||Via Egidio reale 41||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|B&B Villa Teresa||Via Pantalone Laudisa, n 3 73016 San Cesario||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|La Ginestra Bed and Breakfast||Via Vincenzo Vuoco n.50||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Idomeneo Apartment||Via Idomeneo, 31||APARTMENT||-|
|Arcu Te Pratu||Piazzetta Arco di Prato, 9||GUESTHOUSE||-|
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.
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 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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