lecce salento

Lecce - Salento

Symbol of "Lecce’s Baroque" is Basilica of Santa Croce, whose construction began in 1549, in the area of a XIV century church. The works lasted for almost 150 years. Very artistically interesting is the Cathedral. Set in the centre of the homonymous square, it is among the most beautiful ones in Italy and was first built in 1144, then in 1230. Between 1659-70 it was fully restored on request of the bishop of Lecce.
The interior has a Latin cross and is enhaced by more than 12 altars. It is full of paintings created by talented artists. The Cathedral has a crypt of the XII century. St. Oronzo’s square, the most important square in the city, derives its name from the statue of the patron saint that stands on the column erected in 1666. In front of the statue there is the marvelous building of Sedile, the old townhall. At the center of the square you can see a mosaic depicting the emblem of the city. Here we can admire the most important Roman monument existing in Lecce, the “Roman Amphitheatre” dating back to I-II century AD and unearthed at the beginning of the XX century.
Among the other monuments and buildings to visit: the ex-convent of the Celestine, today the Government Palace, built in 1600, inside there is charming courtyard of the XIX century, the Castle of Charles V surrounded by walls and ramparts and the ramparts and many churches, among which we mention the Church dedicated to St. Nicolò and Cataldo of the XII century, with a beautiful Romanesque portal and rose window on the facade, the church of Santa Chiara, the Church of San Matthew and the Church of Teatines. Passing through the walls that enclose the old city, you’ll find the three ancient gates access to the city Porta Rudiae, Porta Napoli, also known as the Arch of triumph and Porta San Biaggio.