The Greek founded Lecce in the seventh century B.C.; therefore Lecce is sometimes called the Athens of Apulia.
Although they know nothing yet about this area, most tourists have heard of Lecce when they arrive here. It is easy to park in the close surroundings of the castle; after parking you can immediately look whether there is an exhibition going on which you find worthwhile looking at. About 100 metres further you will find the square with the amphitheatre. In a street across the castle is a fish shop/restaurant where they can prepare the fish you just bought. This we cannot rate as it was closed at the end of the afternoon, when we discovered it past autumn.
Without any doubt you wouldn’t want to miss the Baroque, which can be visited by foot or with a small tourist train. The last time we took this train, it cost us 10 euros per person, and it is possible to get on and off wherever you want. There are headphones in the train and the driver takes you along all important Baroque monuments.
There are especially lots of Baroque churches in Lecce with very beautiful fronts. Important monuments are the Basilica of S. Croce and the Cathedral. The Basilica is a very fine example of the Baroque in Lecce.
The Cathedral consists of the church with a nave and three aisles, a clock tower and adjoining the Seminar. Other monuments are the Piazza S. Oronzo, Il Seggio and the cabinet building, which was in earlier times the Celestine monastery. The magnificent Roman Amphitheatre, in the centre of the city, dates back from the second century A.D. Outside the city walls you can admire the Porta Rudiae and the Porta Napoli, also known as the Arco di Trionfo.
On the square around the Amphitheatre there are also a lot of establishments where you can eat a small meal on the terrace. In the street diagonally opposite the point where you enter the square from the castle you can find, next to Feltrini’s bookshop, a shop that you really worth visiting. It is a vast open place in which you’ll find smaller “open” shops with antiques, design, retro, etc.
For 4 persons you will have to pay 18 euros for 1 hour (in 2015) and 10 euros for 30 minutes. For 2 persons you have to pay 10 euros for 1 hour and 6 euros for 30 minutes. They have various routes and in this way you can take a look at the historic centre and the Baroque monuments.
Lecce in Tour di Sumathan Ponnthutai.
Anyway, Lecce is an amazing city. You only have to drive a little bit further. Depending on your route, it takes about 1,5 hours and if you are planning this visit we will prepare your breakfast earlier, so that you can arrive on time, because at 13.00 everything closes for a few hours, as it does everywhere. During the siesta you can still lunch, sit in an outdoor café or visit the amphitheatre and the Baroque monuments from outside, for instance by the tourist train.