What to Do in Lecce: Best Itinerary With Map
Are you going to spend 1 day in Lecce? Excellent idea!
To help you plan your next stay in the city on your itinerary in Puglia, find out what to do in Lecce in this guide.
Save the itinerary with a map of the attractions not to be missed in a day’s walk and let yourself be amazed by the narrow streets of Lecce.
As you will soon discover, the baroque reigns supreme here and the Roman remains that emerge from below street level allow visitors to delve into its history.
Lose yourself looking up admiring the details of the baroque churches, the finely decorated terraces of the buildings and being amazed by the squares that unexpectedly open up in front of narrow alleys.
You can enjoy all of this while walking around with a Pasticciotto or a Rustico Leccese in your hands, or between one Taralli tasting and another.
In short, we really have a lot to say about what to see in Lecce. If you agree, I’d say get started!
One day itinerary in Lecce
Also called the “Florence of the South”, Lecce is a museum in which the Baroque dominates on the street level, while the Roman remains dominate its basements.
Consider that the itinerary I am about to propose has a journey time of about 30 minutes (visits excluded), therefore a day will be enough to get a general taste of it.
Obviously, however, where you will sleep in the city could influence the order of the stages, but no problem: simply move the sequence of attractions on the map after opening it on Google Maps to customize it. Easy, right?
Don’t worry about saving the itinerary now: take your time to explore the things to see and at the end you will find the link to conveniently open the map (very easy).
Tips: allow yourself at least one day in the city, admiring the interiors of the churches and taking part in a tour with a local guide to enrich the discovery of anecdotes or fascinating experiences. Y
1: Charles V Castle
Start your itinerary in Lecce along the walls of the Carlo V Castle. Exhibitions are often hosted inside, which will also allow you to admire the interiors (visit the official website to find out the next ones in the program).
If you are not interested in the exhibitions inside, know that it is worth visiting to discover the Papier-mâché Museum housed in one of the rooms: here you can admire papier-mâché statues from past centuries, made with this “paper lamination” technique, a tradition of the Lecce artisans that has come down to the present day.
2: Roman Amphitheater: one thing to see in Lecce
Below street level in Piazza Sant’Oronzo, the remains of the Roman Amphitheater dating back to the 1st or 2nd century AD will certainly not go unnoticed.
Its discovery is relatively recent, as it dates back to the early twentieth century, when work began here to build the headquarters of the Bank of Italy (obviously interrupted).
The original appearance of the structure is very similar to that of the Colosseum and the Arena of Verona. Fights between gladiators took place inside the arena, but also clashes between men and animals (portrayed in some scenes in relief on the marble depicting slaves against lions and bulls).
Today it is possible to admire only a third of the original structure, which could accommodate up to 25,000 spectators.
In the square there are also the column of Sant’Oronzo, patron saint of the city, and a mosaic representing a she-wolf who is rumored to bring bad luck to those who trample on it and, in particular, to students who will not pass the next exam (if in doubt, I I’d watch it from afar!).
3: MUST-Historical Museum of the City
Housed in the former monastery of Santa Chiara dating back to the fifteenth century, the historical museum of the city of Lecce hosts temporary and permanent exhibitions of various kinds.
In particular, you will be able to access the section dedicated to emerging local artists, discover works of art starting from the 1700s and take a 3D virtual tour of Lecce’s Baroque heritage.
Info, tickets and prices on the municipality’s website.
4: Roman Theater
If you are still curious to find out what to see in Lecce, make a note of the Roman Theater (with attached museum).
Even its discovery, like that of the Amphitheater, took place in a completely random and relatively recent way, in 1929.
The entrance is located in the historic center a stone’s throw from the MUST. To access you will have to follow the signs for the “Museo del Teatro Romano”, because the ticket office of the theater is also located here.
If you want to have a taste of it before entering, however, just reach Via Arte della Cartapesta, to see it through the grate. The museum houses artifacts found during excavations.
Let’s face it clearly : what would this trip to Lecce be without a dive into the local street food? If you want to discover the city and taste the traditional flavors, join a food walking tour (with tastings included!).
5: Via delle Giravolte
After the visit to the museum and the Roman Theater, go to via delle Giravolte.
Even if the name could already make you guess something, know that this is a real labyrinth of alleys and small squares, where only the cats seem to be really sure where they are going.
Even if my sense of direction hardly betrays me, within this “labyrinth” it did.
The reason is that this conformation dating back to the Middle Ages was created specifically to disorient enemies, so pay attention and memorize some reference points so as not to “go around” in circles.
6: Porta Rudia
This is one of the 3 entrance gates to the city of Lecce.
Even if today the walls that have surrounded and protected the city for thousands of years are no longer visible (if not for a few hundred meters), Porta Rudiae, Naples and San Biangio remained as evidence.
Following this itinerary of things to do and see in Lecce, you will arrive in front of Porta Rudiae.
Once here, admire the statues of the founders of the city and that of Sant’Oronzo, placed on the top.
7: The Cathedral and the Square: one thing to see in Lecce
Taking a few steps back in via Giuseppe Libertini, stroll calmly along this central street.
Admire artisan shops, taralli shops, typical restaurants and trattorias and then turn right and be amazed by Piazza del Duomo.
Here is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Santissima Assunta (the Cathedral of Lecce), which is worth admiring both inside and out, especially for the presence of the nativity scene sculpted by Gabriele Riccardini dating back to the sixteenth century.
You can buy tickets to visit the Duomo and other churches in Lecce on this site (you will find single and combined tickets to save money).
Curiosity: along Via Francesco Rubichi pay attention to where you put your feet. A small section of the street consists of an ancient Roman road.
8: Basilica of Santa Croce
Visiting Lecce is just like that: an unexpected glimpse that enraptures and amazes you. And I’m not exaggerating!
When I thought I had seen “everything”, turning the corner and finding myself in front of the magnificent Basilica of Santa Croce was almost a blow to the heart (in the most positive sense there is).
The finely decorated facade and the central rose window make this one of the most beautiful churches in the city, which you can visit by purchasing combined tickets with the Duomo on this site.
Next to it is also the entrance to the Jewish Museum which allows you to discover both the history of the Jewish people in Salento and a part of the city’s underground.
It is possible to access only with a guide and it is for this reason important to reserve your place in advance in this guided tour of Lecce and the underground, for a truly complete experience.
If you land at Bari airport, you might also be interested in finding out what to see in Bari in one day (with itinerary).
9: Giuseppe Garibaldi Public Gardens
Continue the itinerary in Lecce reaching the Giuseppe Garibaldi Public Gardens, a lovely green space just outside the historic centre.
These are historic public gardens, inside which there are play areas for children, statues of famous people, fountains and obviously secular trees.
10: Porta Napoli
If you want to see another of the entrance gates to the city, go to Porta Napoli (so called because it was the arch through which one passed to reach Naples), from via Principi di Savoia.
Then admire the ten-metre-high obelisk just after, decorated with symbols in relief.
Accommodation in Lecce
Even if one day is enough to follow this Lecce walking itinerary, I suggest you opt to spend at least one night here, in order to enjoy maximum practicality. In this regard, here are some establishments where you should check availability for your dates:
- B&B Gianmarti Suite (from € 70) : a bed & breakfast with a restaurant and shared kitchen, where you can stay a stone’s throw from the historic centre, but at a good value for money. The structure boasts classic double rooms, but also larger family rooms;
- Amatè Suite (from € 114) : a bed & breakfast with garden and shared kitchen. The structure offers classic rooms, but also suites with Jacuzzi. Breakfast is included and parking is free;
- Palazzo Lecce (from € 145) : this structure is particularly suitable for those who want to spend a relaxing weekend in Lecce. The structure is equipped with a sauna and wellness area, and the rooms are furnished with care and in a classic and relaxing style.
If you have more time, I suggest you read more about the guide entirely dedicated to where to sleep in Lecce .
I hope this article has been useful for you to find out what to see in Lecce in one day, savoring the Baroque that characterizes the most beautiful buildings. As promised, here is the itinerary of things to see in Lecce in one day to open comfortably on your smartphone.
If you have any doubts or questions, do not hesitate to leave your comment below the article.
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