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Lecce

Boasting a rich cultural heritage and a wealth of elaborate baroque architecture, Lecce is the principal town of the Salentine peninsula, and has been dubbed 'the Florence of the South'. Lecce's history is long; it was first settled by the Greeks in about the 5th century BC, before becoming an important Roman settlement during the reign of Emperor Augustus. Some of the Roman structures can still be seen in Lecce today - the main piazza is on the site of the amphitheatre. Following a quiet period during the Dark Ages, the Sicilian Normans ushered in a prosperous era for Lecce from the 11th century.

Lecce's magnificent architecture
The city continued to flourish under German emperors, before being absorbed into the Spanish Empire in the 16th century. Now one of southern Italy's most important cities, it was during this time that Lecce acquired its Renaissance and baroque heart - and, with improved stability, wealthy merchants and bankers flocked to the city from all over Italy. This influx of wealth funded the construction of many of Lecce's finest buildings, including its grand palaces. Today, tourists are drawn to this magnificent city to admire its quaint, narrow streets and its unique architecture - much of which, existing nowhere else, is referred to as 'Leccese Baroque'. Among its many highlights are the decorative Chiesa di Santa Croce, with its intricately carved rose window and grand, elaborate chandeliers, and the Piazza del Duomo, the main square dominated by the 230-feet (70-metre) high bell tower of Lecce's cathedral.

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1 result matching: Escorted Rail Tours to Lecce

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Puglia & Basilicata
Save up to £400
3.9 stars(92 reviews)
2024MayJunSepOct
12 days from
£2,395 pp £2,245 pp
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Save up to £400
12 days from
£2,395
£2,245
per person
View Details
Tour map
  • DestinationItaly
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International / London Gatwick
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
Map and accommodation
Our customers love our Lecce tours
Puglia: Italy’s Undiscovered Coast
08 Nov 2023
Lesley
4 stars
“The overall trip and experience was fantastic. Saw loads of amazing of things and places. Two points I would like to raise. Porterage of suitcases was very noticeable by its absence and lifts are not high on Italy's priority at railway stations on the whole. (I presume this had been part of our payment to you). Also the set meals were at best average only. To the extent that when 'bigged up' as being deficient in both quality and quantity. For example, the final meal in Monopoli where the choice was between seafood or meat as a main constituent, those who selected meat only saw two or three slices of dried cured local ham as part of a starter. Then saw no further meat in their meal whatsoever.
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