Lecce is a city in southern Italy. It is the capital of the province with the same name. With a population of just under 100,000 people, Lecce is the largest city in the province of Lecce. Its location is historical, which explains its 2,000 year age and its possible Cretan origins. Lecce is in the heel portion of the boot of Italy.
Lecce’s proximity to Greece, combined with its age, give parts of Lecce a Greek cultural feel. Indeed, there are a handful of small towns nearby that still speak a Greek dialect. In addition, Lecce’s common nickname is the “Florence of the South” because of its many examples of Baroque architectural monuments.
In modern times, Lecce is known for Lecce stone, a soft limestone found in local quarries. Lecce stone is renowned for its sculpting properties. Agriculturally, Lecce produces fine-grade olive oil, and residents produce quality wines.
As a spot to visit in Italy, travelers won’t go wrong if they enjoy the Baroque architectural style. The 17th century Palazzo Vescovile is an excellent example of a Baron’s Palace constructed in the Baroque style. As a destination, Lecce’s charm as a city with two millennia of history should spark the historian in anyone who dares explore local ruins.
Lecce is a few short miles from the Adriatic coast. The beaches and stunning white cliffs await anyone who wants to leave Lecce. Along the coast are many more examples of interesting buildings. And, of course, Greece is a ferry trip away.