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Travel and Tourism Information
One of the most beautiful baroque towns in Italy, Lecce is famous for the particular architectural style used, called barocco leccese.
On Piazza S.Oronzo, the heart of Lecce, you’ll see the remains of the Anfiteatro Romano, which probably dates from the time of Hadrian.
Facing the square are the churches of S.Marco and S.Maria delle Grazie.
The most ornate Baroque church is the Basilica di Santa Croce whose facade, the work of the local architect Antonio Zimbalo, took around 150 years to complete; it has decorative garlands, putti and flowers around a central rose window.
The Church of Santa Chiara, loaded with ornaments, offers an interior full of little chapels. Sant'Irene, also called dei Teatini may be considered the most sumptous of Lecce's Baroque Churches. Of interest are Oronzo Tiso's paintings in the choir and the view of Lecce in the left transept. Also interesting is the Palazzo del Seminario and the balconied Palazzo Vescovile.
The Duomo has been entirely rebuilt in the mid-seventeenth century by Zimbalo on a pre-existing Romanesque church.One facade is simple while the one facing the square is an explosion of Baroque. The three-nave interior has ornate stone altars by Cino and Penna.
The Provincial Museum S.Castromediano hosts an antiquarium whith a rich ceramics collection and a Pinacoteca with paintings. The Church of SS. Nicolò and Cataldo close to the cemetery was built at the end of the 12th century but later on redesigned in Baroque style. S.Matteo is interesting for its atypical facade with alternating concave and convex surfaces.
Other interesting sights are: the Chiesa del Rosario and the Renaissance castle.