Top things to do

Top Choice Basilica in Lecce

Basilica di Santa Croce

It seems that hallucinating stonemasons have been at work on the basilica. Sheep, dodos, cherubs and beasties writhe across the facade, a swirling magnificent allegorical feast. Throughout the 16th and 17th centurie…
Top Choice Puglian in Lecce

Trattoria Il Rifugio della Buona Stella

A third-generation family restaurant in a gorgeous Leccese building with sandy stone walls and medieval decor, this wonderful trattoria serves fine food at sale-of-the-century prices (secondi from €6.50!). Start off…
Top Choice Museum in Lecce

Museo Faggiano

Breaking the floor to replace sewer pipes led the owner of this private home to the chance discovery of an archaeological treasure trove. Layers of history are revealed beneath the floors starting with the Messapii …
Trattoria in Lecce

Trattoria le Zie – Cucina Casareccia

Ring the bell to gain entry to this place that feels like a private home, with its patterned cement floor tiles, desk piled high with papers, and charming owner Carmela Perrone. In fact, it's known locally as simply…
Top Choice Wine Bar in Lecce

Enoteca Mamma Elvira

All you need to know about emerging Salento wine will be imparted by the hip but friendly staff at this cool new joint near the Santa Croce church. Taster glasses are dispatched liberally if you order a few snacks.
Piazza in Lecce

Piazza del Duomo

Piazza del Duomo is a baroque feast, the city's focal point and a sudden open space amid the surrounding enclosed lanes. During times of invasion the inhabitants of Lecce would barricade themselves in the square, wh…
Church in Lecce

Cathedral

The 12th-century­ cathedral is one of Giuseppe Zimbalo’s finest works – he was also responsible for the towering, ­68m‑high bell tower. The cathedral is unusual in that it has two facades, one on the western end and…
Monument in Lecce

Colonna di Sant'Oronzo

Two Roman columns once marked the end of the Appian Way in Brindisi. When one of them crumbled in 1582 some of the pieces were rescued and subsequently donated to Lecce (the base and capital remain in Brindisi). The…
Pizza in Lecce

La Torre di Merlino

It's hard to imagine that anyone couldn't be satisfied by the Merlino's all-encompassing menu, which includes the best pizza in Lecce washed down with craft beer, some stalwart Puglian pasta dishes, and innovative m…
Gate in Lecce

Porta Napoli

The main city gate, Porta Napoli, was erected in 1548 in anticipation of a state visit from Charles V. It's a typically militaristic effort by General Acaja (builder of the castle), who modelled it on a Roman triump…