Giuseppe Zimbalo's 1659 reconstruction of Lecce's original 12th-century cathedral is recognised as being among his finest work. Zimbalo, Lecce's famous 17th-century architect, was also responsible for the thrusting, ­tiered bell tower, 72m high. The cathedral is unusual in that it has two facades, one on the western end and the other, more ornate, facing the piazza. It’s framed by the 17th-century Palazzo Vescovile (Episcopal Palace) and the 18th-century Seminario, designed by Giuseppe Cino.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lecce attractions

1. Palazzo Vescovile

0.02 MILES

Facing Lecce's cathedral is the arched arcade loggia of the 15th-century Palazzo Vescovile, one-time residence of Neapolitan royalty and one of Lecce's…

2. Piazza del Duomo

0.02 MILES

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…

3. Museo Diocesano d'Arte Sacra

0.02 MILES

This 18th-century seminary, designed by famous Leccese architect and sculptor Giuseppe Cino, today houses a library of old books and a museum dedicated to…

4. Museo Teatro Romano

0.06 MILES

Exhibiting artefacts revealed during the excavation of the adjacent Roman theatre, this museum also has displays recreating classical Roman life,…


0.08 MILES

The beautifully restored 15th-century Monastery of Santa Chiara houses this civic museum and gallery, and has a great view of the Roman theatre from the…

6. Chiesa di Sant’Irene


Dedicated to Lecce's former patron saint and modelled on Rome's Basilica di Sant'Andrea della Valle, this church was completed in 1639. Inside you'll find…

7. Chiesa di Santa Chiara

0.12 MILES

A notable 15th-century church given a baroque makeover between 1687 and 1691, Santa Chiara is one of the most important and admired churches in Lecce…

8. Chiesa di San Matteo

0.16 MILES

Known by the locals as Santa Maria della Luce, this graceful little church bears the fingerprints of Giuseppe Zimbalo, as much of baroque Lecce does. The…