Chiesa di Santa Chiara


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. Inside, every niche and surface swirls with twisting columns and ornate statuary. The ceiling is 18th-century Leccese cartapestra (papier-mâché) masquerading as wood.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lecce attractions


0.04 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…

2. 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,…

3. Roman Amphitheatre

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Below the ground level of the piazza is this restored 2nd-century-AD amphitheatre, discovered in 1901 by construction workers. It was excavated in the…

4. Colonna di Sant'Oronzo

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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…

5. Chiesa di San Matteo

0.09 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…

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. Cathedral

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Giuseppe Zimbalo's 1659 reconstruction of Lecce's original 12th-century cathedral is recognised as being among his finest work. Zimbalo, Lecce's famous…

8. Piazza del Duomo

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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…