Top things to do

Top Choice Cathedral in Otranto

Cathedral

Mosaics, skulls, crypts and biblical-meets-tropical imagery: Otranto's cathedral is like no other in Italy. It was built by the Normans in the 11th century, incorporating Romanesque, Byzantine and early Christian st…
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 Museum in Lecce

Museo Faggiano

Descend through Lecce's rich historical strata in this fascinating home-turned-museum, where sewerage excavations led to the chance discovery of an archaeological treasure trove. The deepest finds take you all the w…
Top Choice Museum in Taranto

Museo Nazionale Archeologico di Taranto

Sitting unassumingly in a side street in Taranto's new town is one of Italy's most important archaeological museums, chiefly dedicated to the archaeology of ancient Taras (Taranto). It houses, among other artefacts,…
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 utterly delicious Pugliese food at more-than-reasonable prices. Start of…
Top Choice Trattoria in Lecce

Trattoria le Zie - Cucina Casareccia

Where better to eat cucina casareccia (home cooking) than a place that feels like a private home, with patterned cement floor tiles, paper-strewn desk and a welcoming hostess (Carmela Perrone)? Known locally as simp…
Top Choice Seafood in Otranto

L'Altro Baffo

This elegant modern restaurant near the castle stands out in Otranto's competitive dining scene. It stays in touch with basic Pugliese and Italian principles, but ratchets things up several notches: the 'carbonara' …
Top Choice Seafood in Gallipoli

La Puritate

Book ahead to ensure your table at the place for fish in this seafood-loving town. Follow the practically obligatory seafood antipasti with delicious primi (first courses). Anything fishy is good (especially the pra…
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. …
Top Choice Gelato in Lecce

Baldo Gelato

The couple behind Baldo Gelato make the best gelato in Lecce, hands down. The dark chocolate may be the most intensely chocolatey thing you've ever put in your mouth.