Lecce on foot? There is no better way to get to know the most beautiful sights in the city than in a brief walk that’s full of enchantment!
The historical centre - small in size but large in history and interest – is surrounded by three ancient gates, and is ideal for a relaxing walk allowing you to discover the most beautiful buildings and spectacular views.
You start in the Carlos V castle, which houses the Museum of Paper Maché, and of which only a few chambers on the first and second floors can be visited. Next the tour continues to the very center of town – Piazza Sant’Oronzo, where you can admire the surprising beauty of the Roman Anfitheatre, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the column with the statue of the Patron Saint, the Sedile and the adjacent little Church of San Marco.
Walk along Vittorio Emanuele street, noticing one or another historical building, and then the incomparable Church of Saint Irene. After continuing along this same street a short distance, on the left the sight of the Piazza Duomo will take your breath away!
Still continuing on Libertini street in the direction of Porta Rudiae, one sees the churches Santa Elisabetta, del Rosario, Santa Teresa, Palazzo Apostolico Orsini, l’Ospedale dello Spirito Santo, and the Church of the exConservatorio of Sant’Anna, where an impressive centenarian specimen of Ficus Magnolioides dominates the back garden.
Returning by this same route, you veer off along beautiful via Palmieri and then reach Porta Napoli.
The afternoon walk continues on two important streets: Principe di Savoia and Umberto I, passing before the Palazzo Adorno, to the Basilica di Santa Croce and the annexed Palazzo dei Celestini.
The walk continues along via Augusto Imperatore e d’Aragona where the churches of Santa Chiara and San Matteo will most certainly catch your attention, until you reach the third major portal to the city, this one dedicated to San Biagio.
While walking, you can stop at one of the several arts and crafts workshops and get homemade papier-mâché or clay objects, or even have a delicious meal or a snack in one of the typical cafeterias or bars.
The same tour can be enjoyed on bicycle, using the automatic rental system that the city has made available, the closest pick up location being piazza Sant’Oronzo.
For families with children, or for those who just don’t feel like walking, let alone pedaling, there is a delightful “trenino” (light diesel passenger train) available in Spring and Summer. It offers a one hour tour of the ancient centre of town, with a multilingual audio guide that highlights the most representative buildings and monuments.