Lecce is the capital city of the province of Lecce in southern Italy. It has nearly 100,000 residents and is a historic city well known for its Baroque architecture, leading to the nickname “The Florence of the South”. Since it’s in Italy the official language is Italian and the local currency is the Euro.
Lecce was founded around the time of the Trojan War in the 3rd century BC. It became of commercial and cultural importance in the 11th century after it was taken over by the Normans. From the 15th century onwards Lecce was an important city in southern Italy, due to its Baroque monuments and Roman artefacts that made it a cultural capital.
There are many cultural attractions in the city of Lecce and these are part of the reason why it’s becoming more attractive to tourists from across Europe. The largest attraction is the Church of the Holy Cross, which was built in 1353 but only completed in 1695. It is one of the Baroque monuments and is a truly stunning building.
Elsewhere you will find the Duomo, which is a cathedral that was built in the 12th century and restored in the 17th century by Giuseppe Zimbalo, who added the now famous 70 metre high bell tower. Close by is the Celestines’ Convent, which also has many Baroque decorations by Zimbalo and was built in the 16th century. Lecce also has a famous football team, U.S Lecce, who play in Italy’s Serie A.
The weather in Lecce is good all year round, with temperatures hitting their peak around June to August, at 32C. In the winter it is relatively mild so there’s no really need to worry about freezing in January or February.
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