Our recommendations for Lecce, the “Florence of the South”.
Museum: Museo Storico Citta’ di Lecce (MUST)
Visiting MUST is a must. A former monastery founded in 1410, and today a modern and contemporary art museum, MUST holds a permanent exhibition by local carver Cosimo Carlucci and a series of photographic art by the US artist Jenny Okun.
Bar: Danny’s Bar (Patria Palace Lecce Hotel)
Whether you need a pit stop or you’re in for the night, you can’t go wrong with Danny’s Bar and its rooftop terrace. Head upstairs, order a delicious coffee or a cocktail, and enjoy the view of the Basilica di Santa Croce.
Church: Basilica di Santa Croce
Speaking of – Instagram page looking a little dry? Take a snap outside Basilica di Santa Croce, a Baroque church. Completed in 1695 and recently refurbished, the Basilica blends beautifully intricate, and somewhat grotesque, features with a rose window.
Italy means two things: romance and good food. Bros, right in the heart of Lecce, offers both. The mouth-watering, Michelin-starred menu is totally original, and it’s an ideal (almost compulsory) spot to bring your lover(s).
Public Space: Parco Belloluogo
Who said parks are good for just a jog? Parco Belloluogo is teaming with olive trees, fig trees, and native species waiting to educate and charm you. Not far from the city centre, it’s the ideal place in Lecce for a bit of fresh air.
Historic Site: Palazzo Tamborino Cezzi
Are you an Art Nouveau aficionado? Love learning about different movements? Palazzo Tamborino Cezzi is the place to go to. The palazzo was erected in the mid-sixteenth century and the ground floor still retains the Renaissance environment. Bellissimo!
Gallery: Tonda Design
Tonda Design is both a shop and an art gallery. Antonio and Melinda, owners of this beautiful space, love to showcase artefacts from local artists. Everything here – lamps, accessories, ceramic pots – is handmade.
Meeting Space: Officine Culturali
Meet local artists for a chat and find out more about Southern Italy. Officine Culturali does a bit of everything; it sells great coffee, great books, and provides a guided tour of the Benedictine Monastery.
Hotel: Mine & Yours
If you’re not about that “chain hotel” feeling but still want to be surrounded by luxury, art, and great service, head for Mine & Yours. Get a haircut or a massage (and a good night’s sleep) here.