Lecce is a great city in Apulia that you can visit or stay at during your holidays. The city has a lot to offer in the way of historical and artistic attractions, such as churches, Roman ruins, the Castle of Charles V and museums to discover the past and present of this beautiful destination. It also has many other little gems for you to unveil, and you can live a truly immersive experience in Apulia through the local, traditional food and activities that you can engage in while you’re here.
Staying in Lecce means you’ll have the chance to visit this incredible city while also being close by to many other wonderful sights of Salento. You’ll be able to reach beaches, hot springs, cathedrals and more, and the best way to tour Salento is through car rental. The various cities and towns scattered along the coast are not always connected through a reliable and intuitive public transport system and the experience could get complicated and unnecessarily uncomfortable, especially when the alternative of going by car is a much better choice. The lack of severe traffic (unlike that found in Northern Italian cities) will ensure you’ll make your way to your destination faster, and every attraction as sufficient parking space to accommodate tourists.
The best time of the year to visit Salento is the beginning or ending of the high season. Come to Salento in May/June, or during September/October to find a more relaxed and quiet atmosphere. Without hordes of other tourists swarming the beaches and sights, you’ll have more space and time to fully enjoy everything Salento has to offer, both in the way of nature (such as Otranto and Sana Cesarea), as well as what concerns the hinterland, further from the seaside, where you can find great spots (like the city of Lecce itself).
Must See in Salento
Salento has a lot to offer and the choice is wide, since every mile of beach hides treasures, and every corner of Apulia has the potential to be a vacation spot full of great things to see and do. Since you’re probably not going to be able to visit every little place on your way up and down Salento, here are some ideas on what to visit during your stay. Don’t forget that behind every little town or beach is hidden a great opportunity to find interesting and scenic locations, restaurants and places to relax – Use the internet freely on the go to look for the best rated eateries and spots for an extra little adventure as you visit the following main sights. Sometimes, getting lost is a blessing, when it enables you to find hidden gems!
In the city of Otranto you won’t just find the spectacular Aragonese Castle, but also the Cathedral, dating back to 1088. The altar is surrounded by the remains of the 800 Martyrs of Otranto, making for a truly impressive sight.
We’ve already mentioned the many beautiful places that you can visit while in Lecce, but the most important and historically relevant feature of the city would have to be its churches. The Duomo, Lecce’s Cathedral is the most eye-catching feature of the city square, with a 70-metre high bell tower.
In Galatina you will find many interesting buildings and tourist sites to visit, bot religious and of historical relevance, but the most beautiful is the Basilica di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, build at the end of the 1300s. While you’re busy in the city touring the sights, stop by a bakery or ask for the local signature dessert at a restaurant: the pasticciotto, a baked pastry with custard filling you’re sure to love!
Come to Santa Cesarea to enjoy the sea and to take part in something unique: the thermal baths, with various facilities. The city was built on hot springs and here you can enjoy different cosmetic and therapeutic services.
Visit this town if you love nature, for you will find a natural reserve, a marine reserve and many wonderful beaches to enjoy. Clear waters, rocky and sandy shores and many picturesque spots await you in Porto Cesareo. Don’t forget to enjoy some incredible fish dishes and seafood while you’re here.
South of Lecce, you will find the town of Castro and its many natural sights. You can enjoy the beautiful sea nearby and the natural areas and rock formations. The Grotta Zinzulusa is the most relevant in the area among other minor cave complexes near Castro, and it consists of three rooms filled with stunning stalactites, stalagmites and rocky walls that for their shape will remind the visitor of laundry on a clothesline with the sun filtering from the nooks and spaces between them.