Lecce travel guide

The heel of Italy, the heart of Salento stretched between two seas: the Adriatic and Ionian. The continuous flow of the waves on the high cliffs sculpted by the sea, the coastline of white sand and clear sea make this strip of land almost enchanted.
Lecce is not just a must in Italy but a true earthly paradise around the Mediterranean...
The Cathedral is a baroque architectural monument.
Because of the rich Baroque architectural monuments found in the city, Lecce is commonly nicknamed:
Lecce Cathedral, photo by han santing, via Flickr

 

1. Best things to do in Lecce (Apulia)

A trip to Lecce means a journey through history, from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages to the masterpiece of Baroque art and the ancient traditions of master craftsmen.

All in a generous and tasty world, full of lovely people.

Two seas to wet it, two powerful forces that flow into one just in Leuca: here the two blue combine into unimaginable cobalt shades.

There are many natural caves such as the Cave Zinzulusa.

The Adriatic coast is sandy and sometimes rocky with many bays that are formed like little jewels on the shoulders of the abyss. Masterpieces to live and swim.

Olive groves
Olive groves in Salento, photo via Flickr

 

2. The Salento and surroundings

The landscape is harmonious with rolling hills settled in the heart of the province, rich in villages that testify the presence of man since prehistoric times.

Ancient civilizations from overseas have strongly influenced the culture of these places, so that in Greece Salento, even today, they speak the ancient language Griko.

Vineyards and olive groves, geometries of green crops, low walls made of rough stone draw the outlines of the typical farmhouses and dolmens and manhir, symbols of the ancient messapica civilization.

Open air History, where the Middle Ages is told by the ancient villages and portentous castles, while the Renaissance overlooks the mansions, remembering the pomp and splendor of the ancient capital.

The
Purpu Pignata

 

3. Tastes and local food

The gastronomic offer is endless: oils, wines, cheeses, vegetables, homemade pasta and all the flavors of the past, the result of the craftsmanship of the raw materials.

Food, food and food, absolutely fresh, strictly just caught. Let’s start from the Salento mussels... Many people consider them the best of the Ionian Sea. Do not lose in Porto Cesareo Nonno Vittorio To taste them fresh and freshly caught... Still on the subject you can not forget the "purpu pignata": octopus, tomato, onion, parsley, olive oil and a beautiful terracotta pot. Simple dish and old, thanks to the spread of the octopus in Salento coast has become an evergreen.

Let’s end the dive in the goodness of water with sea urchins, very common on all shallow rocky coasts of the province of Lecce, to accompany a couple of ounces of homemade linguine. Despite their shape are succosissimi and sweet, great eaten fresh from Nonna Rosa in Muro Leccese and Angolo Blu Gallipoli.

For vegetables lovers beans net with wild chicory are a delicacy of all native: a peasant dish not to be missed: mashed beans with wild chicory skipped.

Orecchiette and minchiareddi are protagonists of fresh pasta in Salento. The first are the best known, the second type of pasta instead is often mixed to the first one: seasoned with fresh tomato and cottage cheese or ricotta cheese. Taste them absolutely to Aria Corte in Maritime Diso Lecce Reffering to classic products of rotisserie try the pittule, fried flour, water and yeast, often enriched with vegetables, tomato or fish.

To round off the famous mousse, prepared on the occasion of wedding receptions and parties: there are hundreds of variations, but always in the shape of a truncated cone and with ladyfingers or sponge cake soaked in liquor, chocolate pieces, zabaglione marsala and hazelnut ice cream or chocolate.

The stacks in Torre Sant'Andrea (Melendugno - Lecce)
The stacks in Torre Sant'Andrea (Melendugno - Lecce) , photo by Emanuele Petrachi, via Flickr

 

4. Nature, sport and green itineraries

After Otranto, bays, coves, cliffs and natural caves draw the coastline, a real small world for scuba diving.

In Santa Maria di Leuca, the Adriatic gives way to the Ionian beaches and seabed of fine sand: water is so clear that rivals the Caribbean postcards. The streets are all worth to walk.

Starting from the port of Otranto along the beautiful coast of Salento is easy to get involved in sailing excursions: the discovery of silent caves, hidden coves, inlets, coves inaccessible except by boat.

The Ionian coast is almost entirely sandy with short stretches of rock characterized by low clear sea with sandy bottoms bass. On the Ionian locations such as Torre Vado and Ugento stand with a beautiful marina, the creeks of Porto Selvaggio, Gallipoli and the picturesque Porto Cesareo.

Ferrovie del Sud Est (FSE) is a secondary railway company of Apulia, southern Italy, operating in the comuni south to Lecce.
 
The line Maglie-Gagliano del Capo has been activated in 1910.
Railway Ferrovie Sud-Est in Poggiardo (Lecce), photo by Paolo Margari, via Flickr

 

Last but not least, the ESF, the railroads of the South East, with itineraries to the discovery of Salento prefer the places and landscapes of the hinterland, sustainable mobility, and are aimed at the discovery of traditional knowledge and local identities. A real chance to meet people, to share the daily life of the place, really to travel without a trace ...

5. Where to stay in the city and surrounding

Discover all eco-friendly accommodations in Lecce and surroundings: organic farms surrounded by olive groves, small eco B&B set in white villages, traditional "trulli", or camping overlooking the turquoise sea.

Discover all eco-friendly accommodations in Lecce

 

by Angela Sebastianelli

Cover photo by Francesco, via flickr

Eco-friendly accommodations

Agriturismo Biologico Piccapane

Cutrofiano (Puglia)

Starting from 50,00 €
IL GIARDINO DELLE ALOE

Copertino (Puglia)

Starting from 70,00 €
Residence Il Colle

Porto Cesareo (Apulia)

Starting from 50,00 €
Agriturismo Agricola Samadhi

Zollino (Puglia)

Starting from 30,00 €
B&B Vico del Sole

Lecce (Puglia)

Starting from 55,00 €
Agriturismo biologico Salento

San Foca (Puglia)

Starting from 39,00 €
Masseria Asteri Resort Otranto

Cannole (Puglia)

Starting from 80,00 €
Villa Ghetta country House

Leverano (Puglia)

Starting from 50,00 €
B&B Il gelso ospitalita' in Salento

Monteroni di Lecce (Apulia)

Starting from 90,00 €
Campagna a due passi dal Mare

Gallipoli (Apulia)

Starting from 0,00 €
AGRITURISMO CASATO CALABRESE

Nardò (Apulia)

Starting from 40,00 €
B&B Lecce La Piazzetta

Lecce (Apulia)

Starting from 50,00 €
Residenza Torre Rinalda

Lecce (Puglia)

B&B Masseria Uccio

Specchia (Puglia)

Starting from 66,00 €
Il Balcone sui limoni

Ostuni (Apulia)

Starting from 55,00 €