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marie-ange Lecce - A travel report by Marie-Ange
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Lecce,  Italy - flag Italy -  Puglia
3935 readers

marie-ange's travel reports

Little Firenze

  10 votes
Lecce is a small city in the Puglia, in the very South of Italy, and is probably the best place I have experienced yet. Le charme à l'italienne... A profusion of Barrocco, lovely atmosphere in the streets at night, many festivals during the summer...

I went twice in Lecce : once with a friend for holidays (summertime), and another time for work in February (at the newly named Universita del Salento). Each time, I was enchanted by the kindness and hospitality of its inhabitants, the wonderful taste of food and wine, and of course the great climate. Lecce is called Little Firenze because it has so many beautiful monuments, being the capital of Barrocco in the region.

Favourite spots:
Basilica Santa Croce is an illustration of the splendors of Barrocco in the city, and a beauty of architecture : the facades are rich of gargouilles and luxurious decorations, but the inside of the Basilic is a wonder of balance and elegance, with its wite ceiling and delicate stone strap works. The whole area of the old city is a place to get lost, just for the pleasure of observing the nice houses. The pavement was being restaured when I was there in February 2007, it's a funny feeling when you walk on the wooden planks in the old streets, like a time travel. Piazza Sant'Oronzo (named by the Saint protector of the city) is a central place where everyone has to be in the evening, just to enjoy one of the delicious icecreams you can get there, to see the she-wolf that is part of the legend of the city...

What's really great:
I am found of Italy, so I am enthousiastic all the time about the country, the people and the food. But one thing that makes even more enjoyable at Lecce, is that it is so cheap (see my tip about Torre di Merlino)!

I did not try it, but I was recommended Hotel Tiziano, just at the exit of the Old city, and you get a 4-stars hotel for about 80 € a night, with jacuzzi, sauna, ...
You can also find very comfortable Bed and Breakfast's in the heart of Old town.

I mentioned Torre di Merlino. There is another place, one that is really special : I won't give the address, one has to deserve it (it's probably not so difficult to find it with the name, anyway :-)). It is called "Le Zie" (The Aunts), I suppose paradise at home would look like that. The cook is a lady who transformed her ground floor into this confidential restaurant you can hardly notice from outside. She cooks traditionnal Puglese meals, with a tremendous "vino da casa", and along the walls, there is a plastic band allowing you to slip your visit card, a drawing or whatever souvenir you want to leave in the place. There are memories from all around the work, I left mine just next to the words written by a New Yorker... A real travel...

Other recommendations:
I must tell you something amazing : while I was writing this article, Radio France Inter (a good public radio to listen to if you are in France) just played a song I never heard anywhere else than in Salento, the region of which Lecce is the capital. It is a local band called Roy i Pace, playing ska, reggae, and parodic songs with a great energy. I think this is a sign... :-)

Published on Friday June 29th, 2007

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Fri, Jun 29 2007 - 02:11 PM rating by eirekay

I hope you have time to add pictures later - this is a lovely report!

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