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My Favourite Pugliese City: Lecce

Posted on Aug 2, 2017 by

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The last stop of my Italian holiday was Lecce, a city in the south of Puglia. I love Lecce. Actually, it’s the place that made me consider visiting Puglia again this year. I didn’t spend enough time there on my last visit two years ago, and I wanted to experience more. Lecce has a charming historic centre, built in a rich Baroque style from the local Lecce stone (a particular kind of limestone). The stone is honey-coloured, and in the bright light of the afternoon the entire city is covered in a soft golden glow.

I love the quietness that surrounds the city at midday, when the heat keeps everyone indoors. I love the way the light falls on half the buildings in the afternoon and gradually evaporates, covering less and less until only the roofs have a golden glow before sunset. I love how the streets come back to life at dusk and a joyful atmosphere transforms the city. And I love the food! I don’t think there is one place in Lecce where you’d have bad food. Everywhere was delicious. I’ve eaten some good food around the region, but only in Lecce I could finally understand why Puglia is so famous for it. Everything is very fresh, straight out of the garden and prepared with passion; you can taste the sun in the juicy tomatoes and joy in the loaf of bread.

Visiting the city in the hot hours of the afternoon, I could take my time to admire every detail of the elaborately carved façades: flowers, fruits, animals and cherubs, some bearing the passage of time, but all of them glorious. The life has a slower rhythm here and the people look happy. Lecce is not overcrowded by tourists, a thing I appreciate more and more lately at the places I visit. I was lucky to spend a couple of days in this beautiful city where I hope to return again, someday.



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