2022 – A Local’s Guide to Lecce, Italy: Baroque Beauty and Country Cuisine | holiday in italy

a meal

Lychee is famous for kitchen poverty – Literally means “bad kitchen” but it refers to the delicious home cooking of rural families that makes the best seasonal and local produce. We are fortunate to have great fresh vegetables – so eating out can be heaven for vegetarians – along with seafood straight from the Ionian Sea. For an honest trattoria experience, you can’t beat All because Cortiwo Signora Rosalba cooks up unforgettable dishes like: ciceri e triaCrispy fried tagliatelle with chickpeas, Polite de MelanzinFried eggplant balls with mint and basil, delicious broad bean soup with chicory and local favorites, orecchiette conand rapa – Pasta “ears” with cabbage and anchovies.

If you want a contemporary experience of traditional recipes, try Arte dei Sapori – imagine whole sea bass cooked in mud – while the romantic La Scarpetta garden is the perfect place to sample spaghetti with creamy sea urchin. Stock up on local specialties at the covered market in Porta Rudiae: it’s great Casiocavallo hot cheese Salicic And the Tarally biscuit.

inspiration – inspiration

Everyone talks about the new Mussore center for avant-garde arts, but I find the old Museum of Sigismundo Castromediano inspiring. It is dedicated to the archeology of Lecce, dating from the Magna Graecia (Greek colonial period) from the 8th to the 5th century BC. B.C.E. It is always quiet and peaceful, it is rarely visited by tourists.

I love Café Alvino, where I often meet other winemakers. It is opposite the old Bar della Borsa, the “Wine Exchange” (which has now unfortunately been replaced by McDonald’s), so called because the winemakers used to meet there every week to determine the price of the barrel wines that Apulia exported to all of Europe. Mine the father He took me with him. Today, the region produces high-quality wine in bottles rather than in bulk, so discussions now revolve around climate change and organic vineyards.


The historic center isn’t really divided into neighborhoods, and to really experience the city, that’s what you need to focus on. Explore the small area surrounded by our city gates on foot, starting at the 500-year-old Porta Napoli. Scroll through time from the ruined Roman amphitheater, along alleys lined with baroque mansions and mansions, and exit opposite the Basilica of Santa Croce, whose facade took a century. Then there’s the stunning Piazza Duomo, dominated by its 17th-century cathedral, or the seemingly quiet Piazza Sant’Oronzo, which honors the patron saint of Lecce. This is the actual city center. Come alive from August 24 to 26 as we celebrate Saint Oronzo with a festival of lights, music and street food that no local ever misses.

Saint Oronzo Square. Photo: Salvatore Barque/Getty Images

Green area

Among its dense mass of Baroque buildings, Lecce has three important central green spaces: the lush lands, tropical yuccas, cacti and palm trees of Villa Reale; The extensive Parco Belologu Park, recently renovated and ideal for outdoor sports; and the formal gardens designed by Giuseppe Garibaldi, with their ancient sculptures and fountains. Don’t miss Pasticceria Natale, just outside the Garibaldi Gardens – it’s the perfect place to try one leccese pasticciottoSmall pastry cake stuffed with ricotta cheese or egg custard with Alaa Salentina CaféIced espresso with almond milk. For a great bike trip out of town, head east toward San Cataldo on the Adriatic. The route takes you through the magnificent 18th century villas that were once the summer residences of the Lecce nobles.


Lecce is quiet during the day but comes alive at night, with small squares and courtyards filled with restaurants and bar terraces. Between Piazzetta Santa Chiara and Piazzetta Sigismondo Castromediano are street food, beer and cocktails, while at Mama Elvira there are 250 local varieties on the menu: from champagne and pink to the more complex red Negroamaro and Primitivo.


Palazzo Rollo (double room from €110) is located in a Baroque country house with a roof garden right next to the cathedral.

Massimiliano Apollonio, fifth generation winemaker in 150– Apollonio Winery years ago. his family Enter Awarded in Lecce every year to artists who promote police culture