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What to do and see in Lecce

what-to-do-and-see-in-lecce

The province of Lecce is located in an area almost completely flat and is surrounded by sea on three sides and has over 200 miles of coastline. The coast is high and rocky cliffs overlooking the sea on the Adriatic Sea coast from Otranto to Santa Maria di Leuca and the Ionian Sea in the stretch north of Gallipoli. The rest of the coast is low and sandy. The most famous coastal resorts are: San Cataldo, San Foca, Otranto, Santa Cesarea Terme, Santa Maria di Leuca, Lido Marini, Torre San Giovanni, Gallipoli, Porto Cesareo and Torre Lapillo. The hinterland is the sub region of Salento whose main centers are: Lecce, Galatina, Maglie and Nardò. The city of Lecce is the capital of the province and has origins that date back to Roman times where the city was of strategic importance even though the peak it reached in the seventeenth century during the Kingdom of Naples. In that time were built numerous palaces and many religious buildings all in baroque style by creating a new architectural movement called the “Lecce Baroque”. The city center is the Piazza del Duomo with its imposing church, the Palace of the Seminary and the Palace of the Arcidiocesi. Other monuments of artistic importance are the Palace of the Seggio, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Basilica of Santa Croce and Piazza Sant’Oronzo with the Castle of Charles V, imposing building erected to defend the city. On the coast is Otranto in whose historical center is situated the Aragonese Castle of the fifteenth century and the Cathedral of the Annunciation with its floor covered with mosaics dating from the early twelfth century. Then on to Santa Cesarea Terme where its many historic villas and houses of prestige do remember how the city has been the seaside resort of the nobility and bourgeoisie of Lecce. Near we can find some natural caves including the Cave Zinzulusa particularly fascinating for its limestone formations of stalactites and stalagmites and underground environments which can be visited by going directly from the sea. Once in Santa Maria di Leuca you can admire the spectacle of the two seas (the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea) who meet, in fact we are at the southernmost point of the Puglia region. On the coast of the Ionian Sea is to visit the city of Gallipoli with his Angevin Castle which protects the harbor, it is almost completely surrounded by the sea. A last detail of this province is the presence, on the coast, many coastal watchtowers dating back several centuries ago, and they have created a real network control and communication in case of attacks of enemies.

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