The Baroque Masterpiece Of Southern Italy
Tours stopping in Lecce
Lecce is for sure one of the most important place to visit in Southern Italy. It’s known to be the Baroque masterpiece of Southern Italy and is also called “Florence of the South” for its famous architectural features, typically from the 17th century.
Lecce has very ancient origins and experienced two particularly flourishing moments: that of the Roman era and that of the Kingdom of Naples. Precisely in this period there was a great development in the construction of buildings, monuments and stately buildings characterized by a sumptuous and rich ornamental and architectural scenography that deserved the definition of “baroque Lecce”. The imaginative and meticulous work of sculpture was facilitated by the use of local stone, ductile and easy to inlay.
A typical visit of Lecce can start from Piazza Duomo, once used as a fortified citadel and now considered the most elegant “living room” in the city. The grandeur of the Duomo, the work of Zimbalo, Cino and Penna, the five-storey high bell tower, the Palazzo Vescovile and the Palazzo del Seminario mark the perimeter of the square, one of the monumental works that best represents the magnificence of the Lecce style.
Not far from Piazza Sant’Oronzo, in its perimeter, contains the history of the city. The Roman era is witnessed by the remains of the Amphitheater which in summer becomes the exceptional stage for theatrical performances and, in part, by the tall Column – on which stands the bronze stature of the saint depicted during the act of blessing – erected in the seventeenth century using part of the Roman columns located on the ancient Appian Way. Symbol of the Renaissance period is the Palazzo del Seggio, known as the “Sedile”, now home to important art exhibitions, and the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, guardian of interesting frescoes and wooden works.
Behind the square we find the Castle of Charles V, a typical defensive construction that contrasts with the rigor of the external lines, inside, the refined and refined style of the stately architectures. Imposing and majestic the Porta Rudiae is crowned, instead, by the statues of Sant’Oronzo, of Sant’Irene and San Domenico, with two pairs of columns positioned on the sides of the central arch, beyond which is the Church of the Rosary which strikes the look for the artistic fantasy of its grandiose façade.
To visit, then, is the Basilica of Santa Croce, where the inspiration of the “stonecutters” masters has left its mark in the monumental façade that anticipates the beauty of the interiors, a harmonious balance between the sobriety of the classic and the sumptuousness of the Lecce baroque.