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About Lecce PDF Print
Written by COR Group   

Lecce is located in the south-east of Italy, in the area of Salento (southern part of the region of Apulia). Lecce is also known as "La Firenze del Sud" (The Florence of the South) due to its numerous and important Baroque monuments.

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According to the legend, a city called Sybar existed at the times of the War of Troy, founded by the Messapii Italic tribe. Later it was occupied by the Iapyges and conquered by the Romans in the 3rd century BCE, receiving the new name of Lupiae. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Lecce was involved in the Gothic Wars. After the Byzantine definitive conquest of 549, it remained part of the Eastern Empire for five centuries. After the Norman conquest in the 11th century, Lecce regained commercial importance. From the 15th century onwards Lecce increased its status of one of the most important cities of southern Italy, and, starting from 1630, it was enriched with precious Baroque monuments. The main danger were the Ottoman invasion, for which a new line of walls and a castle were built by King Charles V in the first part of the 16th century.

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Main Baroque monuments:

  • The Chiesa di Santa Croce (lit. Church of the Holy Cross) has an impressive decorated façade with animals, grotesque figures and vegetables, and has a large rose window.
  • The Duomo is also one of the most important in Italy.
  • The Castle of Charles V (1539-49).
  • The Roman Amphitheatre (2nd century).
 
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