Lecce is ideally the best place to start exploring Salento. The biggest city in the area, it is the only happening all year round. And it is just 40 minutes from the Brindisi Airport, while in other 40 minutes you get everywhere else in the province.
The closest beach, San Cataldo, is only 10 minutes away.Besides convenient, this town is so cute that it wins your heart instantly. The slow pace, the harmony, the “Latin” chaos, and that light changing magically at every hour of the day as the sun smashes over the ancient limestone buildings… it all results in a vibe that is beneficial to soul frequencies.
You can really breathe history in Lecce, but also a fervent contemporary vibe which makes of the whole province one of Italy’s most creative. Oh, the art and music scene are thriving too, even thought, in general, nightlife kind of sucks.
Lecce is small but the province is of nearly 1 million… and it all converges in Lecce, a balanced mixture of the cute and the bourgeois where, besides history, with the right connections there is always something interesting around the corner
The old town, a place of magic where to find a plethora of amazing accommodation for every pockets, nice bars, restaurants and artisn shops. It is lovely to walk random in the tiny labyrinth of roads where new historic marvels appear at every corner.
Piazza Mazzini via Trinchese: Local life goes on in here, in the residential/shopping district. All you need you can find it here: brand shops, hip bars, art spaces and all services.
Via Nazario Sauro attracts the mature and sophisticated: this once anonymous central street now is home to a bunch of exclusive boutiques, a serious membership club, three good fine dinings and Palazzo Delle Arti, an upscale art gallery from Milan that is making an impact
Via Taranto: just out of the old town, the area after Porta Napoli is home to a fresh mix of students, young immigrants and residents from generations. A popular area that is also the the most cosmopolitan in town, yet it is safe, tidy and clean. New bars, casual eateries and businesses are opening non-stop, perhaps not mystifying the identity of a local district
The tens of churches; the baroque architecture; lots of food and quality bars; good shopping; serious art (Museo MUST; Fondazione Biscozzi; Palazzo Delle Arti)…overall, life in Lecce is a never ending passeggiata:
it is all about details here, and the attentive visitor can embrace, through the baroque, a true mystical journey. The key is simple: just walk – always keeping an eye above in search of new stunning baroque details-, indulge in good wine along the way and abandon to the flow of this refined Italian jewel
Parks and outdoor
Escape the city heat at the central Villa Comunale, a proper example of “classic Italian garden” and a little oasis where to take a fresh break nearby the hotels.
Or, just a short walk from Porta Napoli, Belloluogo is an extended park where to chill under a three, do sports or entertain the kids. In a 10 mins drive from the center you can reach the beach of San Cataldo and the Rauccio Forest, a huge protected park of a pristine wild beauty