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The beautifully baroque town of Lecce is a cultural confection of impeccable sophistication and architectural grandeur; bespoke boutiques neighbour the splintered spires of buttery sandstone churches, the facades of which melt into gruesome gargoyles and intricate etchings. A vibrant youthful vibe exudes from the town’s prestigious university, the buildings of which contribute to the Lecce’s audacious charm. Wander sinuous streets to discover some of Italy’s most beguiling buildings, all of which are sure to stir the cultural imagination.
Perhaps one of Europe’s most polarising buildings, the phantasmagorical façade of the Basilica di Santa Croce divides the opinion of experts and explorers; the holy and hallucinogenic array of sanctimonious figures, scowling eagles and beaming cherubs makes for a truly arresting vision. The interior offers a more conventional confection of renaissance relics that are still worth a visit.
In the midst of the medieval myriad of tangled lanes resides the atmospheric Piazza del Duomo, a square considered the city’s spiritual centre. The compelling Cathedral reigns resplendent over the shady square with its tiered tower reminiscent of an elaborate wedding cake; a filigreed façade compliments intricate engravings that generously contribute to Lecce’s baroque banquet.
Enter the opulent depths of the city’s principal theatre, the Teatro Romano to discover a cultural feast comprising of artistic memorabilia. The theatre’s principal museum traces the history of theatre with a rich selection of antique artefacts.
The contemporary and creative cuisine served at the lovely La Quattro Spezerie Restaurant refined conventional Italian food. Amidst gleaming wine glasses and crisp linen tableware, gastronomic feats transcend culinary boundaries; signature dishes include crispy red snapper, rich seafood risotto and freshly made pasta. (via Augusto Imperatore 19 73100 Lecce, Italy)