The Salento area is very vast and includes several places and attractions that deserve to be admired. Our advice is to start your tour from the city of Lecce, whose beauty will certainly remain impressed in your hearts.
Salento is one of the most desired and chosen destinations by many visitors from Italy and, increasingly, also from abroad. It is not difficult to understand why these places are so much appreciated and preferred to other, better known destinations. The beauty of the beaches, the variety of the panoramas, the cuisine rich in tradition and the excellent wines, seem to us sufficient reasons to choose to spend your holidays in southern Italy.
Lecce (known as the Florence of the South) is a city in continuous evolution, rich in art and history, with roots in fascinating and ancient culture and traditions. The city offers a large number of accommodation options including hotels, B&Bs and holiday homes: you could choose, for example, one of the beautiful Bed and Breakfasts located in the heart of the historic centre. This way you can better enjoy the famous Salento hospitality and come into direct contact with city life.
Leave your car behind for a few days and take comfortable shoes and light clothes to explore the city on foot. A fun alternative would be to rent bicycles, as most of the historic centre is off-limits to cars. There are so many things to see, you could prepare a small list before you leave, but rely mostly on the advice of locals. The owner of your B&B will certainly be able to advise you on places and events not to be missed. Stroll through the wonders of Lecce's Baroque, such as the splendid Basilica of Santa Croce, which, together with the former Convent of the Celestines, is the highest expression of this artistic style.
Take a break in the square dedicated to the city's patron saint, Piazza Sant'Oronzo, which is large and beautiful, dominated by the statue of the same saint at the top of an imposing column. This square can be defined as the heart of the city: it contains important monuments (such as the Roman Amphitheatre and the Sedile) and trattorias and bars where you can relax and enjoy the local specialities. Here you will find some of Lecce's historic cafés: don't miss the famous pasticciotto leccese accompanied by an excellent espresso in a hot cup. In the afternoon, on the other hand, stop to enjoy a freshly baked rustico with a glass of Negroamaro wine.
Continue your stroll among luxury shops and typical boutiques. You can buy small souvenirs made of Lecce stone or original and colourful local handicrafts. Continue towards the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which is located in the centre of a large square: we recommend visiting it at night to enjoy the suggestive and romantic atmosphere provided by the strategic lighting.
For dinner, stop at one of the trattorias that prepare authentic local dishes: you can try the famous Sagne 'ncannulate or ciceri e tria. If you like fish, you can choose from gourmet restaurants with a wide variety of local fish: try the Gallipoli purple prawns, eaten raw. The choice of wine is just as wide: a full-bodied red for meat or a fresh Negroamaro rosé for fish.
You can end the evening with one of the events that, especially in summer, characterise the evenings in Lecce. Between a festival, a pizzica show and an intoxicating glass of wine, Lecce will win your heart and give you a relaxing and fun holiday.