Italy: Lecce – Basilica di Santa Croce

This is the ultimate attraction in Lecce – a superb 16th century baroque church that is carved beyond imagination. The basilica was founded in 1548, but full construction and all the carving and decoration and ornamentation took another 150 years to complete. The front of the church is almost surreal in the amount of carvings – lions, monkeys, eagles, griffons, humans are mixed with a smorgasbord of support fruit, flowers, leaves, and branches. The interior is also all baroque and is equally stunning.