Italy: Lecce

The southern Italian town of Lecce is an absolute gem and it’s a total shame it’s so little known or visited. The town is over 2000 years old, boasts a massive fortress and over a dozen baroque churches. In fact, this is like a baroque heaven all around – apparently the soft yellow sandstone that most of the buildings are built from allows for intricate carving and the decorations are beyond elaborate and ornate. Lecce is often called Florence of the South. Seemingly every building has angels, demons, animals, religious symbols and figures, and loads of other stuff carved out on windows, doors, and balconies. There are also a Roman amphitheater and the aforementioned fortress – Castello. But the most mind blowing is the Basilica de Santa Croce (next post).