The Florence of the South: A Private Walk Through Lecce

2 Hours
Private Activity

From (USD) $295 Per Guide

The Florence of the South: A Private Walk Through Lecce

2 Hours
Private Activity

From (USD) $295 Per Guide

Choose your date


Choose an available time

Private Guide (8 Guest Max)

    For Groups, please contact our GoTo Crew.


      JavaScript is required to complete booking

      The Florence of the South: A Private Walk Through Lecce

      Lecce, Italy
      From (USD) $295 Per Guide
      • Piazza Duomo: This open-air plaza is Lecce's formal focal point, surrounded by the Duomo (Cathedral) famous for its split architectural personality, a stately five-story bell tower, the austere Seminario, and the arcaded 15th-century Bishop's Palace.  
      • Roman ruins: Ancient history comes to life in lively St. Oronzo Square, with a partly excavated 2nd-century stone amphitheater that once seated 20,000, and a sculpture-topped column that marked the end of the Appian Way in Brindisi.
      • Basilica of Santa Croce: Gawk awhile at Lecce's most exuberant architectural confection, a Baroque showplace clad in carved allegorical creatures of every imaginable stripe – from lions and dragons to cherubs, topless women, and Turks.
      • Small group = more personal: Share your experience with only people you know; enjoy the luxury of deeper interaction with your guide and a more flexible itinerary.
      About this Lecce tour

      From the moment you pass through the triumphal Porta Napoli gate and into the maze of narrow, cobbled lanes that wind through Lecce's historic quarter, you'll be leaving the 21st century in the rearview. And heading into a world where, down every alleyway and around every corner, another building sporting extravagantly decorated doorways, columns, balconies, and rooflines appears.

      Encrusted with frolicking cherubs, serene angels, patron saints, wild animals, fresh vegetables, and a whole lot of other weird stuff that your guide will be happy to point out, the riotously rococo facades of Lecce are a testament to the art of the stonecutter.

      But this isn't just any old Baroque wonderland. Uniquely soft local stone allowed a distinct over-the-top style of carved artisanry to develop here – pioneered in the 17th century by hometown carving superstar-architect Francesco Antonio Zimbalo. The technique even has its own architecture-textbook name: barocco leccese (Lecce Baroque).

      It certainly wasn't quick work. Construction of the Basilica of Santa Croce dragged on for two centuries and through several generations of stonemasons before it was finally finished in 1695. (By then, some parts of it were already so old, they were likely in need of refurbishment.)

      This absolute creme-de-la-Lecce landmark is mind-numbingly ornate – you may not know whether to admire it, or wonder what mad visions gripped its creators.

      Either way, it's a sight you won't soon forget. One of many that fit that description in this relatively undiscovered city, which went for Baroque in the biggest possible way.

      History down the toilet

      Long before all those out-of-control stonecutters were set loose on its skyline, Lecce was a Roman outpost – just 25 miles from Brindisi, where the country-crossing Appian Way ended. All sorts of ancient things tend to turn up if you dig deep enough here. Like the half-buried amphitheater under Piazza St. Oronzo. Or the Greek tomb, Roman granary, Franciscan chapel, and etchings from the Knights Templar – all unearthed by a Lecce trattoria owner who was just trying to fix a slow-draining toilet in 2000.

      Getting prepared
      Tour Participation Requirements
      Great photo opportunities Great photo opportunities
      Bring photo ID Bring photo ID
      Bring money Bring money
      Bring water Bring water
      Wear comfortable shoes Wear comfortable shoes
      Wear Hat Wear Hat
      Wear Sunglasses Wear Sunglasses
      Wear shoulder covering Wear shoulder covering
      Cancellation policy

      Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.

      100 countries, 915 cities… limitless possibilities


      All our tours are offered by expert local guides & operators


      Head off the beaten path with our unique tours & activities


      You can rely on our team of travel industry experts

      General disclaimer

      Your order is subject to TourTrek's Booking Ticket Agreement, including all TourTrek and GoBe policies incorporated therein.

      Have you been on this experience?

      Write a Review

      Fields marked are required.

      Please enter your review.


      Looking for other experiences in Lecce?

      To book this tour for a large group, visit ourGROUPS PAGE for special discounted group rates