THE hotel to stay in the historic centre of Baroque Lecce, right opposite the Basilica di Santa Croce - splendid traditional luxury. Paul loves that a 5-star hotel can feel so relaxed and friendly and that it’s fantastic value for money. Right in the middle of things, he adores its location. We think that any itinerary in Puglia should include Lecce, by law!
In an amazingly convenient location, in the very historical centre of Lecce, right opposite the Baroque Basilica of Santa Croce, and within easy walking distance of the Duomo, the charming Hotel Patria Palace is a city hotel, and yet it feels more like the gracious 18th century palazzo it once was.
Restored to its former glory and better, the Patria Palace offers guests modern comforts, in welcoming and stylish surroundings. The labyrinth of corridors takes guests to the rooms, which have real quality and comfort. Easily deserving of its five stars, it prides itself on excellent service and splendid traditional luxury. Breafasts are a real treat. The restaurant is greatly praised locally for the food it serves and we have always eaten very well there.
A city hotel the Patria Palace might be, but it does not feel impersonal. Smiling staff are always on hand to give a warm welcome, attentive service and friendly advice. It is easy to feel cosseted at this hotel.
Lecce, "the Florence of the South ", has always been loved by discerning Italians for its beautiful Baroque architecture, elegant palazzi, richly decorated façades and wonderful churches. Now also a thriving and fascinating shopping centre, its shops are fabulous and it offers travellers that particular type of chic and interest only found in Italy. It has great restaurants, too, and Lecce is known for its good food and wine.
It is a city well worth exploring, yet, often overlooked, and that is a shame - you don't know what you're missing! Any itinerary in Puglia should include Lecce, by law! Spoil yourselves by combining a few days here, with other places in Puglia. In fact, it's a must!
The beautiful Salento area of Puglia, with its crystal clear shores and its many fascinating, inland towns makes it an amazing place to explore. Right in its heart, yet only 12km from the coast, lies the Baroque, provincial capital of Lecce. Still relatively undiscovered and unknown, it is truly magnificent. Once a Greek city, and then a Roman town, you can discover fine examples of its ancient past, including the 2nd century amphitheatre. There is the Spanish Castle, right in the centre, and its many 'palazzi', churches and squares are brimming with Baroque architecture, such as the remarkable Santa Croce Church. This is one of the finest models of 'Barocco Leccese', with its intricate exterior and wonderful, Renaissance interior. The spectacular and impressive façades of the grand and palatial Piazza del Duomo, lit up at night, are beautiful.
Art in Lecce is still very much alive and you may even spot sculptors and artisans working on the local sandstone, in their shops or out on the streets. Then there's the shops - resist if you can! You can easily spend a few days here, to absorb the atmosphere, and to discover all that Lecce has to offer.