Lecce, Italy: all the putti

Putti wrapped around columns, garlands of putti, putti with pigeons on their heads, gilded putti holding up ceilings, putti coyly offering bunches of grapes, flying heads-with-no-bodies-putti, actual children that strongly resemble putti….

Arrive in Italy and keep going South, all the way down, right there to the tip of the boot.  Did you find a pretty town bursting with putti?  Congratulations: you’re in Lecce.  Lecce is packed with Baroque churches, balconies dripping with hanging plants and–holy cow!– a Roman amphitheater right there in the middle of town.

Baroque is not generally my thing, but I found Lecce utterly pleasing.  It’s not a town of spectacular sights–Lecce itself is the sight.  I felt like I was walking though an Italian opera set.  At dusk we joined the passeggiata, the after-work stroll that is one of my favorite aspects of Italian culture.  Lecce’s passeggiata was particularly lively: full of young people who must have taken trains in from nearby towns.  If you ever would like to relax and be in the moment in a romantic, non-touristy, putti-encrusted town, this is the place.

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Oh you know, just hanging out on a garland of orifice-fruit.

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Michelin man-leg putti.

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You’d better not poop on my head, pigeon!

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Middle-aged man putto.

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Piazza del Duomo.  The entrance to the piazza is narrow and almost hidden, making this suddenly open square a surprise.

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Church of San Giovanni Battista.

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Porta Napoli, 1548.

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Basilica di Santa Croce, 1549 – 1695.  The corbel is made of delightfully carved animal figures.

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The Roman Amphitheatre, 2nd century AD.

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Pizzo, the steet food of Lecce.  The dough is full of tomatoey goodness.

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How we got to Lecce: train from Matera.

Where we slept: B&B Le Comari Salentine.  Price: €55 for a double.  Recommended: yes.

6 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing Lecce with us. It looks like a delightful place. Nice photos.

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    1. Thanks for reading Cheryl!

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  2. It looks really beautiful!

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    1. Yes, it’s surprising that Lecce isn’t more of a tourist destination considering how beautiful it is.

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  3. That looks a superb place for a holiday…oddly enough I’ve just been reading a book which describes it as sad, dingy….though as that is my opinion of the author I think I’ll go with your photographs.

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    1. How strange–we found it the opposite of sad and dingy. It was quite well preserved and full of life with friendly people!

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