Lecce, a world of art and culture to explore

This is a city of rose windows, stone flourishes, garlands, Solomonic columns, small piazzas, and unexpected alleyways. Start your visit by walking under the arch of Porta Napoli and heading into the historic centre along Via Palmieri, flanked by aristocratic palazzos as it leads to Piazza Duomo. Alternatively, if you start at Porta Rudiae, you can abandon the paving stones of Via Libertini and dive into the ancient and intricate labyrinth that is the multi-ethnic Giravolte district, a crucible of ethnicities and cultures today, as it was in the past. You could then continue your tour by exploring the charming alleys and small piazzas, where the local Lecce stone glows pink as the sun sets.

Paper, straw, rags, glue, and plaster – these poor materials gave life to Lecce’s papier-mâché, shaping many saints and Madonnas statues between the 17th and the 18th centuries. Some say it originated as a humble barbers’ hobby, but the fact remains that the refined art of moulding papier-mâché rapidly gained in popularity and numerous craft shops were set up. These produced saints with highly expressive faces and poses for the city’s churches and to be displayed during religious processions. Today, the long history of Lecce’s papier-mâché production is recounted at the Museum of Papier-Mâché, in the Castle of Charles V.

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