Lecce, Italy

Lecce is an historic city, over 2,000 years old in southern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Lecce, the second largest province in the region by population, as well as one of the most important cities of Italian region of Apulia.

It is the main city of the Salentine Peninsula, a sub-peninsula at the heel of the Italian Peninsula. Because of the rich Baroque architectural monuments found in the city, Lecce is commonly nicknamed "The Florence of the South". The city also has a long traditional affinity with Greek culture going back to its foundation; the Messapii who founded the city are said to have been Cretans in Greek records. To this day, in the Grecìa Salentina, a group of towns not far from Lecce, the Griko language is still spoken.

The main industry, the "Lecce stone" which is a kind of limestone is the city's main export and because it is very soft and malleable, it is sought after for sculptures. Lecce is also an important agricultural centre, chiefly for its olive oil and wine production, as well as an industrial centre specialising in ceramic production.

Lecce is famous for the beautiful architecture of its cathedrals, churches and other religious buildings and monuments. Lecce also has The Roman Amphitheatre, built in the 2nd century and situated near Sant'Oronzo Square. It was able to seat more than 25,000 people but it is now half-buried because other monuments were built above it over the centuries. The Ampitheatre is currently used for different religious and arts events.

While cruises are available year round the main season is from March to October to take advantage of the longer days and warmer weather. Weather during the cruise season is warm to hot and the days are long and generally sunny. Most rain in the region falls in the winter months.

General Information:

Population: 95,764 (2011)
Language: Italian, Griko
Currency: Euro
Time zone: CET (UTC+1) •Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 73100
Dialing code + 31 (0)832

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