Lecce – a love story, Italian-style

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It all started 6 years ago, but then no one suspected that anything had started. We had just married and were living our dream to travel across South Italy – a great destination for a honeymoon. And before you choke with all the candy and sugar flowing from the first sentences of this story, let us mention Top Gear. Yes, the former British TV show, a car programme, featuring Jeremy Clarkson and company. We have always thought that this show was a travel show rather than a car show. But it was not our first time to head to a place we had seen on Top Gear. So, we somehow picked Lecce as the final stop of our honeymoon trip, before we head back to Bulgaria.

Lecce, May 2014

We settled in a comfortable small hotel in the suburbs of Lecce. The landlord gave us directions how to reach the historic centre and where to have dinner. We recently recalled the restaurant – Trattoria Nonna Teti, a cozy traditional restaurant. Indeed, after so many days in Italy, we were not hungry at all and had quick pasta. However, we spent a lot of time walking around the historic centre.

Then we came back from Italy, wrote articles about some of the places we had visited but we never wrote one about Lecce. Since then we have been living with the idea that we will be back to Lecce some day and we will definitely write about it. Because the emotion from the first visit was still holding us, we just did not know how to describe it with words.

Lecce, 2014, Santa Chiara church
Lecce, 2014, Santa Chiara church

Salento, 2017 – 2019

We have told about our first invitation to visit Puglia again in our article about Salento. It was an almost shocking invitation but the Universe somehow showed us that Lecce was closer to us. Actually, the organizers of the trip did not take us to Lecce that time, neither during the several trips that followed in the next 2 years. But they took us to other amazing and hidden places. During one of the latest trips, in September 2019, we insisted to stop in Lecce for just one hour, outside the scheduled program, before our flight home. And all of the emotions returned at this moment, flowing and burning us.

Return to Lecce

The Universe is making jokes with us quite often, but it also takes good care of us. In that very moment, during a very special time, just before Christmas, when miracles happen, Maria had the chance to return to Lecce and Andrey stayed with the kids at home. Our friends from Salento made her more tnhan happy by taking their group for a day to Lecce. And despite she was alone on this journey, our memories of Lecce are common and shared, as is our love to Lecce. Now, after this candied introduction, it is time to tell you about Lecce.

We can also mention that Andrey does not feel too bad about missing the last visit to Lecce, because a year earlier he had spent a wonderful night with friends in Lecce on a trip without Maria.

Porta Napoli, Lecce. South Italy
Porta Napoli, Lecce. South Italy

Porta Napoli – welcome to Lecce

Before storming into Lecce and releasing all of our emotions and thoughts about this city, let’s make it clear that we will mainly be speaking about the historic centre of Lecce, which enchants us with its amazing Baroque architecture and for this reason is know as the Florence of the South. Porta Napoli is one of the most popular entrances to the old centre, which is still partially surrounded by fortification walls or massive buildings that distinguish it from the contemporary neighbourhoods of Lecce.

Porta Napoli is one of the three gates in the old town, preserved until now, together with Porta Rudiae and Porta San Biaggio. It was inaugurated in 1547 in honour of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V