Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lecce- (as in the Spanish word for milk- leche)- a gem

We have all heard about the economic difference between north and south Italy- the north is rich and industrial/financial, and the south is just plain poor. So when we had a few extra days in Italy before we could catch a ferry to Montenegro, we decided to go to Lecce. The reason: 3 Italians had all mentioned it, one calling it the Florence of the south. Our travel book, Rough Guide Europe (Not a very comprehensive travel book, don't use them. "Let's Go" is WAY better.) said it had "well trodden streets but a sense of discovery will accompany a visit". So we expected an old, run down town; what we found was the cleanest, well taken care of town in all of Italy! It shines, from the sun reflecting off the beautiful stone work! The town describes itself as Lecce Baroque- Baroque gone wild! Everything looks like a wedding cake made by a schizophrenic decorator. The amount of detail in everything is just astounding! One of the Italians told us to always look up: Right she was! The relief work under windows and balcony supports is amazing. The capitols of every column are different and complex- art pieces by themselves. The decorative stone work on almost every building, not just churches, really sets this town apart. We are both very happy we were able to come here. Plus, it is in an area of Italy we never heard of: Salento. From the pictures, the beaches are incredibly beautiful. Plus they have these old medieval towns, like Gallipoli, a walled medieval city sitting on an island, connected by an old bridge. Wish we had more time, but then we always wish that! Lecce is located in the heel of the boot of Italy- we never thought we would get this far down in Italy, but sure glad we did. We spent 2 night nights hwere, but could have spent a couple more.
 Cthedral, and Cathedral Square, at night.  Night was beautiful in this city.  They did an extraordinary job of adding lighting, which reflected off the limeston buildings.  It was really beautiful at night.
 St. George made an appearance!
 Rich in Cathedral Square with the bell tower in the back ground.
 A street in Lecce!
 This is decoration around a window on one of the churches.
 This is one of the capitols on a column in St, Croce church
 Inside St. Croce church
 Selfie at the cathedral.  That is not dirt on the photo- those are hundreds of little black birds that fly thru the town in evening.  It took alot of shots to get them in a photo:-)
 street at night
main square at night

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