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  • Address: Via Umberto 1, Lecce, Italy
  • Hours: Daily 9am–noon; 5–8pm

Lecce ATTRACTIONS See all

Basilica Di Santa Croce Tours

The glories of Puglia’s lovely town of Lecce came into being in the 16th and 17th centuries, when peace in the region enabled religious orders and wealthy benefactors, including Emperor Charles V, to transform the town from sleepy backwater to the Baroque gem of southern Italy. The glorious centerpiece of all this gorgeousness is undoubtedly the Basilica di Santa Croce, a swirling mass of ornate Baroque patterning crawling with garlands, statuary, mythical beasts and gargoyles, all fronted with a colonnaded façade that is dominated by a vast rose window.

Work began on this madcap architectural frippery in 1549 on the site of an earlier Celestine monastery, and the basilica was finally consecrated in 1695. Three generations of architects worked on the construction over the decades, with the most notable being Giuseppe Zimballo—better known as Lo Zingarello (the gypsy)who was the star Puglian architect of the period. Along with his sidekick Cesare Penna, he was responsible for the uppermost, and most intricate, level of the basilica. 

Built on land confiscated from Jewish citizens, the exterior of Santa Croce is a confection of Baroque detailing but the interior is decidedly plainer and Renaissance in style. Highlights include the coffered wooden ceilings and the fanciful altars in the 17 chapels. Together with the equally splendid and adjacent Palazzo dei Celestini, which was also the work of Lo Zingarello, the basilica forms the architectural high point of a ravishing town center. 

Practical Info

The basilica is located at Via Umberto 1, and the site is open daily from 9am to noon and from 5 to 8pm. Admission is free.

Tours & Tickets

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Private Tour: Lecce Guided Walking Tour, Lecce, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Lecce Guided Walking Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Review

Discover Lecce, the Florence of the South Italy, with Baroque-style architecture. Lecce is located in Apulia the heel of Italy, and is the capital of a land ...  Read more

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $142.29
Baroque Lecce Walking Tour, Lecce, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Baroque Lecce Walking Tour

Lecce is the Baroque capital of the South, full of elegant palaces and baroque churches. The Cathedral, dedicated to our Lady, was rebuilt in the second half ...  Read more

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $77.72
Lecce Walking Tour with Papier-Mâché Workshop, Lecce, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

Lecce Walking Tour with Papier-Mâché Workshop

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Explore Lecce and discover picturesque and hidden corners with an expert guide and then meet a local artisan and join a papier mâché workshop in a ...  Read more

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $125.55
Lecce Rickshaw Tour with Papier-Mâché Workshop, Lecce, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

Lecce Rickshaw Tour with Papier-Mâché Workshop

Explore Lecce and discover picturesque and hidden corners with an expert guide and then meet a local artisan and join a papier mâché workshop in a ...  Read more

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $137.50
Lecce Sightseeing Bike Tour and Papier-Mâché Workshop, Lecce, Cultural Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

Lecce Sightseeing Bike Tour and Papier-Mâché Workshop

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Review

Explore Lecce and discover picturesque and hidden corners with an expert guide and then meet a local artisan and join a papier mâché workshop in a ...  Read more

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $131.53
Lecce Bike Tour, Lecce, Cultural Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Lecce Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Experience a pleasant bike tour of Lecce and let your expert multilingual guide show you the most important attractions of the Apulian Baroque capital. Visit ...  Read more

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $29.89
Lecce Shopping and Handicrafts Tour, Lecce, Bike & Mountain Bike Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Lecce Shopping and Handicrafts Tour

Explore lecce and its commercial soul along luxury shopping streets and then go shopping and let your guide suggest you the nicest boutiques of the city.

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $38.26
Lecce Shopping Tour by Rickshaw, Lecce, Shopping Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Lecce Shopping Tour by Rickshaw

Explore Lecce and its commercial soul along luxury shopping streets and then go shopping and let your guide suggest you the nicest boutiques of the city.

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $53.81

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