The untrammelled charm and enduring beauty Lecce.

She is the sun that makes summer days beautiful, arise oh fair sun and kill the envious moon who is already sick and pale with grief. If only she know who she was that the brightness of her cheek could shame those nightly stars as daylight does to a lamp. She will remain my muse for all time and her name is LECCE.


You know what they say about using the road less travelled? Thank God we did, we were able to unearth Lecce, a treasure land with an untrammelled charm and enduring beauty. Lecce, dubbed as the “Florence of the South” is an historic city located in the in southern Italy, the capital of the province of Lecce, the third province in the region by population, as well as one of the most important cities of Apulia.


Not without a reason it’s considered to be one of the most beautiful resorts of the southern Italy. Lecce is a like a treasure, ask an explorer he tell you priced gems don’t come by easily, for some people, Lecce is considered too far. To get to it you need to fly, about 2 hours (from Milan) after which hire a car and brave the autostrada, or maybe take a train labouring over the Apennines before dipping across coastal flatlands and endless olive groves but perhaps this is what make Lecce a perfect treasure hunt story and passing places like Monopli whose names as a testament of the Greek heritage of Italy’s south.

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The city is delight to explore on foot, each turn reveals another architectural treat thanks to dozens of mostly Baroque-era churches packing its maze on narrow streets. We were enchanted with brilliant interiors and decorativeness of the facades. In the baking summer heat it is a relief to enter the walled city of Lecce-the harsh light is absorbed by the famed limestone of buildings.

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Lecce is dazzles with elaborately carved facades and interiors that erupt with symphonies of angels, cherubs, saints, saviors and Madonnas you are wrong if you thing that this priced gem in Italy’s heel is far from a haven of monkish abstemiousness. A capital of southern Italian cooking, the city brims with rustic restaurant serving the hearty peasant cuisine (cucina povera) and robust red wines of Puglia region. Throw in a buzzing bar scene and nearby beaches of sun-bronzed bodies and you will have a city fit for men and hedonist.

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We were treated like kings at the Art hotel and Park and the man at the helm of the hotel kitchen was Alessio Gubello whose culinary creations is a combination of beauty,inspiration,creativity and poetry all embedded in edible bite.

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He offers traditional Italian recipe with his own twist and also his own creation that will have you asking for more. Lecce gives me goose bump anytime I think about her, I am on a spell bound and I only wish there is no cure.



by Anderson Azugbene

photo by Anna Minaeva