Lecce
Comune di Lecce
Top left: Church of Santa Croce, Top right: Teatro Romano, Bottom left: Porta Napoli in Viale Università, Bottom middle: Saint Giovanni Cathedral in the Perroni area, Bottom right: Cathedral, in Duomo Square
Top left: Church of Santa Croce, Top right: Teatro Romano, Bottom left: Porta Napoli in Viale Università, Bottom middle: Saint Giovanni Cathedral in the Perroni area, Bottom right: Cathedral, in Duomo Square
Flag of Lecce
Location of Lecce
Lecce is located in Italy
Lecce
Lecce
Location of Lecce in Italy
Lecce is located in Apulia
Lecce
Lecce
Lecce (Apulia)
Coordinates: 40°21′N 18°10′E / 40.350°N 18.167°E / 40.350; 18.167Coordinates: 40°21′N 18°10′E / 40.350°N 18.167°E / 40.350; 18.167
CountryItaly
RegionApulia
ProvinceLecce (LE)
Founded200s BC[1]
Government
 • MayorCarlo Salvemini (PD)
Area
 • Total238 km2 (92 sq mi)
Elevation
49 m (161 ft)
Population
 (1 January 2015)[3]
 • Total95,766
 • Density400/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
DemonymLeccese
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
73100
Dialing code0832
Patron saintOrontius
Websitewww.comune.lecce.it
Piazza del Duomo
Piazza del Duomo
Church of Santi Niccolò e Cataldo
Church of Santi Niccolò e Cataldo
Church of San Giovanni Battista
Church of San Giovanni Battista
The Roman amphitheatre
The Roman amphitheatre

Lecce (/ˈlɛ/[4] Italian: [ˈlettʃe] (listen))[pron 1] is a historic city of 95,766 inhabitants (2015) in southern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Lecce, the province of second-highest population in the region of Apulia, as well as one of that region's most important cities. It is the main city of the Salentine Peninsula, a sub-peninsula at the heel of the Italian Peninsula, and is over 2,000 years old.

Because of the rich Baroque architectural monuments found in the city, Lecce is commonly nicknamed "The Florence of the South".[6] In terms of industry, the "Lecce stone"—a particular kind of limestone[7]—is one of the city's main exports, because it is very soft and workable, thus suitable for sculptures. Lecce is also an important agricultural centre, chiefly for its olive oil and wine production, as well as an industrial centre specializing in ceramic production.

Lecce is home to the University of Salento, founded in 1955 and enrolling more than 16,000 students as of 2017/18.[8]

History

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According to legend, a city called Sybar existed at the time of the Trojan War, founded by the Messapii. It was conquered by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, receiving the new name of Lupiae.

Under the emperor Hadrian (2nd century AD) the city was moved 3 kilometres (2 miles) to the northeast, taking the name of Licea or Litium. Lecce had a theater and an amphitheater and was connected to the Hadrian Port (the current San Cataldo). Orontius of Lecce, locally called Sant'Oronzo, is considered to have served as the city's first Christian bishop and is Lecce's patron saint.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Lecce was sacked by the Ostrogoth king Totila in the Gothic Wars. It was restored to Roman rule in 549, and remained part of the Eastern Empire for five centuries, with brief conquests by Saracens and Lombards.

After the Norman conquest in the 11th century, Lecce regained commercial and political importance (count Tancred of Lecce was the last Norman King of Sicily), flourishing in the subsequent Hohenstaufen and Angevine rule. The County of Lecce was one of the largest and most important fiefs in the Kingdom of Sicily from 1053 to 1463, when it was annexed directly to the crown. From the 15th century, Lecce was one of the most important cities of southern Italy, and, starting in 1630, it was enriched with precious Baroque monuments. To avert invasion by the Ottomans, a new line of walls and a castle were built by Charles V (who was also Holy Roman Emperor), in the first part of the 16th century.

In 1656, a plague broke out in the city, killing a thousand inhabitants.

In 1943, fighter aircraft based in Lecce helped support isolated Italian garrisons in the Aegean Sea during World War 2. Because they were delayed by the Allies, they couldn't prevent a defeat. In 1944 and 1945, B-24 long-range bombers of the 98th Heavy Bomber Group attached to the 15th U.S. Army Air Force were based in Lecce, from where the crews flew missions over Italy, the Balkans, Austria, Germany and France.

Main sights

Churches and religious buildings

Other buildings

Gardens and parks

Archaeology

Geography

Climate

Lecce experiences a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa).

Climate data for Lecce
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.2
(70.2)
22.4
(72.3)
28.6
(83.5)
30.4
(86.7)
35.6
(96.1)
44.0
(111.2)
44.4
(111.9)
42.6
(108.7)
40.6
(105.1)
34.2
(93.6)
26.8
(80.2)
21.4
(70.5)
44.4
(111.9)
Average high °C (°F) 13.0
(55.4)
13.5
(56.3)
15.7
(60.3)
18.9
(66.0)
24.4
(75.9)
29.0
(84.2)
31.7
(89.1)
31.5
(88.7)
27.5
(81.5)
22.3
(72.1)
17.3
(63.1)
14.0
(57.2)
21.6
(70.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.6
(47.5)
8.9
(48.0)
10.6
(51.1)
13.5
(56.3)
18.2
(64.8)
22.5
(72.5)
25.0
(77.0)
25.2
(77.4)
21.8
(71.2)
17.5
(63.5)
12.8
(55.0)
9.6
(49.3)
16.2
(61.1)
Average low °C (°F) 4.2
(39.6)
4.2
(39.6)
5.6
(42.1)
8.0
(46.4)
12.1
(53.8)
15.9
(60.6)
18.4
(65.1)
18.9
(66.0)
16.0
(60.8)
12.7
(54.9)
8.3
(46.9)
5.3
(41.5)
10.8
(51.4)
Record low °C (°F) −12.0
(10.4)
−5.6
(21.9)
−4.6
(23.7)
−1.8
(28.8)
3.2
(37.8)
7.4
(45.3)
10.4
(50.7)
10.8
(51.4)
6.8
(44.2)
1.1
(34.0)
−2.8
(27.0)
−5.4
(22.3)
−12.0
(10.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 60.3
(2.37)
61.3
(2.41)
62.4
(2.46)
45.5
(1.79)
27.6
(1.09)
20.4
(0.80)
16.2
(0.64)
36.0
(1.42)
54.3
(2.14)
91.0
(3.58)
95.1
(3.74)
68.9
(2.71)
639
(25.15)
Source 1: World Meteorological Organization[10]
Source 2: altervista[11](extremes)

Sport

US Lecce crowd at the Stadio Via del Mare

Lecce is home to Serie A (the highest football division in Italy) football club U.S. Lecce. Since 1966, they have played at the 33,786-seater Stadio Via del Mare.

Transportation

Lecce is served by Lecce railway station. The local public transport includes trolleybus service, introduced in 2012.[12][13]

People

Statue of Lecce-born saint Filippo Smaldone in the city's cathedral
Statue of Lecce-born saint Filippo Smaldone in the city's cathedral

Twin towns – sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Italy

Lecce is twinned with:[14]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Salentino: Lècce; Griko: Luppìu; Latin: Lupiae; Ancient Greek: Λουπίαι, romanizedLoupíai[5])

References

  1. ^ The date given is for the Roman Republic named city Lupiae; dates for previous inhabitants such as the Messapians and Iapyges are lost to history.
  2. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Lecce". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  5. ^ Rohlfs, Gerhard (1964). "Toponomastica greca nel Salento" (PDF) (in Italian). p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017. Ancient Greek name of Lecce according to Strabo.
  6. ^ "Lecce: Italy". Lifeinitaly.com. 10 November 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  7. ^ Investigation on porosity change of Lecce stone
  8. ^ "Università del Salento". Ministero dell'Istruzione dell'Università e della Ricerca (in Italian).
  9. ^ Pietro Napoli Signorelli, Vicende della coltura nelle due Sicilie, Naples 1784, Vol.1, p.246ff
  10. ^ "World Weather Information Service".
  11. ^ "Lecce Galatina".
  12. ^ Lehmann, Jürgen (16 January 2012). "Lecce (IT) - Finally opened!". TrolleyMotion. Archived from the original on 23 January 2021. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  13. ^ Trolleybus Magazine No. 302 (March–April 2012), p. 43. National Trolleybus Association (UK). ISSN 0266-7452.
  14. ^ Lecce: "Gemellaggi" Archived 19 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine, 3 November 2011, retrieved 16 August 2014