Travel: 48 hours in Lecce, Italy

Roman amphitheatre in Lecce

Roman amphitheatre in Lecce

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ROBIN Gauldie spends the weekend in Lecce, Italy

Friday, 6pm

Check in at Lecce’s poshest hotel, the Patria Palace, with its stunning view of the Basilica di Santa Croce (Piazzetta Riccardi 13, 73100 Lecce tel: 0832 245 111, www.patriapalacelecce.com); two nights from €170 per person.

8pm

Head for Blu Notte, (Via Marino Brancaccio 2; tel: 0832 304 286, www.ristoranteblunottelecce.com) for a seafood dinner. Pay as little as €30 a head for two courses, or more than €100 if you go for the lobster.

Saturday, 9am

Walk across Piazzetta Riccardi to Lecce’s Baroque gem, the Basilica di Santa Croce. Its façade is a riot of stone figures; the interior is crammed with elaborately carved marble.

10:30am

Take a look at the 20,000­ seater 2nd century AD Roman amphitheatre on Piazza Sant’Oronzo.

Midday

Have an al fresco lunch at La Torre di Merlino (Vico Giambattista del Tufo 10; tel: 0832 242 091). Local meat and seafood pasta dishes dominate; the tab will be around €50 per head.

2pm

While Lecce siestas (most shops close until 5pm), hop on a bus (No 32, from outside the Castello di Carlo V) for a 15-­minute ride to San Cataldo and an afternoon at the beach.

9pm

For a Saturday night out Lecce-­style, bar­hop around the historic centre. On streets like Via Guglielmo Paladini and Via Umberto you’ll find spots serving everything from local wines to craft beers and classic cocktails.

Sunday, 10am

Discover Greek and Roman treasures at the Museo Provinciale Sigismondo Castromediano (Viale Gallipoli 28; www.provincia.le.it/web/provincialecce).

Midday

Sample typical dishes from Puglia at Alle Due Corti (Corte dei Giugni 1; tel: 0832 242 223, www.alleduecorti.com), cooked by celebrity chef Rosalba De Carlo.

2pm

Discover Lecce’s underground secrets at Museo Faggiano (Via Asanio Grandi 56; tel: 0832 300 528, 
www.museofaggiano.it).

4pm

Leave Lecce for Naples.

• The closest airport with direct flights from Edinburgh is Naples, served by EasyJet (www.easyjet.com). Lecce is around six hours from Naples by train (www.trenitalia.com).

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