Lecce Artwork Pass is a convenient and affordable way to discover art, faith and culture in the historic centre of the Salento capital, among the wonderful Baroque churches and treasures of the Sacred Art Museum.
The Card is valid for 7 days from the date of purchase and includes Skip-the-line entrances, information Brochure and Map, App with audio guide, Discounts at the Bookshop in Piazza del Duomo.
The Card also includes the entrance to Vernazza Palace, a multidimensional space in the heart of Lecce in which history, art and innovation dialogue, and access to the panoramic lift in the Cathedral bell tower, which provides a unique city'sview.
The Lecce Artwork Pass allows
entry in total independence to:
Entrance is permitted during sites' opening hours, with skip-the-line access.
Churches, Sacred Art Museum and Cathedral Bell Tower are open:
from 1st April to 30th September
daily, including holidays: from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
from 1st October to 31st March
daily, including holidays: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Entry is permitted up to 15 minutes before closing time.
NOTE: Visits to churches are suspended during religious services, the calendar of which is available at www.chieselecce.it
Vernazza Palace is open:
from 1st April to 30th September
every day except Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
from 1st October to 31st March
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
from Bologna: drive along the A14, exit Bari Nord, continue on the SS16 Adriatica towards Brindisi and on the SS613 towards Lecce.
from Rome: direction Naples, take the A16 towards Bari, take the A14, exit Bari Nord, continue on the SS16 Adriatica towards Brindisi, and on the SS613 towards Lecce.
The Duomo is located in the historic centre, closed to vehicular traffic. Recommended car parking: in parking areas marked with a blue stripe; Parcheggio Lecce (Via Adua, Piazza Mazzini, Via dell'Università), Parcheggio Lecce Ex Foro Boario; Parkejoo (Viale Michele De Pietro, 1).
Visit www.trenitalia.com for the timetable of connections to Lecce. The station is in Piazzale Oronzo Massari, less than 1 km from Piazza Duomo.
The bus stop is at Porta Napoli, about 700 metres from Piazza Duomo.
A pure expression of Lecce Baroque, the Duomo is the Cathedral of Lecce, dedicated to the Assumption. It is set in the splendid setting of Piazza del Duomo, between the Bell Tower, the Archbishop's Palace and the Palace of the Ancient Seminary. The side façade, overlooking the square, features a triumphal arch dominated by the statue of the patron saint Saint Oronzo and, in niches, statues of the co-patron saints Giusto and Fortunato.
An absolute masterpiece of Lecce Baroque, the Holy Cross Basilica has a marvellous rose window, the largest in Apulia. At the top of its unmistakable façade stands the Holy Cross, triumphant over heresy and paganism. The result of the most important architects of the Lecce Baroque Renaissance, with which it blends, the interior boasts harmonious forms and perfect proportions.
In the beating heart of the city, the St. Clare's Church, with its small size, is an authentic jewel of Lecce Baroque, the work of Salento architect and sculptor Giuseppe Cino. The skilful working of local stone, embellished with gilding, expresses all its magnificence in the sumptuous altars. Looking up, one can see the most special feature of this church: its papier-mâché ceiling.
Of all the churches, the St. Matthew's Church best embodies the canons of the Baroque style, to the point of earning it the reputation as the 'pantheon of Lecce Baroque'. The façade is inspired by Roman Baroque models, with similarities to the church of San Carlo alle quattro fontane in Rome. The interior has a single nave and an elliptical plan, the perimeter is marked by twelve columns on which statues of the apostles are placed, between which are ten side chapels with Baroque altars, rich decorations and valuable paintings.
The beautiful Seminary, built to a design by Giuseppe Cino, embellishes and makes the Piazza del Duomo, one of the very few closed squares in Italy, unique. Beautiful and elegant, the façade alternates windows, decorations and a central loggia with three-mullioned window: it is the Loggia of Blessings. From the atrium adorned with eight stone busts depicting the Doctors of the Church, one enters the cloister in the centre of which stands the Baroque well, the work of Giuseppe Cino. From the cloister you have access to the seminary chapel dedicated to St. Gregory the Great and, on the first floor, to the Sacred Art Museum with its collection of works from the 15th to the 18th century: books, paintings, sculptures, silverware, liturgical vestments.
At 72 metres high, the Lecce's Cathedral Bell Tower is one of the tallest bell towers in Italy, towering over the city like a high watchtower. Entirely made of Lecce stone, it has five sloping storeys. At the top of the dome, covered in coloured majolica, the weathervane has the silhouette of a blessing Saint Oronzo. Since 2022, the bell tower has been open to visitors, who can ascend to the third floor by means of a modern panoramic lift, allowing them to also admire the six bells, of different ages and sizes. From the four balconies, at a height of 43 metres, it is possible to have a 360-degree view of the city all the way to the Adriatic Sea and, on days with favourable weather conditions, even the Albanian coast can be seen. Interactive totems and tablets make it possible to recognise the main points of interest in the panorama.
An aristocratic palace and a jewel of Lecce Renaissance architecture, Vernazza Palace enshrines thousands of years of history in its foundations, testified to by the precious findings that tell of the site's use since the Iron Age. Archaeological excavations have brought to light the remains of a sanctuary dedicated to the Goddess Isis, dating back to Roman times, the remains of a public building, possibly a thermal bath, an area of Messapic worship, traces of a road axis, structures that from the 16th to the 19th century were used to store foodstuffs and oil, considered the liquid gold of Salento. The visit to Vernazza Palace allows for an immersive experience with in-depth studies, reconstructions and extra content that can be enjoyed thanks to augmented reality; the immersive experience in virtual reality with Oculus visors allows visitors to explore the Sanctuary of Isis as protagonists.