Lecce Travel Tips from Andrea Di Taranto, Italian Instagrammer of Apulia

Italian Instagrammer Andrea Di Taranto is from Lecce, south of Apulia. Andrea sheds some light on Lecce’s underground river, orecchiette pasta, and the perfect 24 hours plan in the city. 

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Photo: Andrea Di Taranto

What’s Italian culture? 

Italian culture is traditions, tastes, colours and scents that run through the region from north to south. Every single place is the result of centuries of history and beauty. To fully understand each place, you must immerse yourself in it to perceive all the feelings that it expresses. This is one of the things that many people don’t know about. 

What do you feel defines Lecce cuisine?

The cuisine of Lecce is very often “humble”, characterised by basic elements found within the cuisine. It consists of common ingredients found in the Mediterranean diet. Products such as oil, flour, tomatoes, beans are put together to create hundreds of very tasty recipes. A very widespread product in Lecce, particularly in Salento, is frisella, a hard salt donut of wheat flour or barley. It is often topped with tomatoes, oil, salt, and also mozzarella cheese and oregano. Among the main courses, you can try orecchiette, a special type of homemade pasta, or the characteristic ciceri e tria. For sweets, the pasticciotto is definitely the most traditional, a sweet pastry filled with custard.

What is the one local dish you feel travellers can’t leave Lecce without trying? 

A dish that should not be missed by the tourist is orecchiette. They are usually made with tomatoes but there are many variations, such as crudaiola (mozzarella, tomato and basil), turnip greens or ricotta.

Where do you love to eat in Lecce?

You can find very nice restaurants in the historical center of Lecce. In addition to eating well, you have the pleasure of being immersed in the quaint little streets of the city.
I really like to eat in different restaurants, but my favourites are Blu Notte, Il Bacaro and I Latini

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Castro Marina. Photo: Andrea Di Taranto

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Photo: Andrea Di Taranto

Name one best kept secret of Lecce

It’s well known that Lecce is a beautiful city, starting from the historical center to the modern area, but not everyone knows that in the basement of Lecce there is a fascinating world. Under the city, there is the Idume river. It is about 7km long and runs through the city. The river runs through the old town of Lecce, peeking in the basements of several ancient buildings.

What is one thing you would recommend travellers do in Lecce? 

It may seem banal, but the simple act of walking in the historical center of the city is one of the most fascinating and exciting things that a tourist might do. Strolling along Lecce’s sun-kissed stone streets and breathing in the smells of the city is a heartwarming experience. 

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Photo: Andrea Di Taranto

What if you only had 24 hours? 

If I only have one day to visit the city, I would begin by entering from one of the ancient gates leading to the historical center, walk through all its lanes before reaching the cathedral and the immense piazza to admire the magnificent Baroque architectural style. After that, along the narrow streets, I would go to Piazza Sant’Oronzo where I can admire the ancient amphitheater and the church of Santa Croce. At the end of the day, I would go to the modern area to go shopping in the various shops. 

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Centro Storico. Photo: Andrea Di Taranto

What’s your favourite day trip to take from Lecce? 

If I had only one day, my little day trip will be of course a coast to coast of Salento, starting from San Foca and ending at Santa Maria di Leuca. Take some photos and eat a sandwich on the beach! 

WHERE TO EAT IN LECCE


Blu Notte
Where: Via Marino Brancaccio, 2a, 73100 Lecce LE, Italy
For: Fresh fish and seafood 

Il Bacaro
Where: Via Giuseppe Parini, 14, 73100 Lecce LE, Italy
For: Steaks

I Latini
Where: Via Giuseppe Palmieri, 46, Lecce LE, Italy
For: Truffle dishes

 

WHERE TO GO IN LECCE


Idume
Where: Via Degli Amici, Lecce, Italy
For: Lecce’s underground river 

Piazza Sant’Oronzo
Where: Piazza Sant’Oronzo, 73100 Lecce LE, Italy
For: The amphitheater and the church of Santa Croce
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