In Lecce I remember a magical evening spent with Lili and Robert of Espressino Travel– a boutique company that specializes in tours in Puglia. And I would tell you, if you are looking for a good company with an excellent service for tours in Puglia, go with Espressino. You won’t regret!!
Lili and Robert took me around Lecce and made sure that I could understand the best of the town in those span of 4 hours. We started with a walk from Piazza Sant’ Oronzo where after greetings and mutual love for Italy, I was told about Saint Oronzo- the patron saint of Lecce.
Then I was told about the most acclaimed bars of the town – Bar Avio where I was privileged to try the famous “Caffe in Ghiaccio”. It simple terms in means coffee with sweet almond iced milk………Buonissimo!! Absolutely delizio!
It seemed Lili and Robert knew everyone in town as I saw them exchange greetings with many people around. Every time they would meet someone, they would also share a little anecdote about about how they had known them or who those people were…..It was so fun!!
One such person we bumped in Lecce was a local painter who invited us to visit his studio that time. We saw an amazing collection along with beautiful maps of the Salento region. More can be seen on his website here.
Later, we stopped by Teatro Romano which I was familiar because I had seen it in an episode of Italy Unpacked. Teatro Romano holds concerts in the summer and I could only imagine how fun they must be!
The duo also took me to one of the other famous bars in Lecce to try Pasticciotto-a crisp pastry filled with the goodness of custard…….Oh my!! There’s nothing quite like that that I’ve eaten till date!! The Bar was full of other delicious treats and I was oggling like a little child.
We ate so much (actually I did most of it) that I was worried I’d gain weight. But thankfully the walking sure made up for it…..
We later went to see another famous piazzas and also whizzed past quaint bookshops, pretty trattorias and baroque churches. One of my favorite stops was the Basilica di Santa Croce. It was an incredible sight!!! And only when you see it you believe the detailing of each and every facade from the rose windows to strange figures to griffins and lions……
I think I was gaping the whole time and Lili told me how every time she comes and sees something new each time.
Towards the end of our 3-4 hour walk was a HUGE surprise. More food of course!
I was given a HUGE slice of pizza from Pizza & Co– one of the highest rate places of Lecce. Owned by two brothers from Napoli, Pizza & Co is where their love for food is poured on and even though I;ve had a lot of pizzas in Italy, nothing beats this one!! I am salivating just thinking about it!
I cannot thank my passionate and enthusiastic tour guides for that evening in Lecce. Those little tips and things to do helped me so much. If you are heading Puglia do check out the awesome tours in Puglia by Espressino –Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.
I especially love this podcast by SavoringItaly.
How to Reach Lecce:
Lecce is very well connected by train from all parts of Italy. I took the direct Trenitalia from Rome and was there in exactly 5 hours. There are direct flights from many major cities of Italy and rest of Europe to Bari. From Bari, Lecce is only a train ride away.
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