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Lecce Basilica of Santa Croce (Basilica Di Santa Croce) Tours

Lecce Basilica of Santa Croce (Basilica Di Santa Croce)
In a city famous for its gorgeous baroque architecture, the Lecce Basilica of Santa Croce (Basilica Di Santa Croce) is a standout. With a glorious stone facade decorated with ornately carved animals, gargoyles, flora, and a large rose window, this 17th-century masterpiece is a feast for the eyes and a highlight of Lecce.

The Basics
The city of Lecce is home to some of the most magnificent baroque architecture in Europe, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, when peace in the region enabled religious orders and wealthy benefactors—including Emperor Charles V—to transform the town from sleepy backwater to the baroque gem of southern Italy.

Walking, bike, and rickshaw tours of the city include stops at architectural highlights including the Basilica di Santa Croce, Lecce Cathedral (Duomo), and Palazzo dei Celestini. These can be combined with a stop in one of the city’s historic papier-mâché workshops.
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Lecce and its baroque treasures are especially fascinating for architecture buffs.
  • You must have your shoulders and knees covered to enter the basilica.
  • Due to a short flight of steps at the entrance, the basilica is not accessible to wheelchair users.
  • Bring a camera with an excellent zoom lens to capture the details of the facade.

How to Get There

Basilica di Santa Croce is a short walk from the city’s main Piazza Sant'Oronzo, through a picturesque warren of streets in the old town.

When to Get There

An especially memorable time to visit Lecce and its architectural masterpieces is in late August, when the town celebrates its three patron saints with light displays, music, and festivities.
 
The History of Lecce’s Baroque Jewel
Work on the sumptuous Basilica di Santa Croce began in 1549 on the site of an earlier Celestine monastery and land confiscated from Lecce’s Jewish citizens, and the church was finally consecrated in 1695. Three generations of architects worked on the construction over the decades, the most notable being Giuseppe Zimbalo—better known as Lo Zingarello (Little Gypsy), the city’s most respected architect of the period. Along with Cesare Penna, Zimbalo was responsible for the upper level of the basilica’s facade, the most intricate and detailed.

Address: Via Umberto 1, Lecce 73100, Italy
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21 Tours and Activities to Experience Lecce Basilica of Santa Croce (Basilica Di Santa Croce)

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Lecce Bike Tour

Lecce Bike Tour

star-4.5
Immerse yourself in the history and culture of Lecce on a leisurely bike tour. Pedal through the flat, bike-friendly streets and piazzas with a local guide and visit highlights like the Basilica of Santa Croce, Piazza del Duomo, and the ruins of an ancient Roman amphitheater. Enjoy the fresh air and flexibility of a 2-wheeled tour, and stop often to snap photos, browse local boutiques, and sample regional food and wine.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$38.53
From
$38.53
Taking safety measures

Lecce Walking Tour with Papier-Mâché Workshop

Lecce Walking Tour with Papier-Mâché Workshop

star-5
Explore the hidden corners of Lecce and meet a local artisan for a papier mâché workshop during this walking tour. Maximize time spent in Lecce with an itinerary that includes the top landmarks in the old town plus a tasting of local products such as cheese, salami, and gelato. Learn about papier mâché techniques during a workshop in a typical atelier.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$136.70
From
$136.70
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Lecce Guided Walking Tour

Private Tour: Lecce Guided Walking Tour

star-4.5
One of the jewels of Puglia, Lecce is rich in history and world-class sights—and a private walking tour is the perfect way to get up close and personal and immerse yourself in the city’s atmosphere. Admire the ruins of the city’s Roman–era amphitheater, see the baroque splendors of the Piazza del Duomo, take in the Basilica di Santa Croce, and learn more from your guide.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$216.75
per group
From
$216.75
per group

Baroque Lecce

Baroque Lecce

star-5
An immersion in the ancient history of Lecce, discovering the Baroque, but also the events that made the city one of the most fascinating in the world.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$19.53
From
$19.53

A walk through Lecce

A walk through Lecce

star-5
We will tour the historic center of Lecce for about 2 hours. I will show you not only the most important Roman and Baroque monuments, but we will also discover some hidden corners of the city. I will tell you about its history, its traditions, its food! Lecce will surprise you!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$42.15
From
$42.15
Taking safety measures

Christian Lecce

Christian Lecce

An immersion in the ancient history of Lecce, discovering the Baroque, but also the events that made the city one of the most fascinating in the world.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$19.53
From
$19.53

Tour Lecce

Tour Lecce

Being able to discover the secrets of the city, to experience all that makes it unique in the world: a walk to let yourself be enchanted by the millennial history of Lecce!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$156.22
From
$156.22

Lecce tour for Kids and Families with pizza and gelato

Lecce tour for Kids and Families with pizza and gelato

Take a fun and educational  tour of the city center of Lecce after sunset led by a specialized local guide. You will visit some of the city highlights including Piazza del Duomo, the church of Santa Croce, Piazza Sant’Oronzo and many more great sites lit up under the stars. You will play games, photo contests, quizzes and treasure hunts that will keep the family happy and engaged for the duration of this 2,5 -hour tour led by a child-friendly guide, Both children and parents will love to discover the history and architecture of Lecce in the most entertaining way. You will also taste local typical food: a complimentary “rustico” (a local, salty snack) or pizza and a genuine home-made ice cream or pastry.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$144.50
Price varies by group size
From
$144.50
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Best of Lecce walking tour

Best of Lecce walking tour

Discover the stories of southern Lecce without spending a fortune on guidebooks with this morning tour of the city center. Starting from the iconic Piazza del Duomo, hear the history of this city as told through its buildings. Visit sites from across the ages, from the classical Roman amphitheater to the baroque Basilica di Santa Croce. Don’t get pushed to the back of the group, either: on this small group walking tour, get personalized attention from your guide and answers to all your questions.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$84.29
From
$84.29

Lecce Shopping Tour by Rickshaw

Lecce Shopping Tour by Rickshaw

star-4.5
Lecce is famous for its traditional handicrafts, papier-mâché figures, and artisan products, and this 3-hour shopping tour offers the inside scoop on shopping in the city. Admire landmarks such as Santa Croce Basilica, Porta Napoli, and Saint Oronzo square on a rickshaw ride; shop for souvenirs at luxury boutiques and ateliers; then relax with a traditional Italian aperitivo.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$58.58
From
$58.58
Taking safety measures

Lecce. Journey to discover a charming baroque

Lecce. Journey to discover a charming baroque

star-5
The historic center of Lecce is one of the most interesting in Puglia. The particularity of its Baroque architecture derives from the ability of local artists and architects who, between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, have done something unique thanks to the quality of the tender local stone. Our tour will be a journey through time, from the splendor of the Roman Empire to contemporary Lecce. An elegant and refined city where churches and ancient buildings alternate artisan workshops (especially papier-mache), shops and places where you can taste typical products.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.57
Price varies by group size
From
$45.57
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

2-hour private walking tour of Lecce with a local guide

2-hour private walking tour of Lecce with a local guide

Known as the “Florence of the South” for its sumptuous baroque architecture, Lecce is one of Puglia’s most important cultural capitals as well as a lively university town with bustling squares and markets. Discover both sides of the city with this guided walking tour that takes in both its magnificent “Barocco Leccese” monuments and its charming warren of historic lanes without the hassle of a map or guide book.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$325.13
per group
From
$325.13
per group
Taking safety measures

Lecce Shopping and Handicrafts Tour

Lecce Shopping and Handicrafts Tour

Lecce is famous for its traditional handicrafts, papier-mâché figures, and artisan products, and this 3-hour shopping tour offers the inside scoop on shopping in the city. Along the way, admire landmarks such as Santa Croce Basilica and the Duomo; shop for souvenirs at luxury boutiques and ateliers; then relax with a traditional Italian aperitivo.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$40.09
From
$40.09
Taking safety measures

Lecce Street food tour and City Sightseeing

Lecce Street food tour and City Sightseeing

First time you visit Lecce and want to know the city and its food specialties? This tour is the perfect solution for you! Stroll into the city center and taste the best known local street food. Your guide will tell you the history related to the main highlights, such as the Basilica of Santa Croce, considered the emblem of Lecce's baroque style, the Cathedral, and the many palaces you will find on the way. From one place to the other, you will stop and delight your palate with the most famous and tasty delicacies of Salento, like the "rustico", a soft puff pastry disc filled with mozzarella, tomato and béchamel; the "frisella", a twice-baked bread roll topped with fresh tomato and olive oil; or the pastry star "pasticciotto", a shortcrust pastry stuffed with custard. You'll also taste other fantastic samples of Salento specialties. Take this tour either at lunch or dinner time, as it is an ideal way to do some sightseeing while having a light meal as you make your way through the city.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$124.03
Price varies by group size
From
$124.03
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Lecce Rickshaw Tour with Papier-Mâché Workshop

Lecce Rickshaw Tour with Papier-Mâché Workshop

star-5
Lecce is famous for its papier-mâché handicrafts and this behind-the-scenes workshop offers a fascinating insight into the unique art form. Admire landmarks such as Santa Croce Basilica, Porta Napoli, and Saint Oronzo square on a rickshaw ride; get hands on making papier-mâché crafts; then sample an array of local wines and regional specialties.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$144.07
From
$144.07
Taking safety measures

Best of Lecce Private Food And Sightseeing tour

Best of Lecce Private Food And Sightseeing tour

Enjoy this 3.5-hour food tasting tour into one of the most enchanting and magic cities of the Southern Italy. Walk through the historic city centre, stopping to sample the traditional cuisine: be impressed by the taste of the rustico, the flavour of local salami, the crunchy bite of tarallini and even more! An amazing walking and tasting food throughout the alleys of breathtaking embroideries of Barocco architecture with an exciting tasting experience of the best local food.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$227.82
Price varies by group size
From
$227.82
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Lecce Sightseeing Bike Tour and Papier-Mâché Workshop

Lecce Sightseeing Bike Tour and Papier-Mâché Workshop

star-2.5
Lecce is famous for its papier-mâché handicrafts and this behind-the-scenes workshop offers a fascinating insight into the unique art form. Admire landmarks such as Santa Croce Basilica, Porta Napoli, and Saint Oronzo square on a scenic bike ride; get hands on making papier-mâché crafts; then sample an array of local wines and regional specialties.
More
  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$137.81
From
$137.81
Taking safety measures

Lecce Group Tour from Ionian Coast

Lecce Group Tour from Ionian Coast

Explore how very different, friendly and playful Baroque style can be in the honey-colored “Florence of the South”. Visit Lecce, famed city of art and birthplace of the marvelous "barocco Leccese". Besides the mesmerizing virtuously carved fine-grained honey-colored local limestone decorations of the impressing churches, monumental monasteries and renaissance and baroque style noble houses, which made Lecce so famous, the second most important and still kept alive artisanship is papier-mâché art. Discover how local craftsmen express their art in the numerous little papier-mâché "botteghe" in the historical district.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$60.21
From
$60.21

Lecce Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide

Lecce Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide

Lecce, situated in southern Italy and off the radar for most travelers, is affectionately nicknamed "The Florence of the South" On this two-hour private tour, your expert guide will unveil the details of Lecce's impressive Baroque churches and buildings, its rich history, and offer you a new appreciation for this city in the Puglia region. You'll visit must-sees sites including Piazza Duomo, Sant'Oronzo square, the Basilica of Santa Croce, and the Roman Amphitheater and Theater, both evidence of the city's Roman origins.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$313.09
per group
From
$313.09
per group
Taking safety measures

Lecce Rickshaw City Tour

Lecce Rickshaw City Tour

star-5
Immerse yourself in the rich architectural array of Lecce during a private 3-hour rickshaw tour of the charming city. After selecting a departure time to suit your schedule, greet your guide and climb aboard your comfortable rickshaw. Cruise past historical highlights like the Roman amphitheater; absorb the Baroque beauty of monuments like the Basilica di Santa Croce; and delve into authentic local culture as you stop to sample local specialties in popular eateries. Receive the undivided attention of your guide on this tour.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$86.52
Price varies by group size
From
$86.52
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Lecce Street Food Tour

Lecce Street Food Tour

star-5
The city of Lecce is known for both its Baroque architecture and excellent street food. With this experience, discover the best of both without getting footsore by combining sightseeing and food tasting in a single bike tour. Zip through the picturesque lanes of the old town to take in the historic palaces and churches, stopping to sample local delicacies like “puccia”, “taralli”, and “pettole” washed down with Puglian wines.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.25
From
$72.25
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Lecce Basilica of Santa Croce (Basilica Di Santa Croce)?