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Friday, October 26, 2018

Wish We Had More Time in Lecce

Of all the stops on our 18-day visit to Italy, Lecce was the most surprising. I really didn't have any expectations beyond Lecce being the starting point of our 6-day bike ride through Puglia with DuVine Cycling. We arrived around 6 pm and walked from the train station to our hotel for the night, the wonderful Patria Palace. The 20-minute stroll was an eye-opening experience as we passed exquisite baroque churches, plaza after large plaza, and Roman and Ottoman Empire ruins, like an old amphitheater down a side street. It only got better on this Saturday night as thousands of locals swarmed the streets and walked arm and arm to dine and drink at the outdoor tables. Wow, was this place alive, and the people were a striking mix of Persian, North African, and Italian blood. There were also very few tourists. We went to a recommended seafood restaurant, Pescheria, where you see the fresh fish on ice and pick what looks enticing. We went with grilled dorado, mussels, prawns, and a heavenly pasta dish with hazelnuts, topped off with a lemon tiramisu. Fantastic! Then we strolled through the large plazas and cobblestone streets looking around every bend at the next architectural wonder. I'd happily return to Lecce to spend at least 3 more nights here. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/26/18 at 05:59 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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