Lecce has a very ancient history and its richness is due to precious architectural and historic monuments but also to its culture and tradition, survived during the centuries.
The numerous findings witness that the inhabited centre of Lecce was established on ancient ruins of the IV-III century b. C. The name of the city, in the II century a. d., was Lupiae.
In the Roman period, above all during the reign of the emperor Adriano, Lecce had a big architectural expansion. At that time, the Roman Theatre and Amphitheatre were realized as well as a route linking Lecce to Marina di San Cataldo. Lecce reaches a period of wellness and glow under the realm of Marco Aurelio.
Excluding a short Greek domination, Lecce experienced a long period lasting almost five centuries under the Roman control.
The foundation of the County of Lecce was something realized by Roberto il Guiscardo, who transformed the administrative centre in a point of reference for the knightly culture. Tancredi, count of Lecce and of the Regno delle due Sicilie, was the client who commissioned the realization of the church devoted to the saints Niccolò and Cataldo, which is still nowadays one of the most important medieval sited in southern Italy. After the aegis of Normans, the following dominations by Suevian, Angevin, Brienne and Del Balzo Orsini. Today, the Salento Renaissance print is still to be found in emblematic monuments like the castle, the walls, a triumph arch and the Spirito Santo Hospital. The Bourbon period saw Lecce establishing itself in the prestigious rank of the main artistic and historical centres. Huge buildings, monumental Baroque constructions have witnessed the phases of this city, which has not fallen under the threat of time. From the church of Santa Teresa, until the church of Santa Chiara, from Palazzo dei Celestini until Piazza Duomo, Lecce is a whirlwind of beauty, a magnetic attraction for visitors. In 1592, the construction of the Palace of Sedile was achieved: it is in front of the column of Sant’Oronzo, raised a century later.
After 1861, the year in which Italy was united, Lecce developed a series of interventions to realize a variety of public works. In 1927, the Province of Lecce separated from the Province of Taranto and Brindisi. A crescendo, like in the music of Rossini, has formed the city of Lecce making it the feather in the cap of the entire Italian peninsula.