The golden sandstone city of Lecce has a lot to offer: Impressive baroque architecture, typical cuisine and proximity to two different coasts. It is the biggest city in Salento, the southern part of Apulia. The heel of the Italy’s boot is incredibly authentic and serves many stereotypes of Italy. Stores are closed all afternoon, life is stress-free, sun is mostly shining and vespas pass though tiny streets with colorful balconies. Don’t be tricked into thinking that it’s a sleepy city because of its laid-back atmosphere. In the evening, Lecce shows a completely different side.
The first "rush hour" in the evening is the typical pre-dinner walk. People dress up nicely for dinner and take a walk through the busy streets with their friends or family. This is also the perfect time for an Aperitivo.
After dinner mostly the younger crowds swarm into the city's nightlife. The historical center of Lecce has countless inviting and modern bars with delightful drinks and fun atmosphere.
Basically, there are three main spots in the city center, where most people gather. So here's my personal insight and suggestions :)
One of the busiest places for nightlife is Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. It is located right behind the main square of Piazza Sant’ Oronzo. There are many modern bars and street food options, all in a perfect central location. One of the best places at Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II is “Alibi”, a unique and artistic bar and restaurant with delicious food, tasty cocktails and crazy interior.
Via Umberto I has a slightly calmer atmosphere. There are mainly "Enoteche" around it, with fingerfood and some basic dishes. An Enotecha is a mixture between a local delicatessen store and a culinary establishment. A particularly nice one is the Enoteca of Mamma Elvira having an extensive local wine list and enjoyable food options.
There are only two choices at the third spot, but they are so special that they are definitely worth visiting. The first is “Prohibition” a twenties style underground cocktail bar with classy music and bartenders with suspenders. Right next to it is “Quanto basta”, which got certified as the best cocktail bar throughout Italy in 2015. Their passion towards unique and self-invented, as well as timeless classic cocktails, enhance this beautiful and modern set-up. Except for Russia, I would honestly admit that “Quanto basta” prepared the best Moscow Mule I ever drank! 😊
Whether you look for a calm wine tasting with friends, a vivid party atmosphere in the center or some of the most delicious cocktails, the historical center of Lecce offers something for every night owl. The best part about it, is that you can easily reach everything on foot with no longer than a 10-minute walking.
Title Picture © Credits to iStock/fotografiche
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