No matter where I am in any city or village around the world, I have the urge to move on after about 3 days and Lecce for all its appeal has been intimately explored every church, monastery, Basilica and museum entered and as is my want, photographed and notes for possible mention in my blog.
The day excursion to Gallipoli was worthwhile both for the means of travel there and the medieval township and fort. It is a fishing village but there was not much in terms of natural beauty.
Today Thursday there was quite a bit of thunder and rain which cleared by early afternoon. It was only the second occasion in all the time I have been away, the first being late at night whilst I waited to board the ferry at Igoumenitsa. Indeed the gods have been kind to me weather wise this last month especially the swim trek week when it was perfect!
Tomorrow I take the high speed train to Rome and perhaps some shopping before I head home on Saturday.
As it was wet weather I stayed for the most part at La Fiermontina my decadent “urban resort” reading, swimming in their pool and practicing the Recorder.
I mentioned the slow disintegration of many of the limestone buildings. Pictures to illustrate the issue!
I stumbled into the vestibule of what seemed to be going government offices. An imposing limestone edifice and to my amazement saw this freize around one of the windows . It looked very very old yet no attempt to protect or preserve it!
A few additional pictures of the surrounds of this 5 star hotel. There is a swimming pool as well!
I watched the movie ‘Mine Vaganti’ on a plane to Europe several years ago. It was a delightful Italian production about a wealthy Italian family who owned a pasta business in the southern city of Lecce in the Puglia region. It has a gay sub-plot. I brought the DVD and have watched it many times since, needing little excuse should friends suggest a movie at home!The title roughly translates into ‘Loose Cannon’.
Lecce, as many such Italian towns have, has a distinct historical centre often traced back to Roman times. Lecce is famous for its sandstone which when analysed is more than 60% lime.
Consequently the medieval buildings are wonderful baroque creations out of this limestone – richly ornate and with white marble cobbled streets. Again pictures will demonstrate this more eloquently than words.
however the most frightening characteristic of this soft sandstone is that it is easily degraded by moisture and do i suspect that the acid rain of our polluted society is provoking a sort of rapid crumbling ‘rising damp’.
I shall blog a little more in the next few days in the knowledge that this time next week I will be back at work.
But here are some pictures which I hope will tantalise and impress you to visit this limestone baroque city.
Have just booked into La Fiermontina Urban Resort in Lecce. Upgraded to Room 14 I was informed as we walked the marbled grass edge path. This is Dr Kiley grade prime accommodation that would make an accountant blush.
As I sat at the reception table the articulate womn discussed by phone a potential booking for a family of 4 plus Nanny. As the children were aged 1 and 4, the Nanny was in my silent eavesdropping opinion mandatory. Various options for accommodation were canvassed from a family suite or adjoining suites with Nanny and infants in various combinations. The cost varied, naturally, between 400 to 800 Euro a night and this was for July 2016.