December 7, 2013
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There are tons of hotels and B&Bs in Lecce and searching through them was more of a challenge than I expected. Then we found Palazzo Gorgoni, recommended to us by Silvestro Silvestori who owns The Awaiting Table, a cooking school based in Lecce. My mother had “met” Silvestro on Twitter and he’d recommended the B&B which is about 100 feet from his school on the same street. While we did not take any classes there, we did take a short tour of the school and meet Silvestro in person. The place looks like a lot of fun.
In the end, we chose Palazzo Gorgoni because of its location right in the center and because the rooms looked nice. In addition, the price was right. At the time, we got a single rate for two of the rooms at 60 euro each a night. We could have shared a room for 80 euro a night, and they are fairly spacious, but it’s nice to have some space during the trip, so we splurged on two separate rooms. We found the location to be perfect for walking anywhere in the center of Lecce.
Above, the piazza where we parked our car (white one, bottom right corner). Below, the street leading back to the piazza from the B&B.
Palazzo Gorgoni is essentially a three room B&B without the “B” for “breakfast”. One of the rooms is extra large, basically two rooms together with multiple beds, so would be good for a family share. The walls of all the rooms are built from the original beautiful golden pietra leccese (stone from the area around Lecce).
Connecting the two of the rooms is a wide hallway which has a coffee and tea maker, water dispenser, and several books. Marta, Palazzo Gorgoni’s owner, often puts out …
December 1, 2013
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It’s about an hour’s drive from the Valle d’Itria to Lecce on the main highway. Finding our way to our B&B, the Palazzo Gorgoni, right in the historical center took almost half an hour, even though on the map it looked so simple. The challenge in Lecce, like most towns first constructed before the time of cars, is that the streets are narrow, winding, and in many places, one way. Once we finally found a place to park (thankfully only about 100 feet from the B&B) and checked in, we headed out in search of lunch (more on this later) and a walk about town.
Over the next several days, we walked everywhere we could in town, exploring the piazza with it’s Roman amphitheater, the modern art museum, and admiring half a dozen Baroque churches and all the beautiful architecture around town. Lecce is incredibly photogenic. It’s not hard with all the Baroque detail on the churches and building, the quaint streets, and even the food!
One of the places we really enjoyed visiting was is a place for which I have no photos however, because the light inside was so poor. It’s the tiny Museo Archeologico Faggiano which is inside a three story building in the historical center. In what was once a private residence, they discovered the remains of a 16th century convent and other ruins dating back over 2000 years. There are frescos, old tiles on the walls, water storage tanks, tombs, a granary, and underground walkways. http://www.museofaggiano.it/en/
I’d read that everything shuts up tight in Lecce during mid-day and this is most certainly true. Done expect to visit shops, churches or museums between 2 and 5pm. This can certainly put a cramp in your sightseeing so plan accordingly. Our first stop was the famous Santa Croce …