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Archive for the ‘Lecce’ Category

Lecce – The End

Back in Orvieto, we truly enjoyed Lecce. It’s stone is a beautiful color, the town is clean, it is a nice scale. Here are some final pictures of the city.

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The cathedral's break tower

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The cathedral and the piazza it sits on

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Over the back door of the cathedral

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Back side of the Roman coliseum

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The Roman amphitheater still in use

And the beautiful light on the buildings

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Caffe Alvino – an old world treasure.

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A buttery, warm pastry with jelly in it.

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And a final shot that only begins to capture the color, the softness, the beauty, and the delightful detail of the Lecce stone.

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Baroque Revisited

Having been duly chastised by Jean about my critique of Baroque, and having been here long enough to truly BE in Lecce I revisited Santa Croce. The quantity of detail in these Baroque pieces and the sheer number of them is overwhelming. But if you narrow your field of view and begin to take it in it can be quite stunning.

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So, I stand a fan. Lecce’s stone is soft and thus accommodated well all the Baroque. One of its biggest exports is stone because it is so carvable. One problem is that stone exposed to the elements does deteriorate.

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One last view of Lecce to come and then back home to Orvieto!!

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Layers of Seriously Old

Sometimes the depth of the history in this country astounds me. It is there in Orvieto every day, but is so part of the scene to me anymore that I forget to marvel at it. In a new place I am once again reawakened. The depth at the Faggiano Archeological Museum both historically and literally is amazing.

The owner had a rental apartment with a blocked sewer. The repair led to the uncovering of 2000 years of history over the last 20 years. He’s found silos, cisterns, granary, tombs, secret passageways extending from the third floor of his apartment to about 20 feet below ground.

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Here I am at the bottom of a cistern about 20 feet underground. The shaft at left was where a bucket on a rope was lowered to get water.

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Looking down into the cistern from the ground floor.

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The third floor access to the same cistern. Beautiful isn’t it?

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Room full of artifacts discovered on site

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This is the tomb of a baby. He also discovered a “dead drier” – a place where deceased nuns in the convent occupying the place at one point would be mummified. Yow!

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How beautiful the construction. That is a drain pipe going through the wall to the right of the door.

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This is the third floor giving you an idea of the size of the place.

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These stairs go up to the tower above the third floor. Well worn!

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Fireplace, and you can see circles in the ceiling. These are 16th century earthenware jars used in ceiling construction. The practice made for a lighter ceiling and also provided insulation. This technique was first developed by the Romans.

Just an incredible place all done by a private individual who made the discovery and has been pursuing it for years.

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The Color of Lecce

The color of the stone and buildings here is beautiful. We’re both having trouble describing it. Kristi is calling it vanilla. For me it is more of a golden light honey. And I am having a hard time capturing it with my camera. For whatever reason the pictures don’t convey the softness of the color, even those taken in evening light. Oh well. This is the best I can do.

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The one above shows a storefront and the terrace of the apartment above we are staying in. Such a great space and location.

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More Baroque

This is Santa Croce, another Baroque marvel.

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This is one of fourteen, count them – fourteen! There are two or three that are quite simple, but this is the norm.

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The ceiling is quite something.

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Mama Mia! This is the piece de resistance in this church.
Across the street from the backside of Santa Croce is a lovely park called Villa Communale.

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It is full of statutes of famous Leccese and Italians. Don’t know who the guy below is, but he caught my attention.

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I’ve got more Baroque googaa to show but wanted to plug this beautiful apartment we are staying in. Immaculately clean, nicely appointed, wonderful patio, great location, very reasonably priced. 1.5 baths, bedroom, loft bed, couch bed.
http://www.vrbo.com/1670149ha?

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Great kitchen with two sets of dishes, trays for taking your food to the patio, excellent stove, dishwasher.

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Lecce has many interiors with this kind of ceiling. Some are exposed stone, which is a beautiful color.

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Kristi in the doorway of the patio at night.

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The street lamp below the balcony at the end of the patio with the wonderful little crown.

As I write crickets are chirping and town is starting to come awake here on the patio. Sweet!!

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Lecce Baroque

I’m not a fan of Baroque. In fact, the first time I looked at visiting Lecce I said no because of the Baroqueness of it. I’m still not a fan, but the sheer excess and gaudiness is something to behold. These pictures are from Sant’Irene church, Irene being the patron saint of Lecce until 1656.

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This picture gives you an idea of the scale of the church. There are eight of these monstrous altars, all with the incredible over the top goo gaa. The astounding thing is that we have seen at least a dozen churches of equal scale and equally decked out. That said, there are some interesting (at least for me) photos to be had with all the layers.

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