In the City streets and its
“courtyards, there’s a grace and original elegance,
and in particular they have their lineal ascendants far away
from the decorative Roman-Pugliese tradition, although connecting
to Baroque of the Roman kind.
One of the most fascinating
expressions of this particular taste is the façade
of the Church of Santa Croce, masterpiece of Francesco Antonion
Zimbalo, together with that of the neighbouring front of the
Convent of the Celestines, today’s seat of the Prefecture.
Sculpturer-Architect, the Zimbalo, overlaid with genial originality,
his plastic, Baroque mantles in an architectural 16th Century
structure. The materials used can safely be attributed to
the extraordinary flourishing of the Baroque from Lecce, for
example, a sandy, homogenous limestone, with a good golden
white colour, known as “pietra leccese,” soft
and compact to use.
Amongst the buildings that add to the elegance of the Cathedral’s
square, other than the Cathedral, the City remembers the Palazzo
del Seminario (Seminary) of Giuseppe Cino, one of the works
most representative of the final Baroque period and Saint
Chiara with its lively façade.
The characteristic architectural language of Lecce, is manifested
also in the Churches of the Rosario (Rosary) and Saint Angelo
of Giuseppe Zimbalo, nephew of Francesco Antonio, as well
as in that of Saint Matthew, with its beautiful concave-convex
(the only one following a true Baroque style) and once again
in the Palazzi Carafa (Town Hall), Rollo and Giromini.
Messapiche and Roman vases have also been preserved in the
provincial Museum, Sigismondo Castromediano.