Although Lecce was founded before the time of the ancient Greeks, it's often associated with the term Barocco leccese, the result of a citywide impulse in the 17th century to redo the town in an exuberant fashion. But this was Baroque with a difference. Such architecture is often heavy and monumental, but here it took on a lighter, more fanciful air, and the church of Santa Croce is a fine example, along with the adjoining Palazzo della Prefettura. The facade
is a riot of sculptures of saints, angels, leaves, vines, and columns, all in local, glowing, honey-colored stone, creating an overall lighthearted effect.