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Santa Croce

Santa Croce Review

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. Although every column, window, pediment, and balcony is given a curling baroque touch—and then an extra one for good measure—the overall effect is lighthearted. The buildings' proportions are unintimidating, and the local stone is a glowing honey color: it couldn't look menacing if it tried.

Updated: 02-28-2013

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