Piazza Sant'Oronzo (St. Orontius Square), Lecce (must see)
After restorations, its look today is a grand mixture of elements of its past. There is the rediscovered Roman Amphitheater, palaces of Fascist Rationalism, the "Seat" of Venice, Seat Palace (Palazzo del Seggio), and the Church of Holy Mary of Grace (Chiesa Santa Maria della Grazia). A 1739 bronze statue of Sant'Oronzo stands on top of a 95-foot Roman column, watching over all.
The "Oval" in the square, laid in 1930 by artist Giuseppe Nicolardi, has a mosaic of the city coat of arms. The icon is a she-wolf under a holm oak tree. The locals have a superstitious aversion to stepping on the image.
From his column, Sant'Oronzo blesses the municipal seat of Lecce, the Carafa Palace. The Roman Amphitheater, dating back to the time of Hadrian or even Augustus, is half hidden under the Holy Mary of Grace.
Since 1656 the St. Orontius Square has been dedicated to Sant'Oronzo, who is credited with saving Lecce during the dreadful epidemic of plague that had devastated the Kingdom of Naples. Today the patron saint of Lecce still keeps watch from his ancient tower.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Lecce. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Piazza Sant'Oronzo (St. Orontius Square) on Map
Walking Tours in Lecce, Italy
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles