Piazza Sant'Oronzo (St. Orontius Square), Lecce

Piazza Sant'Oronzo (St. Orontius Square), Lecce (must see)

Here is a square dedicated to all the aspects of food, wine, music, and entertainment. In short, it is the beating heart of the city of Lecce. It can be reached in many ways: from Prato Street, Matteotti-Tempari Street, Thinchese, Fazzi, and Vittorio Emanuele II streets and by passing under the gates of Napoli, Rudiae, and San Biagio.

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 Apple 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.

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Piazza Sant'Oronzo (St. Orontius Square) on Map

Sight Name: Piazza Sant'Oronzo (St. Orontius Square)
Sight Location: Lecce, Italy (See walking tours in Lecce)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Lecce, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Lecce

Create Your Own Walk in Lecce

Creating your own self-guided walk in Lecce is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Lecce Introduction Walking Tour

Lecce Introduction Walking Tour

The beginning of Lecce is a legend. According to the story, a town existed close to the location of today's Lecce, dating from the Trojan Wars. The town was taken by Romans in the 3rd century BC. They called it "Lupiae." The Roman Emperor Hadrian didn't like the location, so he moved it 2 miles to the northeast. Lecce had a theatre and an amphitheater which can be partially...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Lecce's Baroque Churches Walking Tour

Lecce's Baroque Churches Walking Tour

Often defined as the “Capital of Baroque” – an artistic trend born in Italy in the 17th century, the town of Lecce has this signature style present in most of the buildings throughout its historic center. Characterized by elaborate facades and the extensive use of local stone known as "pietra leccese", Lecce's Baroque architecture reached its pinnacle in the form of churches,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles