To better understand the history of the city of Lecce, from its Messapian and Greek origins through the Roman roots and the splendor of the 'Baroque of Lecce', you must visit its museums.
Lecce has several museums of great interest that collect various historical artifacts, from the Messapian, Greeks and Romans remains to the various modern paintings.
This is the oldest archaeological museum in Puglia. It covers the history of the region from ancient times, like the reconstructed prehistoric cave of Grotta dei Cervi in Porto Badisco, all the way to the 20th century.
The MUSA is an exhibition space set up to highlight and promote, in a didactic way, the results of researches made by archaeologists and historians of the Salento University in the last decades.
The exhibits cover the main stages of the course of research campaigns carried out by archaeologists and historians, whilst presenting an up-to-date outlook of the latest research developments in the Salento area, from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages.
The MUST is located in the heart of the historical centre of Lecce, next to the church of Santa Chiara and the ancient Roman Theatre.
At the entrance of this museum there is a large room that houses a contemporary art gallery with a permanent exhibition of the works by the sculptor Cosimo Salento Carlucci.
On the first floor, a series of rooms display exhibits from the various periods of the history of Lecce: from Messapian and Roman times, the Middle Ages, all the way to the 20th century.
This museum, located in the Palazzo del Seminario in Piazza Duomo, was founded with the aim to preserve and protect the works of art from religious institutions.
The paintings on display span a period from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 18th century. Other exhibits include sculptures and silver objects, such as chalices and censers, many of which were part of the liturgical treasure of the Duomo of Lecce, and date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Adjoining the ancient Roman Theatre, this museum displays findings from archaeological excavations carried out at the beginning of the last century.
It also holds an exhibition entitled "Rome. The scene of life" in collaboration with the Sovrintendenza Archeologica of Rome and the Sovrintendenza Archelogica of Puglia, on the theme of stage design and the use of illusion to represent reality in the Roman world.
This permanent exhibition displays artefacts by local craftspeople of the Salento, using materials such as papier mâché, pietra leccese (the soft local stone), ceramic or wrought iron.
This picture gallery is located in the 16th century Palazzo Fulgenzio. It displays hundreds of paintings, mostly by anonymous monks from the Franciscan convents of Puglia and particularly of the Salento.
The Museo Papirologico was created to house the University of Salento's collection of Greek, Hieroglific, Demotic, Hieratic and Coptic papyri, in addition to more than 400 artefacts on the theme of writing in ancient times.