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Elegant, spacious, immaculate, decorated with exquisite taste and completely comfortable, the apartment in a former 16th century monastery is about as close to perfect as it gets. It’s located on a quiet small street, but right in the historic center of Lecce, within walking distance of everything. There’s a charming little courtyard for breakfast, coffee or a summer evening aperitivo. The very gracious hostess, Clarissa Rizzo, whose family owns the property, not only welcomed us in person, but brought us a map of Lecce and spent nearly an hour with us marking places on it: restaurants, boutiques, historic sites, shops for the “taralli” cocktail snacks for which Lecce is famous. We tried many of her suggestions, and they were all right on. We had a wonderful stay, and would delightedly go back again, without hesitation.
One thing to note: It’s not clear on the website, but the price given for two guests is for a couple using only one of the two full bedrooms. There is a $25 a night supplement for two guests who use separate bedrooms. That initially surprised us, but in fact the apartment — more like a house really — is well worth that slightly higher price.
We LOVED staying in “La Chiesseta” with its 10th century frescoes, soaring ceilings and ancient wood doors opened for sunlight in the spacious kitchen and living area. The apartment is beautifully restored, and we had all we needed. The neighborhood was great with cafes around the corner and quiet when we wanted it. Ludo was a gracious host who took an interest in our visit and our comfort. And the bed was a dream! We were thrilled with our time here.