Il leccio e la lupa (The holm oak and the she-wolf)
What was Lecce like in antiquity? The elegance of its inhabitants, their everyday life, the splendid buildings adorned with statues, probably gave it a completely different face from the pomp and baroque of today. To get a better picture of the ancient city and delve into the folds of its noble past, there is the exhibition 'Il leccio e la lupa' (The Holm Oak and the She-Wolf) set up in the Must spaces, which also include the new archaeological section.
The exhibition route winds its way through three fundamental periods in the history of Lecce: the Messapic period, the Roman Imperial age and the Middle Ages, characterised by three distinct colours that accompany the visitor through the exhibition. The introduction to the tour is given by the account of archaeological research in Lecce with the Lecce Sotterranea Project, realised through the collaboration between the City Council, the University of Salento and the Superintendency.
The visit then continues with the museal display of a Messapian burial site dating back to the 4th century B.C., discovered with its grave goods during preventive archaeology investigations in the cloister of the Carmine convent.
Before reaching the mediaeval sector, one can admire the scale reproductions, side by side, of what the two amphitheatres were like at the time of their construction, that of Lupiae from the Augustan era and that of Rudiae from the Trajan era, and examples of statuary from the symbolic sites of the Roman cities of Lupiae (Amphitheatre and Theatre) and Rudiae (Amphitheatre), including remains of statues, such as the 'togato capite' found in Rudiae during excavations to bring the amphitheatre to light in 2015.
The first rooms devoted to the Middle Ages evoke a Lecce under the control of the Byzantine Empire and the city's subsequent role as the seat of the County in the Norman age. The rooms devoted to the varied and multi-ethnic community at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries contain materials outlining its central role during the reign of the Princes of Taranto. The museum tour ends with the materials found in the Castle, a building of Norman foundation that was completely renovated during the reign of Emperor Charles V.
Info: 0832 241067, http://www.mustlecce.it/
Hours: daily except Mondays 10-21.