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Spend a day visiting the ancient churches and palaces that line the streets of this quiet town in southeast Italy.

Armesano is an interesting place to visit when touring the towns and villages of the province of Lecce. It boasts a worthy collection of religious landmarks and grand palaces spread around a compact historic quarter. Arnesano’s quiet and flat streets make this a great place to explore on foot.

Start your visit at Porta Rande, the historic gateway to the old town. Next to this arched portal is the Monument to Our Lady of the Assumption, which has a capital based on the designs of the Baroque capitals common in Lecce. A statue of the Madonna crowns the monument.

Go to nearby Palazzo Marchesale. This 17th-century landmark stands on the site of the town’s old fortress. Today, the palace hosts art exhibitions and live music events.

Pass through Porta Rande and walk to Chiesa Matrice Maria S.S. Assunta. Established in 1581 and then renovated in the 1700s, it evidences Baroque architectural features both inside and out. Note the sculptures of saints located in niches either side of the main entrance. A short stroll from here is Chiesa di Sant’Antonio Abate, which stands in the middle of a small roundabout.

Spot paintings by Serafino Elmo at the Cappella dell’Asilo Bernardini. Admire the Palazzo di Selvaggio Guarini, commissioned by a former mayor of Lecce.

Find more architectural treasures a short drive from the town center. Set amid green countryside is the Cappella di Santa Maria di Montevergine, known for its interior paintings of venerated saints. Also worth seeing is the humble Chiesa di Sant’Antonio da Padova.

Take a break from sightseeing and relax at Il Parco Urbano, located in the village of Rione Riesci. Find bike paths, a children’s playground, an educational Neolithic site and other historic ruins.

Arnesano is about 8 miles (13 kilometers) west of the city of Lecce. You could easily fit the main attractions into one day of sightseeing and public buses connect the town with Lecce. Park for free on the town’s streets if arriving by rented car.

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