Lecce (lĕtˈchā) [key], city (1991 pop. 100,884), capital of Lecce prov., Apulia region, S Italy. It is an industrial and agricultural center. Manufactures include machinery, ceramics, food products, and wine. A Greek and later a Roman town, Lecce was from 1053 to 1463 a semi-independent county under various lords. In the 16th and 17th cent. culture and commerce flourished there. There are many fine churches and palaces built or restored in a characteristic baroque style. The city has a university (founded 1959).
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