city, Puglia (Apulia) regione, southeastern Italy. It lies on the Salentina peninsula, or "heel" of Italy, east of Taranto. Possibly built on the site of the ancient Roman town of Lupiae, Lecce was contested by the Byzantines, Lombards, and Saracens after the fall of the Roman Empire. It became a diocese in the 6th century and was captured and elevated to a countship by the Normans in the mid-11th century. The city passed in 1463 to the Aragonese kings of Naples, who fortified it.
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