The Salento, also known as the whole district and province area of Lecce or for a few people the area around Brindisi too, has many natural peculiarities that make this area unique in the world and that is not only due to the pietra leccese. Amongst the olive trees, poppy fields, fruit trees there is a true nature treasure, very versatile and in fact so precious that it has become one of the many important economic recourses of the local economy. We are talking about the Pietra Leccese or Lecce stone (or as local call it) “chianca leccese”, which is a typical sandstone for the region, a limestone rock, extracted mostly from the inland area around Lecce. Strolling through the beautiful alleys of the magnificent city of Lecce you will see with your own eyes how versatile the stone is and thanks to its pliability and easy processing, it helped shape the story of Baroque. Among the works of greater cultural and artistic depth, you will undoubtedly admire the beautiful Basilica di Santa Croce (1548-1646) or the Duomo (1659-1670) di Lecce. However, there are many monuments, churches, palaces, works of art, entirely in Lecce stone, that give the city an unmistakable color, and give us a one of a kind Baroque. This stone materializes from the ground throughout the Salento area. In particular, near the towns of Melpignano, Cursi, Maglie and Corigliano d’Otranto where the majority of the quarries are located. In ancient times, the extraction was done directly by hand, thanks to the work and experience of the “cavamonti”, expert workers of the area who identified the richest areas of this Salento stone. As regards the extraction of this stone from the so-called “open-air” quarries, certain machines are required, which have the advantage of being able to carve the blocks in an extremely precise way. The processing of Lecce stone The first phase is called clearing, and consists in removing the topsoil, including plants, up to the rock layer. This is done with the aid of wheeled and tracked mechanical shovel excavators. Then the excavation takes place, and it is recommended that the first layer of mother rock, the cappellaccio, is eliminated. In some cases, if the layer is extremely hard, it is necessary to use explosives, otherwise the blades will suffice. The leveling phase follows, with electric cutting machines such as the undercutting and end cutting machines. At the end of this long operation follows the actual processing. This rock is mainly composed of calcium carbonate, consisting of micro- and macrofossil fragments of the marine fauna, and of calcitic cement and clay. It has a compact and fine-grained white / straw yellow or gray color. The color varies due to the extraction point and the concentration of its chemical components. Due to the presence of clay, as said above, it is easily moldable. This malleability is the big advantage compared to marble or granite, and favors it not only as a decorative and ornamental element, but also as an artistic one. What distinguishes the Lecce stone from another stone in the area, the carparo, is the composition of the chemical compounds within it. The first is in fact decidedly finer, while the carparo has a coarser appearance and a darker color. The “leccisu” has therefore always been appreciated by artists and artisans and has been used by sculptors and architects of past eras, such as Giuseppe Cino and Giuseppe Zimbalo, masters of the Salento Baroque. Some products made of Lecce stone that we produce. Still today you can admire all the beauty of sculptures, rose windows and friezes of important churches, such as the Church of Santa Croce and the Cathedral of Lecce. Lecce stone or even Salento stone, as well as carparo, are also used to make vases and planters, small ornaments and furnishing accessories and floors. Also, wonderful Lecce stone lamps and wall lights, that give homes or public spaces a touch of class to the interiors and exteriors. The team of designers and architects of the Sguariu creative laboratory works on many objects in Lecce stone for interiors and carparo, ideal for decorating interiors and exteriors. Browse our online Lecce stone shop Garden furniture, stone lamps, coffee tables, washbasins and sinks, furnishing accessories, Lecce stone floors for interiors and much more: discover all the carparo.net products and bring unique handcrafted pieces and designs of quality to your home or business area, all belonging to the tradition of Salento.