The closest airports are in Brindisi and Bari, which now have direct flights to an increasingly large number of European destinations. Please check the Puglian airport website for flight possibilities (www.aeroportidipuglia.it).
If you are coming from further afield you can fly to one of Italy’s international airports, such as Rome Fiumicino, Milano Malpensa or Venice, and from there you can fly direct to Brindisi airport, which is 35-minutes by bus from Lecce, or to Bari, which is connected by train (under 2 hours) to Lecce.
From Brindisi (airport code BDS) the bus service (navetta) will take you directly to Lecce’s main bus station (ticket price: 7 euros). NB: the timetable changes a number of times during the year, so please check the validity.
As an alternative you can book a shuttle bus service (20 euros) which will take you directly to your accommodation/hotel (https://www.airshuttle.it/).
A Taxi service is also available but will cost you about 55 euros if booked in advance – and more if you pick it up at the airport.
From Bari (airport code, confusingly, BRI) there is both a bus and a train link to Bari train station (ticket price: 5 euros), less than 15 minutes by train and about 30 minutes by bus. There are then at least hourly fast Intercity Frecce trains (€18-€25) to Lecce throughout the day and night, as well as a number of slower, but cheaper (€9), regionali. Tickets can be bought on the internet, often at greatly reduced prices if organized in advance.
Lecce is at the end of the rail line that travels along Italy's east coast. There are direct sleeper trains from Turin, Milan, Venice and Bologna. It is just over 5 hours from Rome, 4 from Naples, 90 minutes from Bari and 30 from Brindisi. Lecce can also be used as a springboard for a large number of towns around the area, and exploring outside of the city itself is manageable. If you arrive by train, it is a 15 minute walk from the station to the historic center of town. The railway network connects Lecce to the other towns of the Region and to Rome or Bologna.
Additional infos: www.trenitalia.com
Lecce is connected to other towns through several bus services. Currently discounted tickets (10%) for UniSalento students and staff are available with Flixbus.
If you come from the other side of the Adriatic coast travelling by ferry is another option. Information about ferryboat lines is available on the Port of Brindisi website.