©2020 Heiner Sträßer
The "Mosaico della Lupa" is surrounded by the superstition that it is bad luck to step on the wolf. In 1953, the mosaic was created in four months' work by master mosaicist Giuseppe Nicolardi in Piazza Sant' Oronzo and soon became a landmark of the city of Lecce. After tourists began to take loose mosaic stones as a souvenir, the company of Valentino Nicolì restored it in 2017. The now 99-year-old Giuseppe Nicolardi was also present at the presentation of the restored work of art in July 2017. In moving words he reported on the creation of the work.
The legendary foundation of Lecce dates back to 1211 B. C., followed by conquests, ascents and downfalls. It began to flourish in 1550 under the reign of Charles V of the Habsburg dynasty, who had the city developed into a heavily fortified administrative centre. For many buildings, the tufa of the surrounding area, which was easy to work with, was used, stimulating the sculptors to create rich and playful decorations of the building, the Baroque Leccesian style. The disadvantage of the tuff's easy machinability is its low resistance to the weathering effects of the environment.